Despite the promising benefits of using Bitcoin, not every country has managed to reap them all. Increasingly harsh regulations on Bitcoin in places like the US can affect people’s decision to use it as an alternative payment method. Yet, it’s not all doom and gloom. If anything, Bitcoin has discovered a fair share of proponents in developing countries.
According to Chainalysis in 2023, South and Southeast Asian countries have emerged as the leaders in Bitcoin usage. India and Vietnam ranked highest in this ranking, not only in their regions but also worldwide.
What caused a more widespread adoption of Bitcoin in developing countries, and how do people use Bitcoin there?
Bitcoin trends in developing countries
From the get-go, we must admit that cryptocurrency isn’t in vogue as it used to be. While it peaked in 2021, cryptocurrency underwent several ups and downs that never exceeded 2021 levels. According to Chainalysis, prospects for cryptocurrency don’t lie in developed countries, but in lower-middle-income countries.
The key to the widespread use of cryptocurrency is the usage at institutional and grassroots levels. Countries like El Salvador became world attention when their government made Bitcoin a legal tender.
Even though not all usage of Bitcoin at the institutional level in El Salvador was a success, it did pave the way for a more steady implementation. In September 2023, El Salvador’s Ministry of Education announced the incorporation of Bitcoin education in schools in 2024.
In Nigeria, Bitcoin has become an alternative for many financial transactions. Money transfer in Nigeria is famous for being costly, and people began using Bitcoin to counter this issue. As the Naira continues to devalue, this only allows Bitcoin use by all society members.
Factors behind Bitcoin use in developing countries
While everyone can benefit from Bitcoin, the impacts are presumably more significant in developing countries.
Alternative payment methods
As we have mentioned, people use cryptocurrency as an alternative payment method. People can use Bitcoin for almost all transactions, including online casinos. Nowadays, it’s common for punters to use a crypto casino with 24-7 support. With Bitcoin, punters worldwide can enjoy online casino live table games without fear of converting currencies with ridiculous fees.
Cheaper transaction fee
One major problem of traditional international transactions is the transfer fee. Oftentimes, involved parties must spend extra money to pay the transfer fee. It comes up as especially burdensome for currencies with high conversion rates. As seen in Nigeria’s Naira above, Bitcoin can cut unnecessary transfer fees, either for domestic or international transfers.
Less room for corruption
Restrictive banking policies and volatile exchange rates remain problematic for developing countries. These problems make people lack any belief in national currencies to remain stable in the near or long term. However, it’s a different story with Bitcoin. Since it isn’t subject to market fluctuations that affect fiat currencies. Bitcoin transactions can’t be defrauded, which gives less room for corruption.
Unlike fiat currency, Bitcoin is readily available to everyone on the internet regardless of origin. Many developing countries still suffer from the lack of sufficient physical infrastructure to facilitate statewide internet-based financial transactions. Although Bitcoin transactions still need the internet, it doesn’t involve making bank accounts or physical banking institutions that may slow the transaction process.