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Cryptocurrency adoption has been spreading like wildfire despite all the regulatory hiccups. Regardless, cryptocurrency is a reality, and it’s gaining traction internationally, with adoption increasing by 881% year over the past year.
Chainalysis reported that the top five nations for cryptocurrency adoption were Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Ukraine, and Kenya in its second annual Global Crypto Adoption Index. The United States dropped from sixth to eighth place in the list, while China dropped from fourth to thirteenth place – owing to its continuing crypto crackdown.
While Bitcoin and its numerous competitors and spinoffs continue to dominate the $2.22 trillion global cryptocurrency industry, new developments seem to emerge on a seemingly constant basis. Even yet, just a very small percentage of Americans have any first-hand knowledge of what it’s like. Even in 2020, just a small fraction of people in the United States — like those in a vast group of wealthy, powerful, industrialized countries — had cryptocurrencies in their possession or were actively using them. However, it’s gaining traction far more swiftly throughout the world.
From the countries becoming crypto havens to the more hostile climes, here is the state of the crypto industry in different parts of the world:
The United States
Arguably a side effect of being a global superpower, the United States is arguably the biggest hub of cryptocurrency activity. In 2020, the US was the top country for bitcoin trading, with $1.52 billion worth of Bitcoin traded in that year alone. The US has also made strides with regard to its implementation of crypto and blockchain-focused laws. This year, the US Congress has introduced 18 laws relating to the sector, creating a fertile ground for the industry to grow. At the same time, there is still pressure being put on the US government to speed up its development of the digital dollar, considering the progress made by other countries.
India is remarkable in the amount of crypto adoption it has managed in the last few years. In 2020, it saw the highest amount of crypto adoption, tying only with Pakistan and Vietnam. The country has come a long way from the ban on banking services that put a dent in its local industry to being on track to potentially launching the digital Rupee.
The country also consistently ranks high as one of the biggest countries in terms of crypto volume, and this shows no signs of slowing down thanks to a young, tech-forward population.
The cryptocurrency situation in China is a uniquely complicated one. On one hand, the country threw itself head-first into the great crypto race and launched its digital yuan far ahead of other countries like the US. At the same time, a ban on private cryptocurrencies has been in place for years now, and the country has started cracking down on the crypto mining sector, seizing thousands of mining equipment in the process.
Despite this, China continues to rank highly in terms of global crypto mining and crypto trading figures.
For years, Europe has worked ahead of the curve when it comes to crypto adoption. Countries like Finland had comprehensive crypto tax laws in place for years, and the French government approved a grant to support the industry’s growth around the same time. In terms of trade volume, Europe consistently pulls respectable numbers, and the continent’s collective trading even unseated China in recent years.
Currently, the digital euro is in its development and testing session and should it be successful; it could make Europe an even bigger hub for crypto activity.
This Central American country has made headlines in recent years for its aggressive embracing of cryptocurrency. On 8 June 2021, the country passed a law recognizing bitcoin as legal tender, making it the first country in the world to do so. Since the law has gone into effect, it has been reported that more crypto wallets exist in the country than bank accounts, and it could very well act as a case study for crypto adoption over the next few years. Regardless of the outcome, El Salvador has set a new precedent for crypto acceptance on an institutional level for the rest of the world.
In the last few years, Switzerland has worked hard to position itself as a leader in the blockchain space by putting forward a lot of innovative laws. In September 2021, the first-ever cryptocurrency fund was approved by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority. The country is also home to the famous Crypto Valley, a specific region in Switzerland known for its favourable crypto laws, helping it attract prominent crypto companies. 11 such firms in the region have a valuation of over $1 billion.
On the regulatory side, Swiss citizens and companies based in the region of Zug can now pay up to $108,750 of their taxes in bitcoin or ether.
Meanwhile, the Swiss Post, the national postal service of the nation, has announced the launch of the “Swiss crypto stamp”. The development of this digital collectable, linked to a physical stamp issued by the postal service, might help in bridging the gap between traditional physical stamps and the crypto industry. This project was the result of a collaboration with Polygon, and the assets will be stored on the Polygon blockchain.
While no one can fully predict the future of the crypto industry, these countries show that it has made good progress despite its challenges. From laws being passed to cater to the industry to the resilience of crypto miners despite a ban, crypto is truly going global with no way left but up.Disclaimer: Cryptocurrency is not a legal tender and is currently unregulated. Kindly ensure that you undertake sufficient risk assessment when trading cryptocurrencies as they are often subject to high price volatility. The information provided in this section doesn't represent any investment advice or WazirX's official position. WazirX reserves the right in its sole discretion to amend or change this blog post at any time and for any reasons without prior notice.