4 of the World’s Biggest Adopters of Cryptocurrencies– And What Inspired Their Users

February 18, 2021 Quick read

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are a truly global digital currency system– but which countries are using them the most, and why?

When it comes to investments, outside of the recent GameStop/AMC scandal that broke out thanks to redditors worldwide, cryptocurrencies are definitely one of the most exciting, and most talked about, financial assets on the market today. Propelling an entire generation of newbie investors to begin to look forward to getting involved with what is the future of currency as we know it.


But more than just an investment, in some countries and to some people, cryptocurrencies are regarded as less of an asset and more of a gateway to democratized finance and a welcome disruption to centralized currencies.


The Nigerian cryptocurrency relationship is a bit of a Cinderella story– only in reverse. What started out as a seemingly well sustained crypto boom, has recently turned into a firm crypto ban. While the country was topping the charts when it came to both chainanalysis adoption statistics, as well as self-reporting surveys, in the last few years: the last few weeks has all but deflated any upward momentum the country had. As the Central Bank of Nigeria issued a notice that all financial institutions and central banks were to close any accounts that were found to be interacting with cryptocurrency exchanges.


Which doesn’t necessarily stop citizens from investing, but does make it incredibly more difficult for them to transact crypto with Nigerian funds. However, the Central Bank of Nigeria issued a similar, albeit less threatening, notice in 2017 that did little to demotivate their citizens from engaging with crypto exchanges, so the newest ban may only serve to fuel the nation's interest in crypto.


Vietnam has long shown promise when it comes to the dissemination and acceptance of cryptocurrency adoption. Continuing to top out lists depicting the top countries that are adopting crypto at extraordinary rates, the country’s Prime Minister doubled down on this; recently signing an order that has appointed cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies in their top 5 technological priorities. Reportedly referring to crypto as the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”.


From launching Vietnamese based exchanges, to rolling out its own stablecoin, Vietnam seems to be fully embracing the crypto sphere. The encouragement is spurred not only by governments, but also by international business for which the country is a global hub.

South Africa

Citizens in South Africa have long shown vested interest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, getting them rated number seven on chainalysis’s 2020 Global Crypto Adoption Index. With high adoption rates for the last several years, the nation's government has started to take a keen look at investor portfolios and begun to crack down on those who are non-tax compliant. Perhaps dissuading investors from interacting with the digital currencies in the future.


While the government seeks more comprehensive legislation and higher tax rates specifically targeted at cryptocurrency holders, retail investors don’t seem to be suspect number one. Instead focusing on larger businesses and institutional interests. The government instead expects its citizens to comply with the tax laws via the inherent virtue of integrity– and has not yet released any specific legislation.


Venezuelans have been noted to be adopting cryptocurrencies at an astonishing rate over the last few years, which is both surprising and incredibly clever. As the nation is plagued with political turmoil and hyperinflation so outrageous, it has put the country into a crippling economic crisis. Despite this, and governmentally mandated platform bans, citizens have still managed to turn Venezuela’s crypto scene into a thriving market.


Using digital currencies to better secure personal assets against unjust government seizure and hyperinflation that have decreased the value of the nation’s fiat. It has also become the go-to way for people outside of the country to send money to loved ones and family members, circumventing high exchange rates and extortionate transaction fees.

Other Countries Worth Noting

While these countries don’t necessarily dominate all aspects of crypto adoption analyses, they do seem to stand out from the countries that regularly do. Like Russia, China, and the US. All three of which have long been on top of crypto acceptance and adoption. Particularly in China, where the crypto mining industry is incredibly popular. The Chinese government has also released their own digital currency and  payment system– known as DCEP– that many believe could eventually overtake both Bitcoin and the Dollar.


In the US, while crypto popularity and investment still remains strong, use has largely stagnated. This is largely because the US, by comparison to other countries, largely uses their crypto stores as safe haven assets, HODLing instead of actually using. Russia, despite a seemingly hot-and-cold love affair with digital currencies, is still at the heart of Eastern Europe's crypto boom. Being one of top countries with the most retail users.