Global cryptocurrency adoption among individual investors has surged in the past year, according to crypto-analysis firm Chainalysis.
Using factors like peer-to-peer exchange trading volume and value received, Chainalysis said global crypto adoption rose some 881 per cent in the past 12 months.
The firm sees institutional markets as crucial but aimed to highlight the countries with the greatest crypto adoption by retail investors.
It focused on use cases related to transactions and individual savings, rather than trading and speculation.
The top-ranked countries are Vietnam, India, Pakistan and Ukraine.
“In emerging markets, many turn to cryptocurrency to preserve their savings in the face of currency devaluation, send and receive remittances, and carry out business transactions,” Chainalysis said in the report. It added that “adoption in North America, Western Europe, and Eastern Asia over the last year has been powered largely by institutional investment.”
Interest in cryptocurrencies has surged since the onset of the pandemic, in part because of substantial gains by digital tokens like Bitcoin and Ether. The Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index has climbed about 380 per cent in the past year.
The Chainalysis Global Crypto Adoption Index ranked 154 countries by three main metrics.
China and the US both dropped in the rankings, primarily because peer-to-peer trading volume declined. Last year, China ranked fourth and the US sixth. This year, the US is eighth and China 13th.
Chainalysis took out one factor it had used previously: number of deposits by country weighted by number of internet users. The firm found that it skewed the rankings toward countries with comparatively more decentralised finance, or DeFi, users. Instead, it’s creating a DeFi Adoption Index that it said will be available in coming weeks.
“Growing transaction volume for centralised services and the explosive growth of DeFi are driving cryptocurrency usage in the developed world and in countries that already had substantial adoption, while P2P platforms are driving new adoption in emerging markets,” Chainalysis said, adding a key question whether new approaches will disrupt those trends.