Crypto News

South Africa’s Crypto Boom: Top 10 Global Ranking Revealed – See How It Compares

Published by
WIlliam Dube

A recent global study by CoinJournal has placed South Africa among the top ten cryptocurrency countries in the world, ranking at the 10th position. The study assessed countries based on multiple factors such as the number of crypto startups, investment companies dealing with cryptocurrencies, estimated realized gains, and the number of cryptocurrency owners, drawing from the latest data available as of November 2022.

  1. South Africa has been ranked 10th among the world’s most successful cryptocurrency countries, according to a study by CoinJournal, which assessed factors such as the number of crypto startups, investment companies, realized gains, and crypto owners.
  2. A survey by global exchange platform TripleA found that cryptocurrency awareness and ownership in South Africa have increased significantly, with 86% of adults having heard of cryptocurrencies and 52% of respondents already using cryptocurrencies for purchases.
  3. Despite the optimistic attitude towards cryptocurrencies in South Africa, the TripleA survey identified a lack of knowledge as the primary barrier to mass adoption, with 68% of respondents citing insufficient understanding as their reason for not investing heavily in cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrencies have experienced tremendous growth over the past decade, evolving from a rudimentary form of electronic cash to a regulated global currency. South Africa has also witnessed this expansion, as evidenced by the country’s crypto regulations implemented on December 19, 2022.

A survey conducted by global exchange platform TripleA revealed a significant increase in cryptocurrency awareness in South Africa. The percentage of adults who have heard of cryptocurrencies has grown from 66% in 2021 to 86% by 2022. The majority of South African cryptocurrency owners fall within the 18-44 age bracket (83%), with only 7% aged 55 and above. This data suggests that South African millennials are primarily driving cryptocurrency ownership.

Among South African crypto owners, the survey showed that 46% possess more than R10,000 in cryptocurrency assets, and 12% hold over R100,000. Bitcoin remains the most popular cryptocurrency among South Africans (79%), followed by Ethereum (45.28%) and Ripple (28.30%), according to TripleA. Moreover, 52% of South African respondents indicated they already use cryptocurrencies for purchases, emphasizing the increasing mainstream adoption of digital currencies as a payment method.

While South Africans display a highly optimistic attitude toward cryptocurrencies, the TripleA survey identified a lack of knowledge as the primary barrier to mass adoption. A total of 68% of respondents cited insufficient understanding as the reason they have not heavily invested in cryptocurrencies.

CoinJournal’s study ranked countries on a scale of one to ten based on the aforementioned factors. As expected, the United States emerged as the number one cryptocurrency nation with a perfect score of 10. The US excelled in almost all criteria, boasting 1,992 cryptocurrency startups, an estimated $46.9 billion in realized crypto gains, and over 4,600 investment companies involved in the crypto sector. Furthermore, an estimated 46 million Americans own cryptocurrencies, accounting for 13.74% of the population.

The United Kingdom secured the second position among the most successful cryptocurrency countries with a score of 9.21. The UK is currently home to 886 active crypto startups and has realized $8.16 billion in cryptocurrency gains, placing it second only to the US. The nation also hosts 617 cryptocurrency companies and continues to develop its crypto sector, with numerous startups launching in London.

Germany clinched the third spot on the list with a score of 8.6 out of ten. Although the country still has room for improvement regarding crypto startups, CoinJournal emphasized the crucial role startups play in developing new technologies. Recent research also suggested that Germany must foster a competitive environment for blockchain startups to thrive. Presently, Germany has 404 crypto startups and 148 crypto companies, with $5 billion in realized cryptocurrency gains, lagging significantly behind the US and the UK.

France, Vietnam, Australia, Canada, South Korea, and Japan followed in the rankings, with South Africa rounding out the top ten. CoinJournal awarded South Africa a score of 7.26, citing 67 crypto startups and 59 investment companies currently trading cryptocurrencies in the nation. Despite ranking last overall, South Africa ranked 5th in terms of the most crypto owners by country, with 7.7 million crypto owners representing 12.45% of the population.

In light of the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies in South Africa, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana amended the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA) annexure, designating crypto asset service providers as “accountable institutions.” This amendment took effect on December 19, 2022, as reported by MyBroadband.

As accountable institutions, these service providers must comply with FICA regulations, which are similar to the “know your customer” (KYC) requirements enforced in other countries. MyBroadband stated that basic FICA/KYC provisions require accountable institutions to collect and verify customer identity documents and proof of address, such as a utility bill.

In addition to these identification measures, South Africa’s FICA legislation also includes monitoring provisions designed to prevent and prosecute criminal activities, as noted by MyBroadband. Implementing such controls is essential for nations, as South Africa experienced in the third quarter of 2022 when the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) warned that the country could be greylisted due to weaknesses in its systems.

The tables provided by CoinJournal illustrate the top ten most successful crypto countries worldwide and the top ten countries with the most crypto owners. South Africa’s inclusion in these rankings demonstrates its growing prominence in the global cryptocurrency landscape, signaling a bright future for the nation’s crypto sector. As awareness and adoption of cryptocurrencies continue to rise, South Africa is poised to maintain its position as a leading player in the rapidly expanding world of digital currencies.

WIlliam Dube

William Dube is a finance and economic news expert with over 10 years of experience in economic anaylsis, financial product assessment and market analysis. With a numerous certificates from prestigious universities including but not limited to Yale University and the University of Pennyslivenia. William specializes in providing insightful news developments in South Africa and commentary on investment strategies, risk management, and global economic trends. You can contact him on

Published by
WIlliam Dube

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