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EXCLUSIVE. Crypto adoption in 2023: India in the lead

EXCLUSIVE. Crypto adoption in 2023: India in the lead

The world's most populous country has become the one where cryptocurrencies are most widely used by the population. Nigeria and Vietnam complete the podium.

With 6 countries in the top 10, Asia is emerging as the world's crypto adoption beachhead. In its Crypto Index Adoption 2023, US analysis firm Chainalysis (read the interview with its CEO) notes that India (1st), Vietnam (3rd), the Philippines (6th), Indonesia (7th), Pakistan (8th) and Thailand (10th) dominate the ranking.

The singularity of this report is that Chainalysis takes into account population size and purchasing power. It is for this reason that the United States does not appear at the top even though it concentrates the most volumes in absolute terms.

The first Western country to appear in the ranking is the United States (4th), while the first European country is Ukraine (5th). No European Union country features in the top 20.

The most impressive thing is that India's emergence as the leading market for cryptocurrencies is happening despite a complicated regulatory environment. The country is currently being pushed by global regulation of the sector to curb tax evasion. At the end of 2022, its central bank had called for a ban on bitcoin.

In addition, taxation is quite high (30%, as in France) and the state imposes an additional 1% tax on all transactions that take place on local exchange platforms.

One of the other most interesting cases to look at is neighbouring Pakistan, where inflation (27% annualised) is eating into savers' wealth, much of which is turning to cryptocurrencies and particularly dollar stablecoins. As the government severely restricts the holding of foreign currency, USDT is often seen as one of the only ways to protect oneself.

The other country highlighted by Chainalysis is the Philippines, where the breakthrough of video games such as Axie Infinity, thanks to which you can earn cryptos by playing (play-to-earn), continue to appeal to a young, tech-savvy population.

Globally, Chainalysis notes that the most dynamic countries are often those where GDP per capita is said to be "intermediate", i.e. between $1,086 and $4,4255 a year.

The 2023 ranking:

1 - India

2 - Nigeria

3 - Vietnam

4 - United States

5 - Ukraine

6 - Philippines

7 - Indonesia

8 - Pakistan

9 - Brazil

10 - Thailand

11 - China

12 - Turkey

13 - Russia

14 - United Kingdom

15 - Argentina

16 - Mexico

17 - Bangladesh

18 - Japan

19 - Canada

20 - Morocco

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