Global adoption of cryptocurrencies among individual investors has increased in the last year, according to cryptanalysis firm Chainalysis.
Using factors such as peer-to-peer exchange volume and value received, Chainalysis said that global crypto adoption increased 881% in the past 12 months.
The firm sees institutional markets as crucial, but its aim is to highlight the countries with the highest adoption of cryptocurrencies by retail investors. It focused on use cases related to transactions and individual savings, rather than trading and speculation. The highest ranked countries are Vietnam, India, Pakistan and Ukraine.
“In emerging markets, many are turning to cryptocurrencies to preserve their savings against currency devaluation, send and receive remittances, and conduct business transactions,” Chainalysis said in the report. He added that “adoption in North America, Western Europe and East Asia over the past year has been largely driven by institutional investment.”
Interest in cryptocurrencies has risen since the start of the pandemic, in part due to substantial gains from digital tokens like Bitcoin and Ether. The Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index is up about 380% last year.
The Chainalysis Global Crypto Adoption Index ranked 154 countries based on three main metrics. China and the US fell in the rankings, mainly because the volume of peer-to-peer trade declined. Last year, China ranked fourth and the United States sixth. This year, the United States ranks 8th and China 13th.
Chainalysis pulled out a factor that it had previously used: the number of deposits per country weighted by the number of Internet users. The firm found that it skewed the rankings towards countries with comparatively more decentralized finance users, or DeFi. Instead, he’s creating a DeFi adoption index that he said will be available in the coming weeks.
“The increasing volume of transactions for centralized services and the explosive growth of DeFi are driving the use of cryptocurrencies in the developed world and in countries that already had substantial adoption, while P2P platforms are driving new adoption in emerging markets.” Chainalysis said, adding that a key question is whether new approaches will alter those trends.