Bitcoin adoption by country: An Analysis

We set out to answer the question: is Bitcoin adoption actually as global as some media outlets would have us believe? The truth is that most cryptocurrency trading is done on crypto exchanges or in the over the counter (OTC) market. The problem with these ways of buying Bitcoin is that there is no public data on how much Bitcoin is being bought and sold in each country.

However, Bitcoin country data is available for LocalBitcoins. It must be noted that the $6.3 billion traded on LocalBitcoins is a fraction of the global trade volume. Still, there is more than enough data to get a reasonably accurate idea of the levels of Bitcoin adoption in specific countries.

Our Analysis fter analysis of the 46 country datasets for LocalBitcoins, it appears that Bitcoin trading on the platform is extremely concentrated. 72% of all Bitcoin trading happened in the top 5 countries: USA, Russia, UK, Venezuela, and China. What exceptionally interesting is that all of the countries making up the top 4 in the all-time country volume leaderboard have some kind of problem with their native currencies.

USA The first thing to note is that over the last 104 years, the USD has lost more than 96% of its value. The era of quantitative easing funneled billions or trillions of dollars into markets like the stock market and real estate. Massive bubbles have been formed in traditional markets. With the FED beginning to raise interest rates, the stage is set for a correction in these traditional markets. In this sort of environment, it fundamentally makes sense for investors to look at hedges like gold and Bitcoin for wealth preservation.

Russia In May 2018, the Ruble had officially lost 9% of its value against the dollar. It goes without saying that a 9% depreciation in the purchasing power of imported goods, is not good news for the Russian people. It appears that Russians are increasingly turning to Bitcoin to hedge against the devaluation of the Ruble.

The United Kingdom The problem is that £26 trillion worth of EU derivatives contracts expire after Brexit. Unless an agreement is made, these contracts are all at risk. It’s been estimated that £70 trillion worth of trades could be impacted after the UK leaves the EU in March 2019. UK insurance companies could also lose access to the £55bn insurance market. As of now, no progress has been made to secure the UK’s access to EU markets after Brexit.

The future for the UK and its currency looks uncertain. With this drama unfolding in the background, it is maybe not surprising that more and more UK residents are turning to Bitcoin to preserve their post-Brexit wealth.

Venezuela Venezuela is heading towards one million percent inflation and economic Armageddon. Shops are empty, wheelbarrows full of money are being used to buy normal items and people are dying of starvation. In this environment, it is no wonder that Bitcoin use is on the rise. Cryptocurrencies are maybe the best way for everyday people to get around oppressive government controls and preserve what little wealth they have.

Venezuela is perhaps the best example in the world today that shows that Bitcoin can be used to hedge against government incompetence.

Conclusion Since 2008, many commentators argue that financial institutions such as the World Bank, European Central Bank, FED and the Bank of Japan, have done little to solve the underlying problems that caused the 2008 financial crisis.

Hopefully, we’ll avoid another global financial crisis. However, the warning signs are there for all to see. And with a whopping majority of Bitcoin trading being done in just five countries Bitcoin has a long way to go before it can be deemed a truly global currency.

For a more detailed writeup with accompanying infographics, click here.
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There is always hope that Cryptocurrency will start been accepted by the world. I know that there are many complications that must be addressed first. The biggest issue is to promote Cryptocurrency in the third world countries. You will have to do a lot to create a consensus among the people. It will take some time.


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I hope that majority of the world will open up to Cryptocurrency. I know that they will have their reservations about it but they can be solved. The success of Cryptocurrency is prominent and you can see it with the number of altcoins that have been launched in the last couple of years.