2021 was a breakout year for cryptocurrency, with inflation fuelling adoption in countries beset by currency devaluation
According to a newly released survey from U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, nearly half of all cryptocurrency owners in the United States, Latin America, and Asia Pacific purchased the digital assets for the first time in 2021.
The survey, which polled nearly 30,000 people in 20 countries between November 2021 and February 2022, found that 2021 was a record-breaking year for cryptocurrency investment, with inflation in particular driving adoption in countries that have experienced currency devaluation, according to the report.
Brazil and Indonesia led the world in crypto adoption, with 41% of people in both countries reporting crypto ownership, compared to 20 % in the US and 18 % in the UK. Comparatively, 79% of those who indicated they owned cryptocurrency last year did so because of the digital assets' long-term investment potential.
People who do not own cryptocurrency but live in countries where their currency has depreciated against the US dollar were more than five times as likely to say they planned to buy cryptocurrency as an inflation hedge.
Only 16% of Americans and 15% of Europeans thought that cryptocurrencies protect against inflation, compared to 64% in Indonesia and India, for example.
As noted by news outlet Reuters, the Indian rupee has lost 17.5% against the dollar in the last five years, whereas the Indonesian rupiah has lost 50% against the dollar between 2011 and 2020.
In 2021, only 17% of Europeans professed to own digital assets, with only 7% of those who did not own crypto indicating that they wanted to buy it at some time.
According to CoinGecko, while bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, has spent most of 2022 trading in a small area of $34,000-$44,000, it helped to push the worth of the cryptocurrency market past $3 trillion as it reached an all-time high of more than $68,000 in November.