Six African countries are ranked among the top 20 world nations with the highest rate of crypto adoption over the past year, according to Chainalysis’ latest Global Crypto Adoption Index.
Kenya, at No. 4, leads African countries on the top 20 list that also included Nigeria, Togo, South Africa, Ghana and Tanzania.
Vietnam tops the chart that is dominated by emerging economies, with an overall index score of 1, while Kenya came in fourth with an index of 0.28 followed closely by Nigeria at 0.26.
Wealthy countries such as the U.S. and China slipped to lower positions in the 2021 index compared to 2020. China fell from 53rd place in this ranking to 155th, while the U.S. fell from 16th to 109th.
China’s massive crackdown on Bitcoin over the past few months contributed largely to the fall in ranking.
Researchers at Chainalysis pointed out that while cryptocurrency adoption had skyrocketed across the world over the past year, it was especially evident in emerging economies, which represented 17 out of the top 20 markets in the ranking.
This was due to large transaction volumes on local peer-to-peer platforms when purchasing power parity per capita and the total number of Internet users are taken into account.
“Our interviews with experts in these countries revealed that many residents use P2P cryptocurrency exchanges as their primary on-ramp into cryptocurrency, often because they don’t have access to centralized exchanges,” the researchers noted.
“Knowing that, it’s no surprise that regions with many emergent markets account for a huge portion of web traffic to P2P services’ websites,” Chainalysis reported.
Africa has in recent times witnessed increased crypto ownership, trade volume and regulation.
A report published by Arcane Research and Luno in mid-2020 titled “The State of Crypto in Africa” found that African nations such as Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana and Kenya are frequently among the top 10 countries for Google searches about bitcoin.
Tough economic conditions such as high inflation rates and volatile local currencies, capital controls, and underdeveloped banking infrastructure have created a fertile ground for the rise in virtual currencies in Africa.
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