Cryptocurrency Adoption Rises in South and Central Asia
Blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis has reported a significant surge in cryptocurrency adoption in South and Central Asia. According to the firm’s 2023 Geography of Cryptocurrency report, the growing use of digital assets is being driven by real-world use cases in countries such as India and Vietnam.
During a recent webinar hosted by Chainalysis, Chengyi Ong, head of APAC policy, highlighted the increasing adoption of cryptocurrencies in the region. Ong emphasized that the trend is fueled by tangible use cases such as blockchain-based gaming, remittances, and protection against currency volatility.
The webinar also noted the popularity of cricket-themed non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in India and the success of the Axie Infinity blockchain game in Vietnam. These examples illustrate how innovative use cases are attracting new users to the world of crypto.
The 2023 Geography of Cryptocurrency report revealed that global cryptocurrency adoption has decreased since its peak in Q2 2021, with the exception of low-to-middle-income (LMI) countries. These LMIs, including Pakistan and India, have returned to pre-FTX levels of adoption, accounting for 40% of the world’s population.
Despite the collapse of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange in November 2022, which led to a market loss of $2 trillion and reduced adoption worldwide, LMIs have shown promising adoption rates. This growth in adoption in LMIs coincides with growing institutional interest in crypto in high-income countries.
Chainalysis measures crypto adoption by considering total crypto activity in a country relative to its purchasing power, providing a comparative metric that accounts for national income levels and population size. According to this metric, India ranked the highest, followed by Nigeria, with eight Asia Pacific countries making up the top 20 in the index of countries.
Chainalysis, founded in 2014, is a New York-based blockchain analysis firm valued at $8.6 billion in its most recent funding round in 2022. Despite recent layoffs, the company continues to provide valuable insights into cryptocurrency adoption trends, offering a unique perspective on the industry’s evolution.