Bitcoin and cryptocurrency –
South Africa vs the World


Worldwide Distribution

While many South Africans use Bitcoin exchanges and own cryptocurrency, the majority of cryptocurrency companies are distributed throughout North America, Europe, and China. The study found that the Asia-Pacific region and North America contain 80% of the worldwide cryptocurrency market. South Africa’s contribution to the global cryptocurrency market is negligible. A map detailing the distribution of study participants across global regions is shown below (click to enlarge).


Cryptocurrency Study participants distribution

They study showed that only 4% of overall cryptocurrency users were based in the Middle East and Africa region. A significant portion of cryptocurrency users are from North America, while the majority are based in either Europe or the Asia-Pacific region – as shown in the graphic below. The study also found that a large portion of cryptocurrency miners were based in the Asia-Pacific region.


Cryptocurrency user share by region

Payments and Currency

According to the data, only 6% of global transactions are cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency exchanges, with the majority (67%) of transactions consisted of national currencys to cryptocurrency transactions. Cryptocurrency payment companies said the biggest obstacle they faced was the difficulty of obtaining banking and money transfer operator (MTO) relationships, along with the high cost of regulatory compliance. The study looked at which national currencies were supported throughout the world, providing an idea of a local demand for services provided by cryptocurrency payment companies. The South African rand falls below the Kenyan shilling and the Nigerian naira in terms of payment service support for African countries.

Chuck Reynolds