Cryptocurrencies are taking the developing world by storm, with more users now in Nigeria than in the US - 2 experts lay out how bitcoin is changing emerging-market finance
In the developing world, crypto adoption is growing at breakneck speed. Young, fast-growing populations that lack access to traditional finance, but have smartphones, from Brazil to Botswana, are driving the surge in the use of cryptocurrencies.
A cursory look at the Steem and Hive blockchain will show that a large number of users of these social platforms are from the developing world. Many of the these participants, especially those from countries facing economic crisis such as Venezuela and Nigeria, are actually trying to eke out a living from their participation in these blockchain based social media platforms. Recently I came across a Steem user from Sri Lanka, who is using the earnings from blog postings in Steem to partially finance the construction of her house.
Whilst most of the investors in Steem and Hive may come from more established economies, the majority of users using these platforms are from the third world and developing economies. And the number of new sign-ups also reflect the same trend.
For example, according to a Statista survey of global consumers in February, nearly one in three of those polled in Nigeria said they owned, or used, cryptocurrencies, versus just 6 out of every 100 in the United States, in 2020.
While this may be true, according to statistics that analyses Bitcoin trading volume in 44 countries, the United States and Russia outpaced all other countries in terms of trading volumes in cryptocurrencies.
These again confirms that users from established economies are using crypto more for trading and investment whilst the users from third world and developing economies are using for remittances and consumer spending.
There are about 1.7 billion people that are considered "unbanked". However, around 48% of the global population has a smartphone and that percentage, in theory, have access to the internet, and therefore, cryptocurrencies, Butterfill said.
The traditional financial system has ignored this group of unfranchised people for far too long just because it is not profitable cater to them. The greed of the capitalist and the politicians who work hand in glove with them knows no bounds. Knowing that cryptocurrencies are here to stay, they have now entered the arena to stake a claim of the pie using the time-tested techniques they know - regulations.