Nigeria and South East Asia led global crypto adoption in 2020

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Data released by statistics firm Statista has shown that Nigeria is the leading per capita country for the adoption of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Almost one in three respondents said they used or owned crypto assets in 2020.

According to the survey, the pre-existing proliferation of peer-to-peer cellphone-based payments has led many Nigerians to scrutinize the cryptocurrency. Statista found that many Nigerians responded that they had recently installed crypto payment applications on their devices.

The results also show that many Nigerians are studying crypto assets for international remittances.

Acceptance in the country shows no signs of slowing down. Demand for crypto assets is booming among Africa’s largest population, despite the fact that the central bank of Nigeria has in the past 14 days put a ban on banks from providing financial services to crypto exchanges. On February 17, Cointelegraph reported that BTC in Nigeria was trading at a premium of 36%.

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

Regional search traffic for “Bitcoin”: Google Trends

The adoption of crypto is also increasing in Southeast Asia. 21% of Vietnamese and 20% of Filipino participants said they used crypto in the past year. As in Nigeria, Statista attributes much of the Vietnamese and Filipino demand for crypto to remittances.

Vietnam in particular ranks second in terms of adoption, despite the central bank refusing to recognize crypto assets as legitimate currency. In May 2020, the Vietnamese government set up a research group to develop and examine policy proposals for digital currencies, suggesting that the nation may tone down its stance at a later date.

Turkey and Peru were the third and fourth largest adoption countries. 16% of respondents from each country looked directly at crypto last year. Switzerland is in fifth place with 11%.

The results are based on Statista’s Global Consumer Survey, in which respondents from 74 countries were interviewed.

Despite strict crypto regulations, Japanese respondents were rated as the lowest in the world for adopting digital assets – with only 4% associated with Denmark.