Top 5 Countries by Levels of Crypto and Blockchain Literacy

Data & Research / 19.07.2021

Even though cryptos are becoming commonplace in transactions and international fund transfers, they’re still regarded by many as a geek’s plaything. Their fairly young age doesn’t help the situation, having first been implemented in 2009 with the launch of Bitcoin.

Nonetheless, blockchain technology is gaining traction fast, with the level of growth differing by country. Several factors, such as government policies and efficiency levels of traditional financial systems, play a key role in this divergence. Below are the top 5 most crypto literate countries globally, as judged by levels of adoption.

  • Nigeria

It may come as a surprise, but Nigeria is the most crypto-literate country in the world if the determining indicator is the level of crypto adoption as a proportion to the total population.

According to a survey, about 33% of Nigerians use or own cryptos, the highest percentage in the world. The high figure is driven by several factors, key among them being;

Factors Driving High Usage Rates

The first reason is the relatively inefficient and costly traditional finance system in the country. People wishing to send or receive international fund transfers in the form of diaspora remittances prefer cryptos. The peer-to-peer system eliminates costly intermediaries.

They’re also popular in the country, thanks to the low levels of financial inclusivity. The low levels of bank account penetrations among adults and insufficient network bank branches make cryptos a more viable option. In addition, with more people opting for smartphone-based payment methods during transactions, adding cryptos to the list was an easy step.

  • Vietnam

The southeast Asian nation of Vietnam is ranked among the top 3 globally in blockchain literacy, coming in at second. The percentage of people using cryptos in the country is at a high of 21%. The key reasons behind the high usage are;

Factors Driving the High Usage Rates

Just like Nigeria, the number one factor is the comparatively lower cost of transactions associated with cryptos. People sending and receiving remittances view it as cost-effective, especially when the lower average salaries are factored in.

Another key factor is the liberal nature of the government concerning trade policies. Trade-in cryptos are legal within the country, although it’s not without some government criticism. While there is no set of laws governing the issuing and trading of cryptos, initial coin offerings (ICOs) are outlawed.

  • The Philippines 

Hot on Vietnam’s heels is a neighboring Southeast Asian nation, the Philippines. With 20% of the population owning or trading in cryptos, crypto literacy is generally above average. Reasons pushing the high adoption rates are;

Factors Driving The High Usage Rates

As is the case with the other countries, remittances from abroad play a leading role in pushing usage growth. This is because people try to avoid the high costs of transactions when using the traditional financial system.

The Filipino government is also seen as very supportive of blockchain technology. The government has approved and recognized several exchanges as legal money transfer avenues. It has also developed an application titled bonds—ph, a platform that supports the issuance of government bonds on the blockchain.

  • Turkey

Turkey is the third Asian country that ranks high in levels of crypto adoption and usage. An estimated 16% of all Turks use or own a cryptocurrency, which places it in the top 5.

It must, however, be noted that the legal framework isn’t supportive of crypto adoption. The high adoption rates are a result of;

Factors Driving the High Usage Rates

The country’s currency, the Lira, has had a devastating run against global currencies such as the US dollar and Euro. Inflationary pressures have seen the creation of the 2018-3019 Turkish currency and debt crisis. A possibility of having one’s assets wiped out and hopes of making quick gains from cryptos have pushed adoption rates through the roof.

Cryptos also facilitate low International funds transaction rates. The Turkish diaspora wishing to send remittances back home opt for crypto transactions, avoiding the high third-party charges associated with the traditional banking system.

  • Peru

Closing the top 5 most blockchain and crypto literate countries is Peru if it’s based on the parameters of the rate of adoption and usage as a percentage of the population.

In Peru, the adoption rates stand at 16%, at par with Turkey. Key causes behind the high figure are;

Factors Driving the High Usage Rates

The country’s presidential ballot has profoundly affected the ongoing high rates of adoption of cryptos and blockchain technology. Pedro Castillo, one of the front runners, is viewed by most Peruvians as an interventionist thanks to his socialist political policies. As a result, the possibility of currency evaluation and thus net losses in asset values is high, prompting many to place their bets on cryptos.

As with the other top 5 countries in crypto adoption, the Peruvian diaspora community is increasingly utilizing blockchain. Crypto transactions being cheaper enable more funds to be sent to relatives back in Peru.

Take Away

When viewed by the metric of the rate of adoption as a proportion of the population, the five countries above lead the world in blockchain and crypto literacy. The assumption is that there is a higher adoption rate since there’s even a higher rate of people who know of or have heard about cryptos. There’s, however, the possibility of knowledge being higher in other countries but with lower adoption rates due to factors like government policies.

The possibility of even higher adoption rates is possible with a more supportive regulatory environment. Nigeria and Turkey are good examples of countries with high adoption rates but possibly further adoption curtailed by crypto bans.

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Wayne is a Blockchain enthusiast and expert in crypto trading. Currently, he covers trendy issues on digital currencies.