On September 14th Chainanalysis released their The 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index report. The key takeaways are are follows:

In the bear market, worldwide adoption slows but remains higher than prior to the bull market.

After increasing steadily since mid-2019, worldwide cryptocurrency usage appears to have leveled off in the last year. We can see this pattern in the chart below, where Chainanalysis have combined all 154 countries’ index scores over time and re-indexed them to illustrate worldwide adoption growth over time. 

Source: The 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index

The worldwide utilization of cryptocurrency hit a record-breaking high in the second quarter of 2021. Since then, adoption has come in waves – it dropped during the third quarter when prices also fell, rebounded in the fourth quarter when prices went back up to all-time highs, and has gone down again during these last two quarters as we entered a bear market. Even so, it’s worth pointing out that global adoption is still much higher than its levels from before 2019’s bull market.

According to the data, many of those attracted by price rises in 2020 and 2021 stayed put, continuing to invest a big portion of their assets in digital assets. That also lines up with our previous study, which revealed that cryptocurrency markets have been unexpectedly resilient during recent downturns. Big-time cryptocurrency investors who have held onto their assets for a long time haven’t sold them, even though the market is in a slump. This suggests that they believe the market will turn around soon, which is good news for the health of the market overall.

The Global Crypto Adoption Index is dominated by emerging markets.

One noteworthy pattern is persisting: emerging markets continue to dominate the index. The World Bank classifies countries into one of four categories based on their level of prosperity and economic development: high-income economies, upper-middle-income nations, lower-middle-income nations, and low-income economies. Using that approach, we can see that the middle two tiers account for more than half of our top 20 ranked nations.

The top 20 countries in our ranking are as follows:

Users in countries with lower and upper middle incomes often use cryptocurrency to send money abroad, keep their savings stable during times of currency fluctuation, and meet other financial needs particular to their economies. These regions also generally rely on Bitcoin and stablecoins more than others.

Crypto Adoption Top 20 Countries 2022

Source: Chainanalysis

Vietnam retains its title, the United States advances to fifth, and China returns to the top 10.

For the second year in a row, Vietnam ranks highest on the index. When looking at how much each person spends and how many people use cryptocurrency overall, Vietnam outpaces other countries when it comes to purchasing power and adoption of centralized, DeFi, and P2P cryptocurrency tools. According to polling conducted in 2020, 21% of Vietnamese consumers use or own cryptocurrencies, putting them second only to Nigeria at 32%. In Vietnam cryptocurrency-based gaming, including P2E and M2E games, is very popular. This is not only for users, but also for developers. The world’s most popular P2E game, Axie Infinity, is located in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The United States has advanced to fifth place in the rankings, from eighth position in 2021. The United States ranks in the top three of all sub-indices, except population and purchasing power-adjusted peer-to-peer exchange usage, where it ranks lower at 111th. Unsurprisingly, P2P exchange usage is highest in countries with low purchasing power, according to Chainanalysis research. The United States is by far the highest-ranked developed market country on the index.

After placing 13th on our index last year, China has re-entered the top ten this year. According to our sub-indexes, China is exceptionally good in use of centralized services–so much so that they’ve placed second for purchasing power-adjusted transaction volume concerning both retail and overall levels.This is especially intriguing given the Chinese government’s move to restrict cryptocurrency use, which included a ban on all cryptocurrency trading that took effect in September 2021. According to our findings, the prohibition has either been ineffective or inconsistently implemented.

Further Reading

If you would like to learn more about the methodology behind Chainanalysis’s Crypto Adoption Index, we recommend you read the full report. Chainanalysis also have an upcoming 2022 Geography of Cryptocurrency Report, which promises to be even more comprehensive.

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