Crypto Adoption on the Rise: Countries Pioneering Digital Asset Usage

01 Jul 2022

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Customers around the world can pay for goods and services with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Thousands of Bitcoin ATMs can now be found in major cities throughout the world. The acceptance is increasing unceasingly and certainly, the advantages of cryptocurrencies also play a supporting role,

Various attempts to enforce bans have also failed so far due to the decentralized structure via the blockchain. The interconnection of cryptocurrencies and online casinos has made the gambling industry one of the largest in the crypto space. It is worth taking a look at to get a closer overview. Some countries are forging ahead and are among the pioneers of cryptocurrencies, which could further boost the industry’s adoption.

Japan as a Crypto Acceptance Pioneer

Especially in the Asian region, coins like bitcoin are enjoying a great deal of popularity.  Far ahead of other countries, Bitcoin was integrated as a means of payment in Japan years ago. In 2017, the Japanese Financial Supervisory Authority recognized the registration of one of the first licensed companies, which was allowed to offer Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Vending machines also exist in Japan, which allow quick exchanges between fiat money to Bitcoin and vice versa. In 2017, cryptocurrencies were recognized in Japan as a legal payment method.

In July 2021, Japan's financial regulator established a dedicated department to deal specifically only with cryptocurrencies. And not to ban them, but rather to regulate them.

China, in contrast, prevents the growth of cryptocurrencies and its authorities rather hinder access to the markets than promote it. What is interesting in Japan is the fact that measures are already being taken to regulate Bitcoin. This is mostly the first step towards full acceptance as a digital currency.

El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law

Along with Japan, El Salvador belongs to the list of countries with high Bitcoin acceptance. In September 2021, the country classified Bitcoin as a legal tender. Not every citizen in the country has their own bank account. However, because many residents work in neighboring countries to make a living, Bitcoin makes financial transactions much easier.

Sending funds to family members back home now poses no problems for many working immigrants abroad. Transaction costs are much lower than they are with popular remittance providers.

Moreover, in El Salvador, it is possible to pay for even the smallest everyday items with Bitcoin. Whether groceries or small electronic devices, almost every store in the country has already integrated Bitcoin as a means of payment. This clearly makes the country one of the pioneers when it comes to cryptocurrencies.

According to the country’s president Nayib Bukele, he himself is invested in Bitcoin. Next, the head of state is planning a Bitcoin city.

Central African Republic’s Bitcoin Adoption

The President of the Central African Republic, Fautin-Archange Touadéra shared a somewhat cryptic tweet with the world shortly after the country became the second in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender after El Salvador. The tweet said “Vires in Numeris,” a Latin motto meaning “strength in numbers.”

The CAR is one of the poorest countries in the world as it has dealt with a complicated near-decade-long civil war that devastated most of its territory. Its initial decision to adopt BTC was accompanied by very little information, except that it would open up “new opportunities” for the country.

The government has since clarified that a project called Sango - named after the country’s official language - is meant to create  a fantastic opportunity for anyone who believes in crypto investing.”

The country is reportedly looking to build the “first legal Crypto Hub recognized by a country's parliament, that welcomes businesses and attracts global crypto-enthusiasts". An investor presentation seems to suggest that Bitcoin could be used to invest in mining and other industries.

CAR has significant diamond and gold deposits, Being legal tender could make it easier for the country to attract Bitcoin investors looking to take advantage of these deposits. Before investment come in, however, CAR will need to significantly improve its internet infrastructure.

The move is also meant to help bank the unbanked, as many in the country do not have access to traditional financial services.

 Featured image via Unsplash.


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