Bitcoin has lost more than half its value since the beginning of the year and its $68,000 high November 2021 seems like a distant memory. But in six countries, more than a third of the adult population continues to buy or sell cryptocurrency at least once a month, says a report by global research firm Morning Consult (pdf), published July 7.

Nigeria and Turkey, each with over 50% monthly active adult crypto traders, top the list of 40 countries surveyed. South Africa, Russia and India are in the top ten.

The study is based on surveys with representative samples of cryptocurrency users in each country.

Some of the world’s most developed countries are at the low adoption end of the scale, with the UK, Germany, France, Japan and China having only around 10% of their adults as active cryptocurrency traders.

What drives crypto interest?

Nigeria, Pakistan and India are among the 6 most populous countries in the world and each will have more inhabitants in 2050, according to The latest UN projections. As such, user behavior in each country provides clues as to how crypto adoption might play out in the future and each will have substantially higher populations.

But the similarities between countries with high crypto adoption today are more monetary than demographic. Except for the United Arab Emirates, most of the countries that are in the top 10 for cryptocurrency trading have per capita incomes below $30,000 (in purchasing power parity terms), putting them on the spectrum of lower income.

The report also notes that seven of the top 10 countries have introduced controls on foreign exchange transactions. The most striking examples here are Turkey and Argentina, two countries where inflation has skyrocketed recently. In these countries, traders have been using cryptocurrency as an inflation hedge until the recent crypto winter.

Similar to the US, where 16% of adults trade cryptocurrency on a monthly basis, cryptocurrency holders around the world do so primarily for the money they hope to earn from it, not as a means of making payments. For critics, this mindset remains an argument as to why the crypto bubble is already bursting in some places. of Miami a The Savior. Even in Africa, where transaction volumes grew 1,200% between July 2020 and 2021, adoption could be negatively affected. governments are floating central bank digital currencies to discourage citizens from using and holding cryptocurrencies.

That said, policymakers and innovators can learn a lot about the financial services ecosystem by being aware of what motivates cryptocurrency users, says the Morning Consult report. Cryptocurrency owners are not only using more alternative platforms like non-banking apps, but they are also more likely to send remittances and take out payday loans. The information could be especially useful for fintech designers in Africa, where digital technology is increasingly relied on to overcome historical obstacles to accessing financial services.