USA and Russia poised to lead the blockchain industry by 2027

Russia and USA to Lead Crypto Adoption, New Report Shows

Russia’s Crypto User Numbers Set to Soar

Russia and the USA are expected to take the lead in crypto adoption, according to a new report published on Statista called Digital Assets: Market Data & Analysis.

According to the figures, the number of crypto users in Russia could reach 38.5 million by 2027. That’s a 15% increase year-on-year (yoy) from the 19.3 million crypto users in 2022. This percentage is the highest average growth rate for any of the countries or regions surveyed in the report.

That means Russia’s total number of crypto users, which at present exceeds high numbers posted by UK, Japan, Canada and Germany, will go on being the second highest in the world for cryptocurrencies, ahead of every European and Asian rival and second only to the U.S..

USA’s Staggering Crypto User Numbers

Over the Pacific, the US recorded a staggering 52.8 million crypto users in 2022, a figure which exceeds Russia’s projected 2027 figure by a fraction over 37%, indicating the world-leading scale of adoption in both the former Cold War rivals.

However, adoption in the US will skyrocket too, with a near doubling over five years to a projected 102.2 million users by 2027. Altogether, the year-on-year growth rate for the US between 2022 and 2027 is 14%, which is in line with Japanese and European projections but lags 1% behind Russia.

Cryptocurrencies, NFTs, or DeFi?

One interesting point to observe is how the popularity of NFTs and Decentralized Finance protocol users varies by region. NFTs are undoubtedly more popular in the USA than any other region, with 0.9 million NFT users in 2022. That figure is expected to rise sharply to 1.6 million by 2027.

Hardly anywhere else takes NFTs nearly so seriously, though. The closest contender to the US, Russia, at present has a third of the NFT users of its rival. The projections for 2027 broadly reflect a proportionate increase as the number of Russian NFT holders doubles from 0.3 million to 0.6 million.

Regulations Driving Crypto Adoption

This brings us to one key area that affects countries’ attitudes towards crypto, and by extension, their adoption level, namely: regulation.

So, understanding Russia’s lead on crypto should be simple when we examine the context. Singapore research firm TrippleA estimated about 17.3 million Russians owned crypto in early 2021. The figure represented 12% of the population at the time. It grew by 2 million the following year.

The lofty numbers are hardly surprising in a country where 46% of its internet users pay for goods and services using e-money, $16.8 billion of which is on-chain, according to 2022 figures.

US Regulations and Adoption

The regulation narrative will also continue to drive adoption in the US, albeit for different political and geopolitical reasons.

The number one driver of adoption in the USA currently is the spot Bitcoin ETF narrative. ETFs are investment vehicles from funds that buy and hold Bitcoin to create and sell shares for their funds on exchanges.

Many regions legalised ETFs in recent years, including Canada and Europe. However, the prospect of a US ETF looked distant because the regulator responsible for approving one, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has pursued an openly anti-crypto agenda since Chairman Gary Gensler took office in 2021 and started a crackdown by suing multiple actors in the industry, aka regulation-by-enforcement.

In general, the US may be far behind the EU and Canada in terms of regulatory clarity, but crypto’s Stateside believers are likely to hold their dominating grasp on the world market in the short term.

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