Turkey, Latin America stand tall on crypto-popularity charts; Japan lags well behind

The cryptocurrency market has seen compelling growth since its early days. Launched in 2009, 10,000 of the world’s first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, were used once to buy two Papa John’s pizza. The value of Bitcoin has risen significantly since, and is currently priced at $9,187. 

Originally created and designed to eliminate the involvement of banks and the government in cash transactions, cryptocurrencies have merged to become widely popular since 2009. With growing popularity, crypto-adoption has risen as well. However, the growth of the crypto-ecosystem hasn’t been felt equally and uniformly across the world. A recent study by Statista highlighted the same.

The Statista analysis studied the use of crypto and how common cryptos were, across the world. The report revealed that the ownership of cryptos was most common in Turkey, where one in five people is currently or has previously owned cryptocurrencies. Turkey is a country riddled with political tensions and in light of its economic tensions with the U.S and the European Union, the value of the Lira (Turkey’s fiat currency) has fallen, while inflation climbed to a worrying 18% in May. For many in the country, Bitcoin and cryptos offer better value as a store of value than the Turkish Lira.   

In yet another revealing statistic, Latin America countries like Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico and Chile scored more cryptocurrency users than English-speaking nations. Like in Turkey’s case, it would seem that there is a correlation between the popular use of cryptos and the country’s economy. 

Despite banks and financial institutions like payment processors being prohibited from transacting or dealing in cryptocurrencies, countries such as China and Russia scored well to position themselves on the chart. In fact, China remains the hub of the Bitcoin mining world.

Spain’s position on the other hand, can be attributed to the growing number of bank ATMs which support the exchange of Bitcoin to fiat currency in the country. The Iberian nation has one of the highest crypto-adoption rates in the world. 

Another revealing statistic was the fact that only 3% of Japan’s population is said to hold or have held cryptocurrencies in the past. This suggests that after years of being the hub of cryptocurrency innovation, increasing regulation of the space is making an impact on the popularity of cryptos in the country. These regulations were put in place after two major crypto hacks namely, Mt. Gox and Coincheck. 

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