With cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and Stellar making headlines months back, it’s been difficult to ignore the impact of cryptocurrencies in people’s everyday life and how it’s been widely adopted. As the race to make cryptocurrencies a popular alternative to traditional transaction systems heats up, the investments and daily trades kept increasing per day, but what is the current stage of crypto adoption ?
According to a survey conducted by a cryptocurrency exchange service, cryptocurrency will see widespread adoption within the next ten years. Trust in digital currency as an asset class is high, with 71% of investment professionals and 65% of everyday investors manifesting their trust in crypto.
Over the last few years, cryptocurrency has begun to enter the mainstream financial sector. According to Armstrong, approximately 200 million people worldwide have used cryptocurrency. Institutional investors are increasingly incorporating digital currencies into their portfolios, and some retirement savers may soon see Bitcoin as a 401(k)-plan option.
“Adoption of crypto and other digital assets is accelerating at an unprecedented rate,” said Bitstamp CEO Julian Sawyer.
Crypto Adoption in different Countries
Recently with different governments all over the world stance on crypto regulation, some countries have adopted the use of cryptocurrencies as a legal tender. For example, earlier this year, the European Parliament approved new traceability rules for crypto asset providers, requiring them to collect data on the holders with whom they interact. Although several European countries have already adopted cryptos such as France and Germany.
The percentage of Americans who own cryptocurrency has not yet reached 10% of the total population, but it has been steadily increasing since the inception of Bitcoin in 2009. The adoption of cryptocurrency is similar to the adoption of any other technology: the rate of adoption increases gradually until around 8-10%, then generally explodes upwards to mass adoption from there.
Countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom might be expected to be leaders in cryptocurrency adoption. Data from Statista and Chainalysis, on the other hand, shows otherwise. Countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America are at the forefront of adoption, particularly among individual investors. The dataset correlates with data from exchanges and on-chain providers—more accounts, as well as many crypto wallets, were opened within those countries.
This general adoption rate can be described as “gradually, then suddenly.” As an example, consider the introduction of the internet in the 1990s. Only a few governments, universities, businesses, and individuals used the internet in 1990. In the year 2000, however, everyone was required to have a website. Similarly, smartphones were scarce in 2007 when the iPhone was introduced, but by 2011, everyone over the age of 12 had the internet in their pocket.
According to Chainalysis research, global crypto adoption will have increased by more than 880% by 2021. The difference is even more pronounced when compared to data from 2019, which shows a 2300% increase. The primary research metrics for this data focused on overall crypto activity, peer-to-peer (P2P) exchange volume, and volume from non-professional traders.
It is good to know that we are still in the early stages of cryptocurrency development. Despite the massive valuations of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and a few other cryptocurrencies, data suggests that there is still a lot of room for growth.
According to Armstrong and Wood, the adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology could drive global growth over the next decade. According to the two, the crypto economy will account for a significant portion of global GDP in 10 to 20 years, similar to how e-commerce has done. “People think they’ve missed out when they see Bitcoin at $70,000, but we’re still in the early stages,” Wood explained.
With each passing year, we see new developments emerge from space that capture the minds and wallets of people all over the world. NFTs have taken the Philippines by storm, and the bitcoin lightning network is used for day-to-day transactions in El Salvador.
Coinbase Global CEO Brian Armstrong stated at the Milken Institute’s 2022 Global Conference that one billion people worldwide will use cryptocurrency technology in some form or another by the end of this decade.
Adoption of Crypto as Payment Acceptance by Different Companies
Microsoft was one of the first corporations to accept cryptocurrencies as a payment method- beginning with the acceptance of Bitcoin in its online Xbox store in 2014. Then, Overstock.com, a well-known US shopping website, started accepting cryptocurrency as payment, as did AT&T, a US cell phone carrier.
Before the Miami Bitcoin Conference in 2022, crypto adoption has reached significant milestones and advancements. Everything from regulations, infrastructures, and stakeholders to deals and sponsorships are massively evolving in the crypto industries.
Bitcoin is thought to be owned by approximately 4% of the world’s customers, and approximately 18,000 businesses accept cryptocurrency as payment. As the public trust in cryptocurrencies grows, a growing number of industries, merchants and companies are accepting cryptocurrency as payment.
In the United Kingdom, cryptocurrency is accepted by Shopify, Whole Foods, Etsy, and even cosmetic retailer Lush, which was one of the first global businesses to adapt to this new form of payment. Amazon currently does not accept cryptocurrencies as payment, but it has recently proposed the introduction of its own proprietary coin.
According to a recent Hartford Steam Boiler survey, 36% of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the United States now accept Bitcoin as a payment option. Furthermore, cryptocurrency can be used to make purchases from merchants who accept PayPal, CashApp, and Strike. Large corporations that accept cryptocurrency payments include Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, Home Depot, and PayPal.
