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Bitcoin adoption: Nordic nations lead the way

As Bitcoin and other digital currencies to mainstream, watching its global adoption rates says a lot about culture and government of the varying nations.



Bitcoin’s global adoption rates

Bitcoin has been in the news a lot lately for a variety of reasons – crowdfunding sites have started accepting the digital currency from investors, and U.S. government officials have proposed regulations on the industry which has operated unregulated so far. But although Bitcoin has had increased popularity in recent years, research data from The Genesis Block shows that there are some disparities in the currency’s usage rates across countries.

As we start the month of June in 2013, there have been more than 200,000 Bitcoin downloads in the U.S. for the year, and close to 150,000 in China. Countries like Russia and France have substantially fewer downloads, with approximately 10,000-15,000 downloads for the year.

The Genesis Block also ran metrics on the number of downloads in comparison to population size in order to measure the digital currency’s penetration in a particular country. The countries with the highest Bitcoin penetration in relation to their population sizes were mostly Nordic, with Finland, Ireland and Sweden boasting near a 0.5 percent ratio of downloads in comparison to population size. The United States showed a ratio of 0.3 percent.

Nordic nations are very tech savvy

Nordic countries are known to be very technologically savvy and have a high amount of internet usage. Genesis Block numbers show that there is a high correlation between countries that have populations with internet access and the number of downloads per capita; this explains why countries in this region are the current leaders in Bitcoin adoption when analyzing by usage amongst population size.

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Government officials in the Nordic region also seem to have a more accepting mindset on Bitcoin usage in comparison to officials in other countries who believe it should be regulated. While Bart Chilton of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission recently proposed regulating Bitcoin, Päivi Heikkinen, Finland’s Head of the Division for Oversight of Financial Markets Infrastructure, doesn’t see a need for it, stating that “people can invest in and use any money they prefer.”

If Finland residents and those in surrounding companies embrace this acceptance of Bitcoin usage, these countries could see an increased number of downloads both in comparison to population size as well as total downloads over all.

Destiny Bennett is a journalist who has earned double communications' degrees in Journalism and Public Relations, as well as a certification in Business from The University of Texas at Austin. She has written stories for AustinWoman Magazine as well as various University of Texas publications and enjoys the art of telling a story. Her interests include finance, technology, social media...and watching HGTV religiously.

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