Users began adopting cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin over a decade ago, and the popular digital currency was first used to buy a Papa John’s pizza. Since then, many have expected Bitcoin to take off as a currency all across the world. While it certainly hasn’t taken off yet in the U.S. at mass, other areas of the world have gone already gone all-in, possibly signaling what’s to come.
Reliance on remittances and the prevalence of peer-to-peer phone payments have led to a steep rise in cryptocurrency use in Africa’s largest economy. Out of 74 countries in the Statista Global Consumer Survey, Nigerians were the most likely to say they used or owned cryptocurrency.
Almost a third of Nigerians said this applied to them. The high cost of sending money across borders the conventional way has caused many to turn to local cryptocurrency exchanges catering to overseas workers and their families, according to Bitcoin.com. The second and third highest rates of cryptocurrency use in the survey were recorded in Vietnam and the Philippines, respectively.
According to bitcoin.com, the Philippines’ Central Bank has approved several crypto exchanges to operate as “remittance and transfer companies” in the country. The government itself is already meddling in cryptocurrency by setting up blockchain app bonds.ph with Unionbank to distribute government bonds. Unionbank has also installed a Bitcoin ATM in Makati (Metro Manila), showing how cryptocurrencies are slowly entering the mainstream in the country.
In addition to users in Africa and Southeast Asia, one more world region where many cryptocurrency users are located is Latin America. Peru leads adoption with 16% of respondents, while Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico and Chile all reached double digits. Switzerland was the country with the highest adoption rate in Europe together with Greece (11%, each). In general, European and Anglo nations had very low levels of adoption.
Japan, finally, was the country in the survey where the fewest people said they used or owned cryptocurrency. where only 4% said they had experience with crypto products, the lowest in the survey together with Denmark.