For the first time, crypto app downloads surpassed 100 million in the first quarter of 2022. According to the US news site Axios, crypto app downloads have been rapidly increasing, with 64% growth in 2020 and 400% growth in 2021. A variety of factors are contributing to the increase in crypto app downloads. This includes increased media coverage, sports advertising, and social media trends.
The e-commerce industry must now reckon with the introduction of cryptocurrency and what it means for the sector to incorporate this payment method, just as online credit card payment gateways was enabled in e-commerce in the 1990s, and then PayPal, Venmo, and other third-party payment vendors stepped in to provide alternative payment options.
More brands, marketplaces, and payment processors are accepting Bitcoin in exchange for goods and services as the excitement surrounding cryptocurrency grows. As this transition takes place, it becomes increasingly difficult to deny the impact of Bitcoin and blockchain on e-commerce. Understanding the potential implications of this technology can help e-commerce companies unlock significant future business opportunities.
One of the most exciting factors that may contribute to faster crypto adoption in the Middle East is Binance’s licensing in Dubai. Binance is the largest crypto exchange globally will help provide a one-stop-shop for users to access cryptocurrencies. Following that, Binance Blockchain Week 2022 is scheduled in Dubai from March 28 to 30. With many jurisdictions banning Binance, the newly acquired license in Dubai may pave the way for other countries to exchange regulations and licensing frameworks.
Consumers use cryptocurrency all over the world, with varying degrees of acceptance in different countries. For example, while only 6% of Americans claim to own or use cryptocurrency, 32% of Nigerians do. The reasons for this are consistent with markets where mobile commerce is prevalent and traditional banking systems are limited. It stands to reason that accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment can assist e-commerce retailers in discovering new revenue streams in new markets.
According to a recent Checkout survey, 40% of US respondents between the ages of 18 and 35 plan to use cryptocurrency to pay for goods and services in the coming year. This is because people are becoming more aware of cryptocurrency projects and how to use their apps. Furthermore, the acceptance of cryptocurrency by global merchants is becoming a major trend, which may accelerate global adoption.
Countries are adopting crypto widely
El Salvador officially adopted Bitcoin as a legal currency last year. While some welcomed the move, others were outraged and protested it due to the volatility of cryptocurrency prices. According to a recent Finder.com study, approximately 27 million Americans own cryptocurrency, with bitcoin accounting for 44.5% of the total.
The United States leads by far in North America, while China and Russia continue to control significant portions of the cryptocurrency market. However, institutional and professional traders are the most active buyers and users of cryptocurrency in these countries. In the United States and Russia, crypto exchanges are a popular way to acquire cryptocurrency.
Singapore, January 20, 2022, Crypto.com published its ‘Crypto Market Sizing’ report, which measures crypto adoption globally. The study, conducted by Crypto.com’s industry-leading research team, discovered that the global crypto population increased by 178% in 2021, with nearly 300 million crypto users. By the end of 2022, the number of cryptocurrency users is expected to surpass one billion.
According to Chainalysis data, Vietnam, India, and Pakistan are on top in crypto adoption. The population in these economies has a different perspective on cryptocurrency, particularly Bitcoin. Many people regard it as a tool for saving, transferring money, and conducting business transactions. Some cryptocurrency exchanges in the Philippines are licensed to operate as remittance companies. Statista data appears to support these findings.
In this case, however, Nigeria, Thailand, and the Philippines are far ahead in terms of crypto adoption. In Nigeria, 33% of respondents in a Statista survey said they owned cryptocurrency. Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya are at the forefront of African cryptocurrency adoption. Argentina and Brazil are Latin America’s leaders.
In Europe, the United Kingdom and Switzerland rank first and second, respectively, though large hedge funds facilitate adoption. English-speaking countries, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, are at the forefront of cryptocurrency adoption. Consumers in Eastern Europe, on the other hand, see cryptocurrency as a way to avoid financial institutions and tax evasion.
CAR adopts Bitcoin- The Sango
Apart from Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies and other digital assets such as NFTs are dominating developed economies like the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. The crypto world already started expanding its reach and is focusing on its new goal of opening up the market in both developing and underdeveloped countries.
Bitcoin has dominated the financial sector by storm which allows investors to invest and get a huge return on it. The Central African Republic is one of the most recent countries to accept bitcoin as a legal tender in the financial sector, and they set to strike with their project called “Sango.” The initiative aims to attract investors and supporters, advance bitcoin’s legacy, and build “The Sango- A Crypto Island” with metaverse-related components.
Developments of CAR Cryptocurrency- SANGO Coin
President Faustin-Archange Touadéra announced on 3 July that his government was officially launching a “new digital system powered by blockchain technology.” CAR is developing its own cryptocurrency, the Sango Coin, he said, with plans to create a “crypto island” — a special economic zone in the metaverse and physical city — to help transform the country into the “first African crypto-hub” with zero taxation for cryptocurrency.
“The alternative to cash is cryptocurrency,” Touadéra said. “For us, the formal economy is no longer an option.”
