The UK is leading the game when it comes to raw transaction volume in Central, Northern and Western Europe (CNWE), according to new data from Chainalysis.
The blockchain analytics firm’s new study focused on the CNWE region. The two chapters that were released on 18 October are a part of its broader 2023 Geography of Cryptocurrency report.
The newly launched study highlighted the UK’s rising prominence as a major cryptocurrency economy. It stood behind North America in being the second-largest crypto economy in the world over the past year.
Between July 2022 and June 2023, the region accounted for 17.6% of global transaction volume. During this period, it was also receiving an estimated $1trillion on-chain. Along with being the biggest crypto economy in CNWE, the country also ranked third in the world in terms of transaction volumes. Here, the United States and India secured the first and second place.
The UK received an estimated $252.1bn in cryptocurrency transactions in 2022, whereas others that followed in the list, like Germany and Spain, received around $120bn and $110bn, respectively.
The growing cryptocurrency interest in the UK has been quite evident ever since London was crowned the world’s most crypto-ready city for business, as per a report compiled by crypto tax platform Recap. In doing so, it beat leading metropolitan cities such as Dubai and New York.
This comes on the back of the country’s efforts at regulating the asset unlike the US, which stands in the grey area when it comes to crypto regulation. The UK lawmakers have steadily worked for legislation that could help support the adoption of cryptocurrencies. This includes the Financial Services and Markets Bill, which seeks to add a definition of crypto assets to the existing financial services legislation and provides a regulatory framework for stablecoins like Tether ($USDT).
On 8 October, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) enacted a new Financial Promotions (FinProm) Regime aimed at ensuring fair, clean and transparent crypto promotions. Various major cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance and OKX announced their willingness to comply with these new regulations.
On the other hand, a number of crypto firms have also been struggling to comply with these rules in the United Kingdom. As per official statements issued by the FCA, exchanges like KuCoin and HTX (formerly Huobi) stood at risk for promoting their services without permission. They were among the 143 new crypto exchanges that were added in the warning list, alerting customers of the non-authorised firms that they “should avoid”.
Recently, Chainalysis also released its Global Crypto Adoption Index, identifying the countries where the most people put the greatest share of their wealth into cryptocurrency. While India and Nigeria took the top two spots here, the UK stood at the 14th spot.
Another detailed report on Eastern Europe was released along with the CNWE report. The firm highlighted the region as the fourth-largest crypto market, receiving $445bn in crypto during the analysed period between July 2022 and June 2023. This accounted for 8.9% of the global transaction activity.
Last year, there was a spike in this region which was driven majorly by the Russia-Ukraine war. Hit with sanctions, there was a peak in Russia’s embrace of cryptocurrency, prompting questions of whether Russians were seeking to use cryptocurrency to evade sanctions.
Chainalysis also highlighted the fact of how 18.2% of all cryptocurrency received by Eastern Europe came from addresses associated with risky or illicit activity, more than any other region.