Cryptocurrency transactions have increased dramatically in emerging economies across Central and Southern Asia, indicating a broad variety of reasons among locals for obtaining exposure to digital assets such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
Between July 2020 and June 2021, cryptocurrency transactions in Central and Southern Asia and Oceania – a large region that includes countries like India, Pakistan, and Vietnam – increased by 706 percent, according to a new analysis from blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis. The transactions totaled $572.5 billion in monetary terms, accounting for 14% of the worldwide transaction value.
Institutional and big payments accounted for the majority of transactions, indicating that bitcoin is being adopted by smart money. This increase was particularly noticeable in India, where big institutional transfers over $10 million accounted for 42% of all transactions. That percentage was 29 percent in Vietnam and 28 percent in Pakistan, respectively.
The first analysis, issued last week, revealed that Central, Northern, and Western Europe has become the world’s largest crypto economy, with over $1 trillion in transactions in the previous year. In June 2021, institutional transactions in Europe totaled $46.3 billion, up from $1.4 billion in July 2020.
While Europe leads in cryptocurrency transactions, Asia leads in total adoption as assessed by on-chain value received, on-chain retail transactions, and peer-to-peer transaction volumes. In Chainalysis’ 2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index, Vietnam, India, and Pakistan were placed first, second, and third, respectively.
To battle hyperinflation, capital restrictions, and stringent foreign currency rules, emerging countries in Asia, Africa, and South America are turning to Bitcoin and other digital assets.
Africa has embraced peer-to-peer crypto exchanges, with nations like Kenya and Nigeria increasingly depending on services like LocalBitcoins and Paxful. Meanwhile, El Salvador, the first country to legally embrace Bitcoin as legal money, is now home to two crypto exchange unicorns.