El Salvador Holds Bitcoin, Not Salvadorans

While El Salvador is pioneering the legalization of Bitcoin, the country’s residents are less interested in the cryptocurrency. According to a Triple A report, around 109,175 people own Bitcoin in El Salvador. This represents 1.72% of the country’s estimated population of 6.36 million. Meanwhile, crypto adoption continues to grow worldwide, with 420 million holders.

Only 1.72% of Salvadorans own Bitcoin

El Salvador is undoubtedly the global pioneer in the State adoption of Bitcoin (BTC). After legalizing Bitcoin in September 2021, the country completely overhauled its regulatory framework and tax to stimulate fintech. The results were not long in coming. Sharp increase in tourism, payment of all debts, country’s treasury now in profit, …, El Salvador has a string of good news.

However, despite this State performance, Bitcoin doesn’t seem to interest citizens. According to a report by Triple A, in 2023, approximately 109,175 people own Bitcoin in El Salvador. In a country with a population of 6.36 million, Bitcoin (BTC) holders represent only 1.72% of the population. To this end, El Salvador ranks 55th on the global cryptocurrency adoption index.

Strong crypto adoption worldwide

Unlike El Salvador, several states are experiencing a slightly faster rate of crypto adoption. According to figures from Triple A, more than 420 million people use crypto worldwide, or 4.2% of the world’s population. This figure is up by almost 100 million on last year. Indeed, crypto holders were estimated by Triple A to 320 million in 2022. This is a considerable increase, even if the proportion of the world’s population is roughly the same.

Although crypto adoption is growing worldwide, some countries are performing better than others. In fact, just 6 countries alone account for almost 50% of the world’s crypto holders. These are :

  • India: 93 million.
  • USA: 49 million.
  • Vietnam: 21 million.
  • Pakistan: 16 million.
  • Philippines: 16 million.
  • Brazil: 14 million.

It’s worth noting, however, that in terms of adoption rates relative to the country’s population, it’s the United Arab Emirates that comes out on top. Indeed, 27.67% of the population of the United Arab Emirates, or almost 2.6 million people, own crypto. This Gulf country is followed by Vietnam, where the 21 million crypto holders represent 21.19% of the country’s population.

The popular adoption of Bitcoin in El Salvador stands in stark contrast to the progressive measures adopted by the country. This is probably linked to the fact that the legalization of Bitcoin was not preceded by any real popular education in crypto. It should also be noted that El Salvador has been the victim of a strong smear campaign following the adoption of Bitcoin, which was losing value. Understandably, Salvadorans were reluctant to invest in it.