A million dollars no cool. 1.2 quadrillion dollars is cool. (In various other words, you might want to gain into derivatives.)


For most of us, $5 exchange rate might already seem like a relatively huge–and abstract–amount that money. However that number, which happens to be about the value of all the Bitcoins in the civilization today, is a tiny portion of other markets.

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A current chart native The Money task attempts to visualize all of the money in the world, native Bitcoin come the mind-bogglingly massive derivatives market, and also compares castle by size. Each small square on the chart represents $100 billion.

“I think the many interesting aspect of this image is the exponential distinction in size between these different markets,” claims Jeff Desjardins, chairman of visual Capitalist, i m sorry produces the Money Project. “It really helps to placed things into perspective.”

“The size of the entirety Bitcoin industry ($5 billion) is a blip ~ above the radar contrasted to the yellow market, i beg your pardon is worth 1560 times as much–at $7.8 trillion,” he says. “Yet, the gold sector is trivial when contrasted to total an international debt, which is same to $199 trillion.”

The graph is designed to aid make abstract numbers a little more concrete.

“We want to create better context for people to understand the amount of money that exists in contrast to other sectors they might be more familiar with,” he says. “The numbers that we address when we space talking about huge amounts the money always sound similar–millions, billions, trillions–but in reality these numbers room orders of size in difference. This location junxtap isn’t really evident until we are able to visualize this data in an intuitive way. Climate the data speaks because that itself.”

The best surprise, because that anyone no in the jae won world, can be the dimension of the derivatives market. In ~ the low end, it’s approximated at $630 trillion. In ~ the high end, $1.2 quadrillion. (Put one more way, that’s more than 1,000 million million, or $1,200,000,000,000,000.)

Derivatives fly under the radar, Desjardins says, due to the fact that they’ve just been approximately since the 1970s, and they’re greatly traded by people at hedge funds or invest banks, no individual investors. They’re also hard to understand–they take various forms, however basically, they always get their worth from something else, choose an option to buy stock or a futures contract because that a commodity prefer corn.

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They could be small known, yet they played a vital role in the last financial crisis. And also it’s a tiny scary to check out that top top the chart, derivatives dwarf whatever else.