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Cryptocurrency: Redefining the Future of Finance

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Cryptocurrency: Redefining the Future of Finance

Cryptocurrency is a thriving ecosystem, quietly encroaching on conventional finance’s territory.

Over the last five years, Bitcoin users and transactions have averaged a growth rate of nearly 60% per year. Similarly, private and public investors have deepened their commitment to cryptocurrencies including Ethereum, Ripple (XRP), and Stellar—and a number of others across the industry.

Today’s infographic unpacks a cross-section of cryptocurrencies, stakeholders, and core applications across a sector that’s continuing to grow in importance.

The Evolution of Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency has erupted into a $200 billion industry, sparking a wave of global disruption.

At the heart of cryptocurrency is a rich history of innovation. It extends back to the 1980s with advances in the field of cryptography—eventually leading to the technology that forms encryption techniques designed to protect the network.

Since then, a series of key events have continued to shape the sector.

Year
Event
2009Satoshi Nakamoto mines the first Bitcoin on a decentralized network
2011Litecoin launches
2012Ripple is founded
2013The price of a single Bitcoin reaches $1,000
2015Ethereum launches, introducing smart contracts into the crypto ecosystem
2017Over 1,000 cryptocurrencies listed
2017Bitcoin's price rockets past $10,000, reaching a peak just shy of $20,000
2018EOS offers a blockchain-based infrastructure for decentralized apps (DApps)

Now, there are over 5,000 cryptocurrencies in circulation, with many built on innovative applications and use-cases as the ecosystem rapidly evolves.

The Value of Cryptocurrencies

Today, crypto offers cutting-edge advances that are diverse and transformative. In addition, it could also be considered an investment in tomorrow’s financial system—decentralized finance (DeFi).

DeFi is an emerging alternative financial system that is built on a public blockchain, which enables greater accessibility because anyone has the ability to connect to it. Additionally, transactions are publicly visible, enabling greater transparency across the system.

Here is a refresher on some of the practical advantages being applied across cryptocurrencies.

Use CasesNameDescription
PaymentsBitcoin
Ripple (XRP)
Stellar
Dash
Used for purchasing goods without the need of a trusted third-party
Value Storage
Bitcoin
Litecoin
As the total supply of many cryptocurrencies are limited, this scarcity influences their value
Stablecoins
DAI
USDC
GeminiUSD
Digital money that is typically pegged to a currency or commodity, such as gold
Privacy Monero
Zcash
Cryptography, the technology behind crypto, can enable the anonymity of its owners
Digital Ownership
Bitcoin
Ripple (XRP)
Stellar
Can empower those without access to a bank to enter the financial system
Digital Gold
BitcoinBitcoin shares similar attributes to money: a medium of exchange, unit of account, and store of value
Decentralized Apps (DApps)
EOS
Tezos
Ethereum (ETH)
Enable individuals to create apps without a central authority, directly connecting the user and creator

The Key Players in the Crypto Landscape

The cryptocurrency ecosystem is growing rapidly. Worldwide, private and public actors recognize its potential across many domains.

Who are the primary participants in the field today?

Private Actors

  1. Institutional Investors
    Harvard Endowment Fund, Crypto Hedge Funds
  2. Cryptocurrency Exchanges
    Coinbase, Bitstamp
  3. Banks & Finance
    J.P. Morgan, Fidelity Investments, Swissquote
  4. Tech
    IBM, Microsoft
  5. Power & Utilities
    RWE

Public Actors

  1. Governments
    Venezuela
  2. Central Banks
    China, Sweden, Saudi Arabia
  3. Organizations
    Crypto Valley Association, Global Digital Finance

The rising popularity of crypto is bolstering new policies and adoption, as evidenced by the many players trying to break into the space.

The Big Picture:

As crypto continues to gain momentum, its longer-term implications will come into focus. Crucially, its cryptographic foundation sets the stage for future advances in finance.

  1. Privacy
    Anonymized transactions protect users data through cryptographic techniques
  2. Access
    Providing a new financial model for 1.7B unbanked individuals around the world
  3. Efficiency
    Steep reductions in settlement time and efficacy could save consumers $16 billion annually
  4. Security
    Providing immutable, traceable records of security-rich transactional networks
  5. Programmable Money
    Smart contracts could drastically eliminate manual and administrative work⁠— ultimately bypassing them altogether

Rooted in decentralized and autonomous systems, cryptocurrencies are creating second-order effects in the financial world. Ultimately, cryptocurrencies are helping to transform finance as we know it—unlocking countless investment opportunities across the global economy.

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Countries With the Highest Rates of Crypto Ownership

While the U.S. is a major market for cryptocurrencies, two countries surpass it in terms of their rates of crypto ownership.

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Countries With the Highest Rates of Crypto Ownership

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

This graphic ranks the top 10 countries by their rate of cryptocurrency ownership, which is the percentage of the population that owns crypto. These figures come from crypto payment gateway, Triple-A, and are as of 2023.

Data and Highlights

The table below lists the rates of crypto ownership in the top 10 countries, as well as the number of people this amounts to.

Country% of Population
Who Own Crypto
# of Crypto Owners
🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates30.43M
🇻🇳 Vietnam21.221M
🇺🇸 U.S.15.653M
🇮🇷 Iran13.512M
🇵🇭 Philippines13.416M
🇧🇷 Brazil1226M
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia11.44M
🇸🇬 Singapore11.1665K
🇺🇦 Ukraine10.64M
🇻🇪 Venezuela10.33M

Note that if we were to rank countries based on their actual number of crypto owners, India would rank first at 93 million people, China would rank second at 59 million people, and the U.S. would rank third at 52 million people.

The UAE Takes the Top Spot

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) boasts the highest rates of crypto ownership globally. The country’s government is considered to be very crypto friendly, as described in Henley & Partners’ Crypto Wealth Report 2023:

In the UAE, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA-ADGM) was the first to provide rules and regulations regarding cryptocurrency purchasing and selling. The Emirates are generally very open to new technologies and have proposed zero taxes for crypto owners and businesses.

Vietnam leads Southeast Asia

According to the Crypto Council for Innovation, cryptocurrency holdings in Vietnam are also untaxed, making them an attractive asset.

Another reason for Vietnam’s high rates of ownership could be its large unbanked population (people without access to financial services). Cryptocurrencies may provide an alternative means of accessing these services without relying on traditional banks.

Learn More About Crypto From Visual Capitalist

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out The World’s Largest Corporate Holders of Bitcoin, which ranks the top 12 publicly traded companies by their Bitcoin holdings.

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