As you’d expect, bear-market brutalisation has slowed global crypto adoption, but a good deal of growth from the last bull market remains intact. This is according to a new report from blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis.

The firm, which has an office in Canberra, this week released its third annual Global Crypto Adoption Index in which it analysed millions of crypto transactions worldwide, as well as web traffic and a host of on-chain metrics to figure out the leading countries for crypto adoption.

The main headline? Well, it’s up there in our headline – international emerging markets are the ones flying the “I Heart Crypto” flag.

Ten of the top 20 countries displayed are “lower-middle-income” countries, with Vietnam topping the index for the second year running, closely followed by the Philippines. Both these countries, incidentally, are play-to-earn and move-to-earn crypto-gaming hotspots.

Interestingly, war-torn Ukraine comes in at third place. It was already a very crypto-friendly nation, with a high amount of blockchain startups (such as MultiNFT), and there seems to traditionally be no shortage of Eastern European IT and blockchain developers. However, digital-asset donations to the country amid the conflict with Russia have no doubt also helped spiked Ukraine crypto usage.

Chainalysis’ 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index Top 20 is, in order, as follows:

  1. Vietnam
  2. Philippines
  3. Ukraine
  4. India
  5. United States
  6. Pakistan
  7. Brazil
  8. Thailand
  9. Russia
  10. China (yes, you read that right)
  11. Nigeria
  12. Turkey
  13. Argentina
  14. Morocco
  15. Colombia
  16. Nepal
  17. United Kingdom
  18. Ecuador
  19. Kenya
  20. Indonesia

Australia, incidentally, ranks 40th in the world for this. Beaten by the Poms. But at least we’re flogging those Bledisloe-tormenting Kiwis at something. They rank 108th.

To reach these rankings, Chainalysis uses web-traffic data, as well as five indicies that look at crypto moving through crypto exchanges, peer-to-peer transactions and decentralised finance (DeFi) applications (such as Uniswap). It’s a more comprehensive and accurate data set this year, as for the first time it includes the DeFi transactional volume.

“We did this for two reasons,” the report’s authors explain. “First… to highlight countries leading the way in DeFi given its importance to the overall cryptocurrency ecosystem. Second, we wanted to address the issue of DeFi-driven inflation of transaction volume.”


More takeaways from the report

• Exactly half of the top 20 crypto-adoption nations are classified as “lower-middle income” economies, including Vietnam, Philippines, Ukraine, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Morocco, Nepal, Kenya and Indonesia.

• “One reason for this could be the value that users in emerging markets get from cryptocurrency. These countries dominate the adoption index, in large part because cryptocurrency provides unique, tangible benefits to people living in unstable economic conditions,” the report reads.

• Eight of the top 20 are upper middle income: Brazil, Thailand, Russia, China, Turkey, Argentina, Colombia, and Ecuador.

• Two are high income: United States and United Kingdom.

• China has broken back into the top 10. Wait… what? Isn’t crypto banned in China? Yes, that’s right, it very much is. Chainalysis’ data suggests the ban has either been “ineffective” or “loosely enforced”.

• Global crypto adoption growth “has become more sporadic with the onset of the latest bear market,” reads the report. However, “global adoption remains well above the levels that preceded the 2020 bull market” it qualified.

The Global Crypto Adoption Index report is part of Chainalysis’ upcoming Geography of Cryptocurrency report for this year.