More than a decade ago, Satoshi Nakamoto conceptualized the idea for a decentralized, encrypted, digital currency, which would work using a peer-to-peer system. In 2008, he linked to an article where he espoused the virtues of such a system, and a year later, he put that theory to practice, mining the first ever block of bitcoin, and awarding it to friend, confidant, sometime-ghost writer, Hal Finney.

During the first couple of years, Bitcoin was overlooked by many, though a few investors saw the potential. As the years went by, the price of the crypto grew, reaching its apex in 2020, when it broke into the mainstream and became a big thing in our cultural zeitgeist. The popularity of crypto continues to this day, but many are wonder, if crypto is just a western phenomenon, or is it globally successful? 

Cryptocurrency in the West

In the United States and the United Kingdom, cryptocurrency is seeing the peak of popularity, with many experts believing that it will only grow in the coming future. Polls have shown that close to half of Americans are familiar with the concept, and a good chunk of them are already investing (or looking to do so). It isn’t only the States where crypto is seeing a rise in popularity. The United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand are also seeing more and more people developing an interest in the crypto market. 

One of the industries that has embraced crypto with open arms is the online betting and gambling industry. Quite a number of online casinos have begun to accept bitcoin-based deposits. An example is this online casino NZ, though there are many like it, from countries like Australia, The United States, and the United Kingdom.

Cryptocurrency Beyond the West

If we were to take a look at where cryptocurrency is most heavily used, we would see that the answer is the United States of America. However, this doesn’t mean that crypto is exclusive to the west. In fact, Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies, are quite popular in developing countries like India, Brazil, and South Africa. 

South Africa has one of the biggest crypto economies in the world, on the same level as Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Quite a few South Africans have begun to invest in cryptos like Ether and Bitcoin, and many of them work as crypto miners. The same is true for some northern countries like Russia and Ukraine, where most crypto miners seem to come from. 

Residents of India, Brazil, and a number of African countries also are beginning to look into cryptocurrencies, and the number of investors from these countries seems to be on the rise. Despite China’s bans on cryptocurrency, the amount of Chinese crypto investors is also surprisingly high, though it has dropped significantly since the ban. 

Countries that Have Embraced Crypto

El Salvador is the first and to-date only country to have made Bitcoin a legal tender in the world right now. While many have considered doing the same, they have remained patient, waiting to see how the decision will work out for the South American nation. 

Apart from El Salvador, the US state, Texas, has been considering making Bitcoin legal tender soon, though progress has not been made one way or the other. The Belgian Parliament Member, Christopher De Beukelaer has recently become the first European politician to convert his whole salary to Bitcoin.

Countries Where Bitcoin is Illegal

There are quite a few countries that have complete bans on cryptocurrency. Most notably, China banned crypto near the end of 2021, which resulted in a spike in value (though the market quickly recovered). Apart from China, other countries which have banned the practice are Qatar, Egypt, Iraq, etc.

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