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Nigeria and South East Asia led global crypto adoption in 2020

Nigeria and South East Asia led global crypto adoption in 2020

Data published by statistics firm Statista has revealed Nigeria is the leading country per capita for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency adoption, with nearly one in three survey respondents indicating they used or owned crypto assets in 2020.

According to the survey, the pre-existing prevalence of mobile phone based peer-to-peer payments has led many Nigerians to explore cryptocurrency. Statista noted that many Nigeria responded they had recently installed crypto payment applications on their devices.

The findings also note that many Nigerians are exploring crypto assets for international remittances.

Adoption in the country shows no signs of slowing, with demand for crypto assets booming among Africa’s largest population despite the Central Bank of Nigeria enacting a ban on banks providing financial services to crypto exchanges in the past fortnight. On Feb. 17, Cointelegraph reported that BTC was trading at a 36% premium in Nigeria.

According to Google Trends, Nigeria also dominates search traffic for the keyword “Bitcoin”.

Regional search traffic for “Bitcoin”: Google Trends

Crypto adoption is also strengthening in South-East Asia, with 21% of Vietnamese and 20% of Filipino participants responding they had used crypto last year. As in Nigeria, Statista attributes much of the Vietnamese and Filipino demand for crypto to remittances.

Notably, Vietnam ranks second by adoption despite its central bank refusing to recognize crypto assets as a legitimate means of payment. In May 2020, Vietnam’s government established a research group tasked with developing and scrutinizing policy proposals concerning digital currencies, suggesting the nation may soften its stance at some point in the future.

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Turkey and Peru were found to be the third and fourth-ranked nations for adoption, with 16% of respondents from each country directly engaging with crypto last year. Switzerland ranks fifth with 11%.

The findings were based on Statista’s Global Consumer Survey, which queried respondents based in 74 countries.

Despite its highly permissive crypto regulations, Japanese respondents ranked as the lowest worldwide for digital asset adoption — tying with Denmark with just 4%.