Bitcoin is the secure, decentralized cryptoasset and powerful enough to change the world for the better. The citizens of many developed countries, especially third world countries, receive funding and aid from NGOs and other organisations that originate in developed ones. In such cases, transfer of fiat currency (USD, Euro, Rupees etc.) through banking networks or sources such as the Western Union can prove to be costly and inefficient. Bitcoin transactions have helped organisations such as the Red Cross make global transfer of funds easier. Providing innumerable benefits such as immunity to hyperinflation, Bitcoin is now being accepted in almost all parts of the world.
In fact, Bitcoin ATMs have also been installed in many locations such as the US, Singapore, Switzerland, Serbia, France, etc. This article takes a look at Bitcoin adoption in different countries such the United States of America, Japan, India, and Zimbabwe.
In February 2014, 850,000 bitcoins, worth over $450 million suddenly went missing, when Mt. Gox was hacked. A Tokyo based bitcoin exchange platform, this mega corporation had previously boasted of conducting 70% of global Bitcoin turnover. Despite this catastrophe, Japan welcomed Bitcoin with open arms, recognizing it as a asset in April 2017, making it a legal payment option. Today, this country is known as the world leader in Bitcoin trade. In Japan, Bitcoin transactions are increasingly being used by hotels, restaurants, bars, and merchants.
Japan’s budget airline, ‘Peach’, has announced its acceptance of bitcoins for ticket payments, accommodation, and sale of souvenirs.
The electronics retailer chain of stores called Bic Camera, sells different types of consumer items ranging from household appliances to cosmetics and even sports equipment. They accept bitcoins as payment, with a capping limit of 300,000 yen at a time.
Anshin Oyado, a luxury capsule hotel in Tokyo, was one of the first capsule hotels in Japan to accept Bitcoins via the Coincheck payment system. Comicap is another famous Comics & Capsule Hotel in Kyoto that also accepts Bitcoins via the same system. It has capsule-sized rooms and thousands of comic books which are accessible to its guests
When it comes to cryptoassets, the US is a frontrunner. It is home and the birthplace of some of the largest bitcoin exchanges in the world. Among them, Coinbase is the most popular one, as it provides the fastest and easiest way to buy bitcoins. Coinmama, GDAX, BitQuick, and Gemini are some of the other ones.
A study conducted by the Cambridge University Business School’s Centre for Alternative Finance found that the U.S. was the fourth largest country in the world for bitcoin transactions. In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by Lend Edu, Bitcoin is more popular and is increasingly being adopted by millenials in America. The survey claims that 86.67% of those between the ages of 18 to 24 had heard of Bitcoin. On the other hand, only 75.93% of those who were 55 and older had heard of it. Many middle class Americans are even investing in Bitcoin-based Individual Retirement Accounts or IRAs (Equivalent to Public Provident Funds in India).
With the act of demonetization that rendered old Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes unusable in 2016, the Indian economy became more conducive to electronic payments in India. Since then, there has been a surge in the number of users on bitcoin exchanges such as Unocoin.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is now testing the waters of Blockchain Technology in order to improve the efficiency of its financial system. In India, Bitcoins are seen more of an investment than a currency that can be spent to buy items. According to Unocoin, Bitcoin usage will continue to rise exponentially in India.
A military coup and mass street protests forced Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe into house arrest and resignation from office in November 2017, ending his 37-year reign. In light of this recent political upheaval that has rendered Zimbabwe’s economy fragile, Bitcoin has become a safe haven for many of its citizens. It has become next to impossible for one to transfer money in and out of the country using formal banks. People have turned to Bitcoin for purposes such as sending money abroad.