Central and Southern Asia Emerges as Crypto's Next Frontier, Led by India
Chainalysis Research Points to Central and Southern Asia as Crypto's Next Big Thing
While global crypto adoption might have experienced some fluctuations, a closer look reveals a compelling narrative emerging from the lower middle-income (LMI) countries, which are demonstrating a particularly promising trend in crypto adoption. These nations, constituting 40% of the world's population, could hold the key to the future of cryptocurrencies, according to data from Chainalysis.
Central & Southern Asia and Oceania (CSAO) are gradually shaping the crypto landscape, with India leading the charge.
India Remains Top Crypto Market
Chainalysis' fourth annual Chainalysis Global Crypto Adoption Index reveals that India stands as the preeminent cryptocurrency market in Central & Southern Asia and Oceania (CSAO). In fact, it leads the world in grassroots adoption, as evidenced by its Global Crypto Adoption Index.
Remarkably, India has ascended to become the second-largest cryptocurrency market globally by raw estimated transaction volume, surpassing wealthier nations, all while contending with a challenging regulatory and tax environment.
The report further highlights India's diversified cryptocurrency usage, ranking within the top ten in various categories, including decentralized exchanges (DEX), centralized exchanges, lending protocols, token smart contracts, and NFT protocols. This diversity underscores the country's robust engagement with the crypto ecosystem.
Global Adoption: A Complex Picture
Despite a noticeable recovery from the lows of late 2022, characterized by events like the FTX collapse, grassroots adoption of cryptocurrencies has not yet returned to its historical peak. However, this assessment does not apply universally across the globe.
Central & Southern Asia and Oceania (CSAO) have emerged as standout regions in crypto adoption, considering factors like purchasing power and population. Six out of the top ten countries on Chainalysis' Global Crypto Adoption Index hail from CSAO, including India, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Thailand.
Decentralized Finance (DeFi) has experienced significant growth in the region, accounting for 55.8% of the regional transaction volume from July 2022 to June 2023, up from 35.2% in the previous year. Furthermore, CSAO has witnessed a surge in institutional adoption, with 68.8% of total transaction volume involving transfers valued at $1 million or more.
Chainalysis describes CSAO as "the world’s most dynamic and fascinating cryptocurrency market" based on raw transaction volume, ranking it as the third-largest crypto market globally, closely trailing North America and Central, Northern & Western Europe (CNWE).
In countries like the Philippines, popular play-to-earn games such as Axie Infinity have captured the attention of a young, tech-savvy population, offering both entertainment and income opportunities. Meanwhile, in Pakistan, the need for wealth preservation amidst high inflation and currency devaluation has driven many towards cryptocurrencies, particularly stablecoins like USDT.
The data paints a compelling picture of Central & Southern Asia as a thriving hub for cryptocurrency adoption and innovation, with India at the forefront of this transformative trend.
In summary, the crypto landscape in Central and Southern Asia is evolving rapidly, with India and other CSAO countries leading the charge. Despite global variations in adoption, the region's unique characteristics make it a dynamic and promising market for cryptocurrencies, drawing attention from both retail and institutional players.