Bitcoin transactions could more than halve this year, Juniper Research predicted, as a lack of regulation and links with illegal activity hinder the cryptocurrency's ability to go mainstream.
In a recent report, the U.K.-based research firm estimated the value of cryptocurrency transactions would decline to $30 billion in 2015 from over $71 billion last year.
The bearish figures follow a rough start to the year for the controversial digital currency. Prices have been in freefall, trading below $250 throughout January compared with $1,000 at the same time last year, according to CoinDesk, a widely-watched price index.
"The decline is attributable to the combined impact of exchange collapses, Bitcoin theft and regulatory concerns around cryptocurrency's role in funding dark web purchases," Juniper Research said.