The cryptocurrency bug is real.
Driving the news: Crypto adoption by consumers around the world soared by 880% in the last year, according to a new index created by Chainalysis, a blockchain analysis company.
Why it matters: The increasingly widespread use of crypto tells different stories about the dynamics within different countries. Taken together, it shows that digital assets are becoming deeply embedded in the global financial system.
- Adoption is an estimate weighted toward per capita use of crypto, as opposed to a measure of absolute trading volumes, within each country.
- The index reading for each quarter is a sum of all 154 countries’ index scores. (Read more about Chainalysis’ methodology at the index web page.)
Progress on technology and exchanges has underpinned much of the growth in crypto adoption, Chainalysis’ director of research, Kim Grauer, tells Axios.
Zoom in: Vietnam took the top ranking for most widespread adoption. Usage there tends to be heavily speculative, Grauer says.
- “There’s a really technologically savvy population of young people” who have limited access to investments like stocks and ETFs, she adds.
- Nigeria is also a top adopter. Usage there is more weighted toward actual commerce — especially for avoiding capital controls in order to import goods from trading partners like China, says Grauer.
Kate Marino is business editor at Axios. She writes about the economy and markets.