In April, CAR became the first country in Africa (and only the second in the world, after El Salvador) to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. Tonga announced similar plans earlier this year but has yet to enact legislation.
The statement did not specify when or if Sango-the crypto hub would be open to investors, but he clearly demonstrated his generosity and haste in launching such a project. When Crypto Island becomes a reality, it will be known as “Sango,” a crypto-economic zone linked to the virtual metaverse of the same name. Future features will include NFT minting and asset tokenization in virtual cyberspace that is 1:1 matched to the physical island.
After the adoption began, The IMF went on to warn CAR that the adoption of bitcoin as its official currency will have a lot of issues because of the cryptocurrency volatility. And the trait has the potential to cause financial instability and legal uncertainty within and globally. But CAR claimed that the adoption of bitcoin will help in economic growth, the investors, crypto experts across the globe criticized the move.
The Central African country adopted Bitcoin as legal tender and established a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, making it the world’s second country to do so after El Salvador. They also intended to construct the first legal crypto hub “in the heart of Africa” to house businesses and attract global crypto enthusiasts.
According to a 24-page slide deck outlining the project’s goals, the initiative, dubbed Sango, was launched by the CAR National Assembly with support from President Faustin-Archange Touadéra.
SANGO- The Crypto Hub
Sango’s official website states that the company’s goal is to “pave the way to a digital future of limitless possibilities.”
Sango Initiative is a Bitcoin and blockchain technology that will fuel the growth and evolution of a visionary country that is positioning itself at the vanguard of global Bitcoin and cryptocurrency adoption
Sango aims to take the legalization of Bitcoin to the next level by :
- Creating a cryptocurrency economic zone on Sango Island where users can propose, view, and contribute to future developments.
- Allowing investors all over the world to buy land in bitcoin.
- Establishing a Digital National Bank. Giving access to the allocation of the country’s natural resources, such as gold, diamonds, uranium, lithium, and oil, is fully supported.
- Constructing the Sango crypto island, which will be designated as a crypto-economic zone and the first island in the metaverse backed by reality.
SANGO: The Multi-Dimensional Asset
- Transfer of value
Payments: instant and secure cross-border payments, powered by blockchain technology.
- Backed by Bitcoin
The Country Treasury will have a dedicated Bitcoin reserve.
- Digital Identity & Ownership
Digital identity and ownership: putting citizens in control of their digital identity and assets, secured by blockchain (Similar to Palau with their E-Citizenship program)
Voting: every citizen has a voice and the chance to shape the future
Sango Ecosystem creates the following benefits:
Citizenship in the Central African Republic can be obtained by locking fixed collateral of SANGO Coins in the amount of 60000$ for a period of 5 years. After the period ends, the SANGO Coins are returned to the owner.
By introducing this, we see a new level or citizenship by Investment prior to that you were usually looking at 120.000-200.000$ or more as Investment in Real Estate or State bonds needed to acquire citizenship by investment. It is the cheapest worldwide option for that, providing you Visa Free access to 21 Countries, Visa on arrival for 29 countries, and Online Visa for 22 countries you see you get a cheap passport with multiple options and advtanges.
The e-residency in the Central African Republic can be obtained by locking fixed collateral of SANGO Coins in the amount of 6000$ for a period of 3 years. After the period ends, the SANGO Coins are returned to the owner.
- Land Property
The Central African Republic government is the biggest landowner in the country and is looking to decentralize the ownership of the land property through SANGO. The land plot can be obtained by locking fixed collateral of SANGO Coins in the amount of 10000$ for a period of 10 years. After the period ends, the SANGO Coins are returned to the owner.
Four African countries—Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia—have banned all forms of crypto trading, while 7 including Nigeria, Cameroon, and Gabon have some forms of prohibition regarding crypto trading.
These governments have cited numerous reasons for the bans from fraud and money laundering to tax evasion and terrorist financing especially because of the often unstable political environments in African countries.
These prohibitions, however, do not mean that crypto adoption amongst citizens isn’t growing in these countries.
The widespread mass adoption of cryptocurrencies is not going away anytime soon. And to act purposefully to provide an alternative to their global currency, which will boost the country’s economy and attract foreign investments, governments must decide in the coming years about whether or not to incorporate cryptocurrency into their economies.
It’s not only a big factor for foreign investment and capital but also for the whole economy in terms of tourism and economy (El Salvador increased their tourism levels by over 30% after its Bitcoin legalization).
So personally I do expect more and more countries to join this growing crypto adoption trend, especially when the education and tech resources for them get available since many still do have a big misunderstanding of the possibilities.
Moritz Pindorek (Moritzpindorek.com)
Social Media, Marketing & Blockchain
Crypto/Web 3 Advisor, Top 10 Crypto Influencer 2022(Forbes Monaco) & Top 10 Entrepreneur 2022 (Forbes Monaco)
Owner and writer for Cryptouserguide.com