The rise of crypto payments

The adoption of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin (BTC) has moved more and more into the mainstream. However, visa searches show that 2022 holds even more for the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies. No less than 25% of small businesses in 9 different countries want to start accepting crypto payments this year.

Industries that accept cryptocurrency payments via BitPay in 2020 and 2021

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Number of BitPay payments worldwide in 2020 and 2021, by industry

The industry that saw the biggest increase in the highest number of merchants accepting crypto payments includes the sale of prepaid cards and gift cards, reaching a total of 41.15% in March last year.

One of the main factors motivating businesses to embrace crypto is the ability to unlock new demographics. This study suggests that up to 40% of customers paying in crypto are new to the company, while their transaction sizes are more than twice as large as consumers using conventional payment methods. This makes sense, given that crypto acceptance is still relatively niche. The industry as a whole still has a cult core of users, who often tend to get very excited when it’s possible to use crypto for transactions.

Of course, some industries lead others. Unsurprisingly, gift cards top the charts, for the same reasons we just discussed – a crypto enthusiast presents themselves as the ideal recipient of a crypto gift card. It’s also logistically easy to set up, since gift cards are simply a form of credit to spend in as many places as possible. Other industries have higher barriers to entry; Financial services, for example, have significantly higher regulation in the space than industries, meaning adoption is slower and more cumbersome.

Crypto is at its core a new form of technology, residing virtually on the internet. Tech industries should therefore also finish on the top – VPN/hosting and internet companies come in second and third place among the most adopted industries above.

Types of Businesses Offering Cryptocurrency Payments in the UK in 2021

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Number of businesses in the UK with a cryptocurrency ATM or offering crypto as an in-store payment method as of March 9, 2021, by sector

Consumer electronics businesses in the UK are the type of business that accept payments using cryptocurrencies the most, with a total of 44 businesses across the country saying they can facilitate such transactions.

Companies that provide IT services follow closely, with currently 39 companies across the UK offering the option to pay using cryptocurrencies to their customers, adding to a total of almost 500 companies in the UK. nationwide that accept payments in the form of digital currencies at the time of writing. .

Both of these sectors are obviously quite tech-focused, which ties in with the previous section when we see that they top the crypto acceptance charts.

Number of businesses accepting cryptocurrency payments in 147 countries as of March 9, 2021

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Number of businesses with a cryptocurrency ATM or offering crypto as an in-store payment method as of March 9, 2021, by country

The United States has by far the highest number of businesses accepting crypto payment as of March 2021, with a total of 5,968 businesses able to facilitate these types of transactions for their customers.

Two European nations, Italy and Slovenia, rank second and third in terms of the number of merchants accepting crypto payments, with 1,366 and 1,133 businesses offering crypto payments since last year.

Slovenia is of particular interest, given its small population of only 2.1 million. A host of crypto businesses have started up in Slovenia, with easy-to-use crypto wallet apps being particularly prevalent and helping to drive adoption in the European country. There is even a shopping center and entertainment complex in Ljubljana called BTC City where all companies accept crypto.

Switzerland’s ranking is also quite high on a per capita basis, which will only be enhanced by the announcement recent news that the city of Lugano will accept Bitcoin, Tether and LVGA (a stablecoin launched by the city) as legal tender. The Swiss city aims to become the European capital of blockchain, with a fund of 100 million francs to support the crypto companies set up as part of the partnership with Tether.

Venezuela’s appearance is also particularly notable, given the country’s history of hyperinflation. The inflation-hedging narrative has gained prominence lately, with vulnerable currencies such as the Venezuelan bolivar providing yet another motive for citizens to seek other stores of value. Russia also stands out in the chart – while the data above is not recent enough to account for the recent invasion of Ukraine, Bitcoin has hit an all-time high against the Russian Ruble (which has fallen 20 % against the dollar) as Russian citizens increasingly turn to crypto to protect their wealth.

Cryptocurrency adoption in 55 different countries worldwide 2020

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Share of respondents to Statista’s Global Consumer Survey (GCS) who indicated that they owned or used cryptocurrencies in 55 countries around the world in 2020

According to a survey conducted by Statista in 2020, Nigeria is the country with the highest percentage of cryptocurrency users. 31.9% of respondents indicated that they owned and/or used cryptocurrencies.

The staggering usage in the African country is partly due to the pre-existing prevalence of mobile-based P2P payments, which means the leap to dive into crypto is much smaller than in other countries. Nigeria has also been plagued by inflation, further inciting citizens to explore virtual currencies. It can also be difficult to get US dollars into the country, which means crypto has provided an alternative route to send currency overseas. The same reasons apply to the next two countries on the list – both based in Southeast Asia – Vietnam and the Philippines.

With inflation, difficult international payments, and P2P payments all typical characteristics of Third World countries, it’s no surprise to see that the majority of top adopters in the chart above are non-Western.


  • BitPay Payments –

  • UK Companies Accepting Crypto Payments – Figures provided have been compiled by Statista using various sources.

  • Crypto Payments – Figures provided have been compiled by Statista using various sources.

  • State of Crypto – Survey by Statista / Statista Global Consumer Survey (GCS)

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The rise of crypto payments

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