Bitcoin remains the most popular cryptocurrency in the world today with a network that spans across the globe. But just what the distribution of Bitcoin nodes tell us about the rate of adoption of the top-ranked cryptocurrency on a global scale?
Global Distribution of Bitcoin Nodes
According to a 2019 study by Themetafriend, there are 36 countries in the world with at least one percent of their population as Bitcoin users. This study assumed a relationship between the ratio of Bitcoin nodes in any two countries to that of the number of users in those countries.
Using this ratio, it seems theoretically possible to examine the distribution of Bitcoin users worldwide. The following is an estimate of the number of Bitcoin users in different continents.
Europe and North America
Europe and North America are hardly ever absent from any conversation related to technological advancements. Of the 36 countries where Bitcoin users make up at least one percent of their population, 26 are in Europe or North America.
These nations include Canada, France, Belgium, Belarus, Germany, the U.K., and the U.S. Others are Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Romania, Iceland, Slovenia, and Sweden.
Looking at the current global nodes distribution as provided by Bitnodes, there is a high density of nodes in both Europe and North America. Also, of the top ten countries based on the number of nodes, only three (China, Singapore, and Japan), come from outside Europe and North America.
South America, Asia, and Australia
Back in November 2018, Bitcoinist reported that the total number of public Bitcoin nodes had surpassed 10,000. According to the latest figures from Coin Dance, the Bitcoin network currently boasts 10,071 listening full nodes and with over 61,000 nodes in total, according to other data sources.
Apart from Japan and Singapore, South Korea, Australia and India also have at least one percent of their population as Bitcoin users. China, however, does not fall into this category making India’s presence particularly noteworthy given the similarities in their population figures.
In South America, Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina have the most BTC users. Venezuela does not appear to rank on a significant scale, however.
In Africa, only South Africa registers any significant number of users. According to the study, the southernmost nation in Africa has between 0.1 and 0.99 percent of its population as Bitcoin users. Places like Angola and Tanzania have between 0.01 and 0.099 percent.
With access to electricity still a luxury in many places on the continent, the results from the study come as no surprise. According to Bitnodes, the highest ranked African nation based on the number of Bitcoin nodes, South Africa, is in the 33rd position (out of 100).
Not the Full Picture of BTC Adoption
The methodology by Themetafriend uses node distribution to determine Bitcoin users. It should be noted, however, that such a methodology might not show the entire spectrum of adopting technology as multifaceted as Bitcoin.
For example, countries in Africa aren’t running Bitcoin nodes (maybe due to inadequate electricity supply and/or lack of hardware), but the three of the top five countries on Google Trends for Bitcoin are from the continent including Nigeria – the country marked in orange (low adoption) on the map.
Bitcoin adoption also involves such aspects as remittance, mining, acceptance for payments, infrastructure support etc. apart from running nodes.
For example, it appears that Venezuelans aren’t running a significant number of Bitcoin nodes, but the country continues to post massive figures on Localbitcoins.
Unsurprisingly, places like China and Iceland where electricity is cheap but using BTC is restricted tend to be the leaders in mining.
Businesses in countries like Japan and the Netherlands meanwhile are taking initiative in accepting BTC for goods and services.
There are more BTMs in the United States and Switzerland, for example, as there is more emphasis on building Bitcoin-based businesses. Meanwhile, Vietnam and the South East Asian region as a whole are more engaged in remittance.
What is the best way to gauge adoption? Let us know your thoughts below!
Images courtesy of Themetafriend, Bitnodes, Google Trends, Shutterstock