- 26% of nations have more Ethereum investors than Bitcoin, including USA
- Argentinians are the biggest Bitcoin maxis, with 73% of cryptocurrency investors holding the coin, as inflation skyrockets in the country
- Meme mania is highest in the USA, with more American Dogecoin investors than any other country
- Japan is the most bullish on Solana dethroning Ethereum as the King of DeFi
Once upon a time, Bitcoin was the world’s only cryptocurrency. The industry has come a long way since, however, and today we have over 18,000 cryptocurrencies serving a variety of use cases.
Some have aimed to compete with Bitcoin, while others have almost nothing in common with it. We have meme-coins, such as Dogecoin and Shiba, which have taken the world by storm. We have the burgeoning industry of DeFi, where Ethereum leads the way but Solana has made up some ground in the last year. And in truth, we have almost everything in between.
We were curious to assess which coins were most popular in which countries, so we compiled the below analysis to see what the results were. To note, the study focuses on the big two cryptos – Bitcoin and Ethereum – as well as Dogecoin, Solana and XRP. The data dates from January 2022, and is derived from this finder.com survey of 27 countries. Results are weighted using Google’s interactive ranking process, reflecting the national population distribution in each country.
The Flippening is a term adopted by crypto enthusiasts who foresee Ethereum overtaking Bitcoin as the world’s biggest cryptocurrency. It commonly refers to market cap, although at $362 billion, ETH would have to more than double to eclipse the $764 billion that Bitcoin is currently worth.
However, seven out of the twenty-seven countries surveyed seem to believe the Flippening has a chance of occurring, as more investors in these nations hold Ethereum than Bitcoin. This even includes the United States, where 31.7% of crypto investors hold Vitalik Buterin’s creation, compared to only 22.8% holding Satoshi’s brainchild.
Also, of note is the fact that none of the other coins – Dogecoin, Solana, XRP – were the most popular coin in any country, showing that there very much is a big two when it comes to cryptocurrency. If you click on the map icon within the legend in the bottom right of the graph below, you can sort the holdings visually by country.
Argentina are Bitcoin Maxis
As the graph below shows, Argentina is the biggest Bitcoin maxis, with a massive 72.7% of investors holding the top crypto. The second most popular coin amongst investors is Ethereum, but only 14% of investors hold it. This means the difference of 58.7% is the highest observed in any country.
This is particularly poignant when viewed against the inflation plague in Argentina, which is at a crippling 55.1% over the last year. Of course, the Bitcoin-is-an-inflation-hedge narrative is one of the biggest bull arguments around the coin, with hopes that eventually it can become a store-of-value akin to digital gold. The data suggests the vulnerability of the Argentine peso is leading more and more Argentinians to flee the currency in favour of Bitcoin.
When looking at on-chain activity on both Bitcoin and Ethereum, however, Bitcoin remains dominant. There are circa 600,000 daily active Ethereum addresses around the world, compared to 850,000 for Bitcoin.
On the positive side for Ethereum-lovers, it must be noted, is that the gap has narrowed. Looking at the graph below shows that the difference between active addresses on Ethereum vs Bitcoin has been closing over time.
Worldwide address activity for Bitcoin & Ethereum, Data via IntoTheBlock
Singapore Expects the Flippening
On the other end of the scale to Argentina is Singapore, which has the highest portion of Ethereum investors compared to Bitcoin investors.
While only 28.4% of Singaporean crypto investors hold Bitcoin, 43.5% hold Ethereum, a gap of 15.1% – the highest of any nation. With the Ethereum Merge drawing ever closer, Singapore will be holding its breath more than any nation in the hope of a price surge once the big updates are live.
Notably, the US are actually just behind, with 31.7% of investors holding ETH compared to 22.8% invested in Bitcoin. That’s a data point we didn’t expect to see, but it goes to show that Ethereum has really joined Bitcoin as a “blue-chip” cryptocurrency.
The other countries to favour Ethereum over Bitcoin are Vietnam (slightly), Russia, South Africa and the UK. It is worth noting, however, that this data was taken before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, so it will be interesting to re-visit and see if Ethereum remains more popular than Bitcoin, amid the recent volatility of the Russian Ruble.
Let’s forget Bitcoin and Ethereum for a second. Discounting these two, what countries favour what cryptos?
The below map shows that it is relatively tight, but Dogecoin seems to be the closest challenger, most likely thanks to a certain Elon Musk.
The memecoin was the top-held altcoin out of the dataset, with 12 of the 27 countries surveyed holding more of the dog token than any other altcoin. Next was XRP, which was the most popular in 9 of the 27 countries, while Solana was top of the ranks in the remaining 6 countries. As per the earlier graph, if you click the map icon within the legend in the bottom right of the graph below, you can sort the holdings visually by country.
USA Wants to Send Doge to $1
More than any other country, it is the USA that wants to “send Doge to $1”, as the meme campaign hopes. A chunky 31.6% of American crypto investors hold Doge, which means it only narrowly falls short of being the most popular crypto in the country – Ethereum is number one with 31.7%.
It’s a staggering number, and easily clears the 22.8% of American investors who hold Bitcoin. It speaks volumes to the meme-craze that swept the US more than any other country during the pandemic. Consequences of all the talk of “stimmy” cheques being pumped into Doge, viral campaigns by Elon Musk and Robinhood mania are clearly visible in the Doge investor statistics.
On the converse, Japan is the most meme-unfriendly, with a paltry 5.5% of investors holding Dogecoin, 7.5X less than the number of investors holding Bitcoin. Maybe all the Elon memes were lost in translation?
Norway & Japan All Aboard the ETH-Killer Narrative
But Japan isn’t just for Bitcoin investors. In fact, they are actually the most bullish on Solana dethroning Ethereum as the King of DeFi, as the below graphic indicates.
Solana has 10.2% more Japanese investors than Ethereum – the highest of any nation. The ETH killer narrative is thus alive and well in Tokyo.
Norway, too, is bullish on Solana’s higher transactions per second and lower fees ultimately swaying capital away from Ethereum, as they come in second with 7.2% more Norwegians holding SOL than ETH.
On a gross basis, the number of Solana investors is actually highest in Norway at 24.9% (Japan have 22.6%) but the difference to Ethereum is higher in Japan.
To note, of the 27 countries surveyed, 7 had more Solana investors than Ethereum, with Mexico, Venezuela, Philippines, Ghana and Colombia joining Japan and Norway. For those of you weak at geography, that’s a collection of countries from every continent on the planet bar Australia (who funnily enough have the greatest gap between ETH and Solana investors, with 34.5% more Aussies holding ETH than SOL).
The data paints interesting pictures of which countries around the world prefer which cryptos, and how different demographics have different investing focuses.
In Argentina, a country plagued by rampant inflation, Bitcoin reigns supreme. On the other hand, the immense cultural impact of memes is on display in the USA, where more investors hold Dogecoin than Bitcoin.
As for Ethereum, seven countries prefer it to Bitcoin, while other nations – led by Japan and Norway – think Solana is the better bet within DeFi.
The world is full of wonderful and diverse people, with many different opinions and needs – something that can be seen clearly from the crypto investor data.