The United Kingdom is now ranked as the largest cryptocurrency market in Europe. The UK received a total of $233 billion in raw transaction value of cryptocurrencies between July 2021 and June 2022.
The UK is the top cryptocurrency market in Europe
The UK accounted for the highest crypto transaction value of any European country, according to the recent crypto adoption index data released by Chainalysis. The recent report moved the UK from 21st place in 2021 to 17th place today.
The annual document by Chainalysis has also placed the UK as having the sixth-largest crypto transaction volumes globally. The Chainalysis data also noted that most of the crypto activity in the country was from decentralized finance (DeFi) activities.
Around 20% of the country’s web 3.0 & crypto traffic going towards non-fungible token and lending contract websites in Europe came from the UK. The UK crypto market also ranked among the top-five Western European countries that reported growth from July 2021 to July 2022, according to the raw number of on-chain transactions that happened each quarter.
The data shows that the cryptocurrency adoption levels in the UK were resilient compared to other European regions. Crypto adoption levels in the country have remained high because of the low barrier to entry.
Dion Seymour, a Crypto and Digital Assets Technical Director at Andersen LLP and a former policy advisor at HMRC, commented on this growth, saying,
I would like to think it’s because we’ve tried to provide certainty as far as crypto regulation and taxation in the UK.
“No one wants crypto to be taxed, but if there’s uncertainty about how it will be taxed, that can cause some level of consternation too,” he added.
According to Seymour, one of the largest barriers to cryptocurrency adoption was the UK’s poor customer protection mechanisms. Seymour also said that consumer protection was important if the DeFi sector were to go mainstream. This would increase the conversation between policymakers.
Growing adoption of NFTs and blockchain gaming
The Central, Northern, and Western Europe region was not only leading in DeFi adoption but also NFT platforms. NFT platforms accounted for the highest web traffic compared to any other DeFi protocol within the region.
This high adoption was especially high in Ireland and Norway. The traffic to NFT marketplaces in the region accounted for over 70% of all DeFi-related web traffic.
The other sector that also attracted high traffic is blockchain gaming. France, Italy, and Spain were leading in adopting blockchain gaming. Over 30% of the web traffic in these countries was related to the metaverse.
The UK has embraced DeFi, which shows that the Central, Northern, and Western European region has been a major hub of cryptocurrency activities. Amid a rise in new technologies and use cases, it remains to be seen whether the region will still maintain its high level of adoption in the next annual review.
The Chainalysis adoption index showed that out of the top 20 ranking countries, only the United Kingdom and the United States were high-income countries. Ten of the countries were low-income, while eight were middle-income. This shows that crypto adoption was high in emerging markets.
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