It seems that the good ol’ USA is the new center of the crypto-trading universe. According to a recent report from Estonian crypto research firm DataLight, most of the world’s cryptocurrency traders are located in the United States.
DataLight collected and analyzed data from the top 100 “most popular” cryptocurrency exchanges to find that 22 million monthly visits to these cryptocurrency exchanges were from US-based users, followed by Japan (6.14 million monthly visits) and South Korea (5.73 million monthly visits.)
The UK rang in at fourth place with 3.89 million monthly visits, a number that the report said was likely to grow.
The data also showed high numbers of users from countries whose fiat currencies are unstable, including Mexico, Ukraine, and Turkey. “Interestingly, on one day in August 2018, a 10% drop in the value of the Lira was accompanied by a marked spike in volumes on bitcoin exchange LocalBitcoins,” the report explains.
The Report Also Revealed Untapped Markets
DataLight’s report also revealed another interesting demographic: where cryptocurrency trading traffic is completely nonexistent. While most countries in the world saw at least some trading volume, Greenland, parts of Central Africa, and a couple of countries sprinkled throughout Asia saw no monthly visits to cryptocurrency exchanges at all.
At least one cryptocurrency exchange sees these untapped markets as an opportunity for growth: “efforts from Binance may introduce cryptocurrencies to the untapped countries in central and coastal Africa as they launched Binance Uganda in October 2018,” the report explained.
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Despite the apparent popularity of cryptocurrency trading within the United States, the country’s regulations around cryptocurrency are still unclear. However, the lack of clarity doesn’t seem to correlate with a lack of enforcement activity–last month, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a $35,000 fine to a peer-to-peer Bitcoin trader for failing to register as a money services business.
8/ Here, it looks like FinCEN wanted to settle two debates once and for all. It believes:
1) Mere two-party exchange is “money transmission”
2) Individuals can be money transmitters
(2) should be obvious. (1) is deeply problematic.
— Marco Santori (@msantoriESQ) April 19, 2019
In August, a LocalBitcoins trader was sentenced to 41 months in prison for money laundering after conducting in-person Bitcoin trades amounting to over $160,000.