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Top 10 Countries Driving Crypto Adoption



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Top 10 Countries Driving Crypto Adoption

You can gain a broader perspective on the crypto market's expansion by learning the top 10 countries driving crypto adoption. Today, the crypto movement includes nations from across the globe. Every month, more countries take the necessary steps to invite more crypto activity.

There are a lot of factors that you can examine when attempting to determine what nations should be considered the top in terms of driving adoption. For example, some countries have a vibrant business sector, but their citizens aren't among the highest users of digital assets. Conversely, some countries on this list have high crypto usage despite government efforts to curb activity in the decentralized market.

Determining if a Country is Crypto-Friendly

There are many factors that a business or investor should consider before relocating their crypto efforts to a country. For one, the best options have well-defined regulatory and taxation guidelines. Many nations offer benefits to blockchain firms or promote the technology via incentives and tax breaks. Here are the top 10 countries driving crypto adoption around the globe (in no particular order).

1. Nigeria

Nigeria is a pivotal blockchain hub in Africa due to its community support and integration into daily life. Unlike many of the other nations on this list, Nigerians are the most likely to use cryptocurrencies for daily purchases. Notably, Nigerians have found cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to be an excellent way to escape inflation in a region where the value of currencies can fluctuate before you leave the grocery store.

Nigeria is the perfect example of how blockchain assets provide a better option to the population versus traditional banking options. Infrastructure is lacking in the rural areas of many developing nations like Nigeria, but cellular coverage isn't. As such, Nigerians have become accustomed to using mobile payment systems over the last 5 years.

Africa continues to push crypto adoption, with Nigeria setting the pace. A recent Statista study showed that one in three Nigerians between the ages of 18-60  had owned or used a cryptocurrency. Additionally, the data shows that Nigerian crypto adoption is split 50% between males and females. This stat is in contrast to most nations' male-centric markets.

Source - Chainalysis - Nigeria - Crypto Adoption

Source – Chainalysis – Nigeria – Crypto Adoption

Nigerian government and businesses have leaned into the blockchain movement as well. Recently, the Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) announced talks with Binance. The talks will focus on creating a virtual free zone to expand blockchain adoption. Additionally, the nation consistently tops the Google search for the most used crypto terms.

2. India

India makes the list of countries driving adoption for multiple reasons. For one, the nation is one of the largest and has one of the most successful economies. India's citizens have proven that they are ready to stand up for their access to digital currencies on numerous occasions.

For example, the RBI (Royal Bank of India)  has attempted to dissuade citizens from participating in the crypto market on numerous occasions to no avail. The first attempt occurred in 2013 when the market was starting. In 2018, the RBI went as far as attempting to ban banks from working with crypto service providers and users. The decision was appealed, and after two years of legal battles, it was repealed in 2020.

Kucoin reports show that there are +115M crypto users, and +20% of the population has used digital assets in the past. The same data revealed that it's mostly men between the ages of 20-60 driving adoption nationwide. The Indian population sees cryptocurrencies as a means of escaping volatility and improving remittance payments,

Notably, remittance is a major economic factor for citizens. These international payments made between workers and their families are a vital lifeline to millions. As such, cryptocurrencies' ability to lower remittance costs is one of the main reasons why so many people use cryptocurrencies.

Another factor driving adoption in India is the nation's tech-centric culture. Young Indians have always embraced technology which has helped them to better understand the importance of blockchain networks and their advantages. This understanding, coupled with the added savings and the ability to avoid inflation, all helped to drive adoption levels to new heights in the country.

3. Japan

Japan makes the list for its strong support for cryptocurrencies. Since the early days of the market, the Japanese government has been careful to provide a supportive regulatory climate for the technology to develop and expand. For example, Japan was among the first countries to recognize the purchasing power of Bitcoin.

Notably, Japan has long been a strong advocate for crypto in both the public and government sectors. At one point, it was home to the vast majority of crypto trading volume via the Mt.Gox exchange. This now-defunct CEX was one of the first exchanges in operation. At one point, it handled +70% of Bitcoin's total trading volume.

The Japanese population is very aware of cryptocurrencies. According to recent data, +5M Japanese citizens use cryptocurrencies actively. This number will increase exponentially as the nation continues to implement the regulatory and technical infrastructure to support large-scale adoption. The government has even issued NFTs to mayors in celebrations highlighting their commitment to blockchain integration.

The Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) is the group tasked with regulating the crypto market. Vital steps have been taken to improve the adoption rate. These steps include providing consumer protection, preventing money laundering, and creating stringent security protocols for exchanges and all custodial platforms. Additionally, Japanese banks can work with blockchain platforms. Lastly, all verification and transaction records must be maintained for 7 years.

4. El Salvador

El Salvador is leading the way in cryptocurrency adoption on multiple fronts. The nation remains a pioneering force in the market since it declared Bitcoin legal tender on June 9, 2021. This maneuver sent shockwaves through the international financial community, with multiple central banks issuing warnings to prevent the move and downplay its significance.

Despite this pressure, the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador voted to adopt the Bitcoin Law. The law included some advantageous moves, including a $150M investment into crypto and a plan to issue every citizen a Bitcoin wallet with $60 in BTC. These wallets were accompanied by an educational drive to teach the local communities how to integrate cryptos into their business and investment strategies.

El Salvador President Nayib Bukele - Crypto Adoption

El Salvador President Nayib Bukele

The combination of high inflation and remittance payments made El Salvador the ideal location for crypto integration. As part of the strategy, every citizen received a Lightning Network-powered Chiva wallet. The Lighting Network significantly reduces the costs and time of Bitcoin transactions.

