India leads the world in crypto adoption, followed by Nigeria and Vietnam, according to a new Chainalysis report. Nonetheless, North America accounts for nearly a quarter of all value received by cryptocurrency exchanges, with the United States leading by far.

To calculate adoption, Chainalysis used web traffic data from 13 billion web visits to track five categories of activity, weighted by purchasing power parity per capita. That is, “if two countries received equal amounts of cryptocurrency at centralized services, the country with lower PPP per capita would rank ahead.” That will help determine where “everyday people are embracing crypto the most.”

Crypto adoption is down worldwide, with the exception of lower-middle income (LMI) countries, such as India, Nigeria and fifth-ranked Ukraine, the report found. Those countries, where 40% of the world’s population lives, have been the greatest crypto adopters since the second quarter of 2022, when world usage began to plummet:

“This could be extremely promising for crypto’s future prospects. LMI countries are often countries on the rise, with dynamic, growing industries and populations. […] If LMI countries are the future, then the data indicates that crypto is going to be a big part of that future.”

Central and Southern Asia and Oceania; Central, Northern and Western Europe; and North America group together as the top originators of transaction value received.

Crypto transaction volume received by region. Source: Chainalysis

While North America was dominant in the crypto market by volume, there was a clear drop in institutional transaction volume beginning in April. The share of stablecoin in that volume also fell significantly, from 70.3% in February to 48.8% by June. The weighted volume of transactions in decentralized finance (DeFi) fell from over 75% in August 2022 to less than 50% in July 2023.

Central, Northern and Western Europe produced 17.6% of the crypto value received, with the United Kingdom accounting for more than twice the volume of second-runner Germany. The U.K. ranked 14th in adoption worldwide.

Related: UK tops crypto activity in Central, Northern and Western Europe: Chainalysis

France led in DeFi growth, however. DeFi saw growth in Central and Southern Asia and Oceania; Eastern Europe; and Central, Northern and Western Europe year-on-year in the 12 months ending in June 2023.

Central and Southern Asia and Oceania accounted for 19.3% of crypto value received by exchanges. First-place India led second-place Vietnam by approximately 100%.

Bans in China dragged down transaction volume in Eastern Asia, beginning in 2020. Nonetheless, China produced over $75 billion in value received by exchanges in the 12 months ending in June, with almost three-quarters of it being handled by centralized exchanges.

In the Middle East and North Africa, Turkey saw a large predominance in web traffic to nonfungible token sites, and Saudi Arabia led the world in transaction growth, up 12%. Nigeria towers over other sub-Saharan countries by transaction volume. That region accounts for 2.3% of world volume. Bitcoin is most popular in that region, accounting for 9.3% of volume, compared with 4.2% in Eastern Asia. 

In Latin America (where Chainalysis places Mexico and Puerto Rico), Argentina and Brazil are the top contributors to transaction volume. The report notes crypto’s role in protecting users against inflation in the region.

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