Ethereum: The story of how emerging markets have embraced ETH
- Turkey was the top-ranked country in terms of percentage of its population owning ETH.
- Only 14% of the total ETH owners were from developed countries.
Since its launch eight years ago, Ethereum [ETH] has evolved to become the largest blockchain network for smart contracts and decentralized finance (DeFi) applications with a total value locked of a whopping $29 billion at press time. Because of its rapid growth, its native token ETH has become one of the most sought-after digital assets, with a market worth of more than $226 billion.
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While global adoption has undoubtedly risen, it begs the question- Which countries or regions are driving this demand for ETH?
ETH: A favorite among countries with high inflation
Cryptocurrency investment firm CoinShares’ latest research delved into the ownership and concentration of the world’s second-largest virtual asset, and came up with some interesting findings.
The key takeaway was that out of the top 20 countries by ETH ownership, only four were from the developed world while the rest of the list was dominated by emerging and frontier markets. Infact the highest-ranked developed country, the U.S., stood at the ninth position.
Coinshares highlighted that most of the top-ranked countries were the ones reeling under high inflation. Turkey, which was the numero uno nation in terms of ETH ownership, saw its annual inflation rate shoot up to 85% in October 2022, the highest in 24 years as per Statista.
Period of hyperinflation results in devaluation of a nation’s currency against the USD, compelling people to look for safe-haven assets like Gold and cryptos which can act as an inflation hedge.
The study also sheds insight on how nations with youthful, tech-savvy populations are taking advantage of ETH’s easy availability to invest actively in it. India, for instance, was home to the largest number of ETH owners in absolute terms, at nearly 38 million and equating to 3.1 % of its population. This was on par with the country’s equity ownership rate of 3.7%.
Developed countries exercise caution
Due to the comparatively efficient financial systems, the western world appeared to be largely ignoring the utility of ETH. As a result, only 14% of the total ETH owners were from developed countries as per the report.
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This was in sharp contrast to the concentration of ETH network infrastructure.
More than 75% of the ETH nodes were concentrated in the developed world. Nodes are computers running software to secure the Ethereum network globally. The U.S. alone accounted for a 46% share, according to ethernode.org