The effects of the maneuver were slow at first, as the launch had some technical issues, and many people spent their crypto immediately. Today, El Salvador stands as a blockchain hub in Latin America. The decision to embrace Bitcoin was the right maneuver and has led to the nation becoming a globally recognized Bitcoin-friendly community.

5. South Korea

South Korea remains among the top countries in terms of trading volume and crypto usage. The nation has always been a hotbed for crypto activities. Interestingly, the sudden closing of China's exchanges and ICO markets in 2017 helped to drive the South Korean market to new heights as it absorbed many of China's most prominent projects and top investors.

South Korea stands out because the nation also banned domestic ICOs, but the effects were completely different. The South Korean crypto market continued to expand, with the Korean Won being one of the most traded fiat currencies in the crypto market today.  Additionally, South Korea is home to multiple global exchanges, including Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit.

South Korea has some of the highest adoption in the world, with reports showing that +40% of males from 30-39 are the most active. Some point to the nation's high unemployment and easy access to high-speed internet as the main driving factors for the nation's adoption. Additionally, South Korea is a tech-savvy community that can easily grasp the concept of cryptocurrencies and making mobile payments.

6. Singapore

Singapore is another nation that has high cryptocurrency ownership rates. Around 19% of the population have used cryptocurrencies in the past. This is slightly higher than the average of 15%. Singapore residents have supported Bitcoin since its early days, and there are multiple projects based out of the country.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS ”) is recognized as a pioneering group that has helped to create balanced and open regulations in the country. The nation introduced the Payments Services Act in 2020. This maneuver helped to prevent money laundering and created an infrastructure to develop further regulations when needed.

In Singapore, cryptocurrencies are referred to as digital payment tokens (DPTs). As such, they are considered legal assets.  The group also created an easy-to-follow infrastructure for ICOs, as well as new licensing requirements for those carrying out DPT services. These requirements included meeting strict AML and KYC laws.

As DPTs, cryptocurrencies enjoy more flexibility. They can be used by consumers and accepted by merchants. Additionally, the nation's crypto taxes are seen as favorable. Notably, the level of taxes you pay depends on your actions. For example, crypto traders pay income tax. However, long-term gains are taxed as capital gains. This approach helped to promote cryptocurrency as a means to diversify your portfolio and as a tradeable asset.

7. Russia

Russia may be involved in a lot of international issues, but its crypto usage remains high compared to many other developed nations. Russia has had an interesting relationship with cryptocurrencies as the nation has, on multiple occasions, sent out conflicting messages in the past regarding their feelings on digital assets. Despite these occurrences, today, Russia has an adoption rate of 19%, making it stand out globally.

There are a lot of reasons why crypto usage is high in Russia. For one, the local citizens have long sought ways to store value in a non-confiscatable manner. Cryptocurrencies offer non-custodial wallet options that serve this purpose perfectly. According to some analysts, the value of cryptocurrencies in Russia could exceed $214B soon.

The Singapore-based crypto research firm Triple A revealed that around 17.3M Russian-owned crypto in 2021. The same data showed that women were the top crypto owners in Russia. Russians see cryptocurrencies as a smart way to escape volatility, inflation, confiscation, and other risks faced by the average citizen.

8. Canada

Canada makes the list due to its strong regulatory support for cryptocurrencies. Regulations are required to drive investment into the market, and Canada has been pioneering in its efforts to accomplish this task. The nation didn’t delay in releasing a comprehensive tax and regulatory framework for the industry to build on.

Canadians have run with this support. Reports show that 18% of Canadians currently own cryptocurrencies. The majority hold Bitcoin as their main asset. Additionally, the data revealed that 23% of GenZ are strong crypto supporters. Also, Canada remains home to many blockchain firms, and more cities seek to attract them to their economies.

9. Vietnam

Vietnam makes the cut because it's one of the top five countries for NFT ownership. Notably, the country is a leader in the Play-to-Earn markets. These games reward players in cryptocurrency tokens that can be traded for other digital assets such as ETH and Bitcoin on DEXs.

The Play-to-Earn market is one of the fastest-growing in the blockchain industry. Games like Axis Infinity by Sky Mavis are massively popular in the South Korean market. These NFT-powered games have led the country to become one of the most prominent NFT supporters in the world.

There are now several high-profile NFT-powered games that call Vietnam their home. These startups are helping to drive innovation in the market to new heights. Reports show that around 2.1M Vietnamese currently participate in the NFT market, and analysts predict this number to rise sharply this year due to these factors

10. Brazil

Brazil has around 37M crypto users, according to Chainalysis reports. The sheer size of the country and its economic position make it a vital component in global adoption, especially in Latin America. Interestingly, crypto usage in Brazil is mostly by those under the poverty line as a means to store value and escape inflation.

The country has been an advocate for crypto adoption, and the nation's largest private bank recently integrated a crypto trading service in December 2023. Also, the nation's crypto-friendly regulations have led major exchanges to express interest in the country as a potential location for future operations. Analysts predict crypto adoption will continue to expand in the nation for the foreseeable future.

Driving Crypto Adoption Forward

All the nations on this list have done their part to help create a favorable crypto market for all. These counties are just a few of the many that have taken unique approaches to help foster innovation and adoption. These countries can be seen as leaders in the market that deserve recognition.

You can learn more about exciting blockchain projects here.

David Hamilton is a full-time journalist and a long-time bitcoinist. He specializes in writing articles on the blockchain. His articles have been published in multiple bitcoin publications including