Emerging markets across Central and South Asia have recorded a spike in cryptocurrency transactions, highlighting a variety of motives among locals to gain exposure to digital assets such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).
New research from blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis finds that crypto transactions rose 706% in Central and South Asia and Oceania — a broad region that includes countries such as India, Pakistan and Vietnam — between July 2020 and June 2021. In dollar terms, deals were valued at $572.5 billion, or $14 % of global transaction value.
Institutional and bulk payments accounted for the highest percentage of transactions, providing further evidence of smart money adoption of cryptocurrencies. This trend was most pronounced in India, where large-scale institutional remittances over $10 million account for 42% of transactions. For Vietnam and Pakistan, this figure was 29% and 28%, respectively.
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The study is the second installment in a series of regional reports by Chainalysis on cryptocurrency transactions. The first report, released last week, found that Central, Northern and Western Europe has become the world’s largest crypto economy, with transactions exceeding $1 trillion over the same 12-month period. Institutional transactions in Europe reached $46.3 billion in June 2021, up from $1.4 billion in July 2020.
While Europe dominates cryptocurrency transactions, Asian countries lead in terms of overall adoption, according to on-chain value received, on-chain retail transactions and peer-to-peer transaction volumes. Vietnam, India, and Pakistan ranked first to third, respectively, in Chainalysis’ Global Crypto Adoption Index 2021.
As Cointelegraph previously reported, emerging markets across Asia, Africa and South America are turning to Bitcoin and other digital assets to combat hyperinflation, capital controls, and strict foreign exchange policies.
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Peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchanges have taken root in Africa, with countries like Kenya and Nigeria increasingly relying on platforms like LocalBitcoins and Paxful. Meanwhile, Latin America is now home to two cryptocurrency exchange monasteries and the first country to officially adopt Bitcoin as a legal currency, El Salvador.