Right now, it’s a massive understatement to say that Bitcoin has been getting a lot of attention. Adoption is on the rise and the list of countries that use Bitcoin is constantly growing.
Now, Bitcoin is being used in everyday life in developing countries. These countries are showing us that Bitcoin is more than an investment and through what they’re doing, we’re seeing how it was meant to be used—leading to whole new levels of Bitcoin adoption.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the countries leading the charge:
Bitcoin countries to watch out for
It’s no secret that Nigeria has been a long-time frontrunner for Bitcoin adoption. According to a study in the latest “Into the Cryptoverse Report” by KuCoin, 33.4 million Nigerians have either owned or traded cryptocurrencies—that’s a 35% adoption rate among people between the ages of 18 and 60.
Also, according to the report, 52% (around 17.3 million people) of Nigerians have distributed more than half of their own wealth into assets like Bitcoin. 70% of all those investors are even looking to increase their exposure to the space before the end of the year.
One of the main reasons behind this high adoption rate is the limited access people have to traditional monetary services—resulting in Nigeria being ranked as “the leading country per capita for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency adoption in the world.” No other country in the world does more Bitcoin trading than Nigeria—which, according to Ijeoma Ndukwe, directly correlates to “a loss of faith in more traditional forms of investment.”
According to a report from TripleA, 8.5% of all Kenyans—around 4.5 million people—currently own cryptocurrency. The country is ranked at the top for trading volume on peer-to-peer platforms and fifth in the world for total cryptocurrency activity.
Among all other African countries, Kenya leads the way in terms of holdings and blockchain-related transactions. In fact, as of January 2018, Kenya’s Bitcoin holdings were responsible for over 2% of the country’s GDP.
Overall, Kenya is one of the biggest Bitcoin countries in the world, as shown in their search results—topping Bitcoin search interest at 94.7% and ranking within the top ten in Google searches specifically for the “cryptocurrency” topic.
3. El Salvador
In 2021, El Salvador made Bitcoin legal tender in the country. The president, Nayib Bukele, announced that this decision was made to uplift people financially all over the country by making financial services more accessible to the public.
Since then, Bukele has stated several times that this decision has helped uplift the economy, made financial services more accessible, and more. Last May 2022, the president even promoted Bitcoin adoption by emerging countries at the annual meeting of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI).
Vietnam, day by day, is growing more into a Bitcoin powerhouse of the world. In the 2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index—a report that aims to provide an “objective measure of which countries have the highest levels of cryptocurrency adoption”—Vietnam ranked number one among 154 countries with a score of 1.0 out of 1.0. For comparison, neighboring countries such as Thailand and China scored 0.17 and 0.16 respectively and the United States ended with a score of 0.22. In second place was India, with a score of 0.37—which is a huge gap from Vietnam.
2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index (Preview)
Countries like Vietnam show us that Bitcoin is more than just an investment. Their ranking in this index grabbed headlines because it was clear that they focused on ordinary citizens (through on-chain metrics and surveys) compared to larger institutional investors (which would be led by the United States).
Why Bitcoin adoption is rising in these countries
Now that we know who the heroes are behind Bitcoin’s rising adoption, let’s take a look at a few reasons why they’ve embraced technology like this.
An alternative to a struggling currency
Time and time again, Bitcoin has proved itself to be a viable store of value, making it perfect for people that don’t want to lose the value of their money. If, for example, you’re living in a country with a rising inflation rate, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin can help you hold value.
Thanks to Bitcoin and platforms like Paxful, you can easily convert your money, use it for real-world transactions, and potentially even watch your money grow over time.
Reliability for transactions
As a result of growing worldwide adoption, more and more businesses are beginning to accept Bitcoin as a means of payment. Nowadays, it isn’t so farfetched to think about buying an artisanal cup of coffee, flights to a destination of your choice, concert tickets to your favorite artist, and more with Bitcoin.
This is especially true with platforms like Paxful letting you transact with over 350 payment options. Found a store you want to spend your Bitcoin on, but they don’t accept it quite yet? All you need to do is convert your BTC into one of the many payment options available on Paxful and use that to pay. The best part is that you could even earn on that conversion.
Additionally, with the addition of features like the Lightning Network, now available on some of the most popular Bitcoin wallets, the process of using BTC for real-world transactions is now cheaper and more efficient.
Helping the unbanked
Traditional banking systems provide wonders to anyone who gets access to them. The problem here is that not everyone has the same type of access. According to a study done in 2020, over two billion people all over the world have been cut off from these services. This essentially means they’re automatically disqualified from participating in the transactions that many people enjoy all over the world.
Since it’s decentralized in nature, Bitcoin allows anyone to participate. All you need is a stable internet connection and a Bitcoin wallet. On platforms like Paxful, you can start trading as soon as you create an account (which only requires an email address or phone number). With over 350 payment options to choose from, you can buy Bitcoin with whatever you have on hand and then sell it to convert it.
Ability to earn extra income
Bitcoin, alongside its real-use cases, provides everyone with multiple ways to earn extra income. There are many strategies to choose from such as HODLing, day trading, and more—all you need to do is pick one that fits your needs, and you’re ready to go.
A great example of this is Ishtaq, one of the users we featured during our Be the Change campaign. In 2020, he was barely getting by and struggling to find a job. By the time we caught up with him in 2021, he’d already traded over 300,000 USD and started his own digital marketing agency.
With Paxful, you have the freedom to move your money however you want. You can buy, sell, trade, earn, and save, all with just a few clicks.
Developing countries: The forefront of Bitcoin adoption
Seeing how these countries are using Bitcoin shows us just how much the rest of the world needs to catch up. Nigeria, Kenya, El Salvador, and Vietnam are showing us in real-time that Bitcoin is no longer just a vehicle for unlikely returns on investments. It’s also something that can help millions of people around the world.
People in these countries are now using Bitcoin for more efficient transactions, wealth preservation, e-commerce, remittances, and more, while many out there still believe that it’s solely about the price. To those people, we say: watch carefully and take notes because there’s still a lot left to learn about Bitcoin from those who have realized its full potential.