Where is interest in cryptocurrencies accelerating the fastest?
Interest in cryptocurrencies has surged right across the world in the last twelve months as the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digitalisation of payments*, and technology is improving at a rapid rate.
While some still treat cryptocurrencies with a level of scepticism, many are embracing the opportunities they present, with more crypto exchanges to choose from than ever before.
But which countries are the next crypto hotspots, where interest in cryptocurrencies has increased the quickest?
Countries with the greatest interest in crypto in 2021
Indonesia was the second-highest ranking country when it comes to increase in the number of Google searches over the last twelve months and also had one of the highest increases in engagements with articles about crypto, giving it the overall top spot on our ranking.
There are an estimated 7.3 million crypto owners in Indonesia, with major local player Tokocrypto said to be considering launching on the stock market with an IPO (initial public offering).
Chile had an incredible increase in crypto-related Google searches of 707.1% and comes in second place in our overall ranking. Just over 500,000 people are currently trading crypto in the country, although this is surely set to rise in the coming months and years.
Another South American country takes third place, with Argentina scoring fairly high across the board. There has been a dramatic increase in the volume of articles related to cryptocurrency suggesting it's an increasingly hot topic in the country.
Cryptomining has experienced something of a boom in recent years in the country, supposedly fuelled by the ultra-cheap residential energy costs in Argentina.
Countries with the biggest increase in crypto searches
Interest in crypto has been on an astronomical upwards trajectory around the world, but the nation that has seen the biggest explosion in people looking to invest is Chile, with 700% more Google searches for it in 2021 vs 2020.
Cryptocurrencies are blossoming in South America and it seems like Chile could be at the forefront of this.
In second place was Indonesia, with an increase of 575.2% in interest. Despite some initial hesitance, with the country’s central bank prohibiting cryptos use as a payment tool, it is legal in Indonesia and recent regulations have paved the way for cryptocurrencies to succeed here.
Indonesia is home to a couple of big crypto exchanges including Indofax and the Binance-backed Tokocrypto.
Lebanon saw interest for cryptocurrencies increase by 540.5% in the last year, with many choosing to put their money in crypto following banking and financial crises that saw the value of the local currency plummet.
Countries with the biggest increase in crypto articles
Finland had by far the biggest increase in the number of online articles being published about crypto, jumping over 725% in the last year from 136 to 1,123 articles.
Crypto hit the news in Finland this year when local authorities seized around $80 million worth of Bitcoin before seeking brokers to sell the crypto on.
Argentina saw the second-biggest increase in the number of articles about cryptocurrency in the last year, going up by over 362%, indicating a buzzing around the topic.
Argentina’s president hit headlines earlier this year when he suggested that he saw no reason why crypto couldn’t be used as legal tender in the future.
Bulgaria saw an increase of 350% in the number of crypto-related articles in the last year, with one of the big stories of the year being the fact that the country had reportedly seized 213,519 Bitcoins, valued at over $3 billion and accounting for around 18% of the country’s national debt.
Countries with the biggest increase in crypto engagement
Indonesia has seen an incredible rise of 1,772% in the number of people engaging with articles about cryptocurrency in the last year, which is in line with the similar rise in the number of people searching for information about crypto in the country.
Another country with a huge increase in the level of crypto engagement is Denmark, with an increase of 1,317%.
Crypto is largely accepted in Denmark, with no regulation and the authorities allow it to be used as a payment tool and asset, although it is not recognised as legal tender and was recently banned by the nation’s largest bank, Danske.
As was the case with many factors, Argentina also saw a large increase when it came to engagement with crypto articles, seeing interest increase by 1,195%.
Countries with the highest crypto ownership
When we look solely at the number of people who reportedly own crypto, it’s India that leads the way, with over 100 million of its residents holding some type of cryptocurrency.
But, once we take population into account, it’s actually Ukraine that holds the highest proportion of crypto, with over 12% of the population owning it.
Ukraine’s government has been very accepting of cryptocurrency so far, which explains why just so many people have adopted it.
Singapore had the second-highest percentage of crypto users and like Ukraine has become something of an early hub for cryptocurrency companies and exchanges.
The city-state is set to grant its first crypto license soon in a bid to tackle crypto fraud and scams.
Another nation where cryptocurrency usage is apparently booming is Kenya. Crypto has taken off in a number of less developed countries, and cashless currencies such as Sarafu are proving popular amongst farmers in the countries after being introduced by American economist Will Ruddick.
Crypto Interest Index
We analysed each country on the following four factors, giving each country a normalised score out of ten for each factor before taking an average of all four scores.
Annual search volume
Search volumes sourced using Google Ads’ Keyword Planner, taking the number of searches for a number of keywords, including: cryptocurrency, crypto news, and cryptocurrency prices.
For each keyword, we took the total number of searches in each country between August 2019 - July 2020 and August 2020 - July 2021, before calculating the annual increase.
Number of articles
The number of articles posted online in each country that references any of the following terms according to BuzzSumo: cryptocurrency, crypto, Bitcoin, Ethereum.
For each country we compared the number of articles posted in each country between September 2019 - August 2020 and September 2020 - August 2021.
Number of engagements
The number of engagements on articles posted online in each country that references any of the following terms according to BuzzSumo: cryptocurrency, crypto, Bitcoin, Ethereum.
For each country we compared the total engagements in each country between September 2019 - August 2020 and September 2020 - August 2021.
The % of the population that own cryptocurrency according to data from Triple A.