A new poll published on news medium The Block has revealed just how big the U.S. is for the crypto sector, with Americans responsible for over 20 percent of the world’s global traffic on crypto exchanges.

The survey was reportedly carried out by Larry Cermak, an analyst for the news outlet. Cermak was reported to have analyzed data from the most popular trading exchanges from November 2018 to April 2019.

In the process, he discovered that the U.S. provides the highest level of traffic to exchanges, amounting for about 24.5 percent of the total exchange traffic.

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Japan came in second with about 10.5 percent; less than half of what the United States pulls. The top five was rounded up by South Korea, Indonesia, and India, with the countries accounting for about 6.5 percent, 4.5 percent, and 4.3 percent respectively.

Cermak also noted that the information wasn’t particularly accurate, as IP address spoofing and country impersonations are quite popular in the sector. According to the analyst, there is always a possibility of certain people masking their IP addresses with the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and anonymity-enabled browsers such as the Tor browser.

Tough Laws fueling Crypto Interest?

Cermak’s observation is definitely not wrong. Take South Korea, India, and China for instance. The three countries rank 3rd, 5th, and 6th respectively, which is quite ironic as these countries have taken a stern approach against cryptocurrencies in their respective countries.

Could the tough laws enacted in these countries be the reason why crypto has a greater pull on their citizens? There have been multiple reports of Chinese users using VPNs to bypass their country’s firewall when trading cryptocurrencies.

In the case of South Korea, the country banned the issuance of Initial Coin Offering (ICOs) in 2017, with the Financial Services Commission (FSC), its financial regulator, calling them a gamble and an unlawful act.

While there was some hope that the country would have a change of heart, the FSC published a press release earlier this year, asserting that its ICO ban would stand. In the press release, the regulator cited a survey in which is discovered that various firms were utilizing foreign jurisdictions and were still raising money via ICOs conducted in the country.

In India, things have been a bit murky. The country has had to swing between legitimacy and an outright crypto ban for years now, with multiple reports confirming either side of the spectrum. The government set up an inter-disciplinary committee to figure out the crypto issue back in 2017, and by October 2018, the government’s Press Information Bureau published a press release claiming that the government was considering an outright ban.

In another twist, the New India Times reported two months later that this wasn’t the case. Per the report, while the country wasn’t looking to impose a ban, there would be some tough regulations for crypto countries operating within India nonetheless. Back in April, reports of an outright ban surfaced again. Citing anonymous government officials, The Economic Times reported that a number of government departments had already given consent for a complete crypto issuance and trading ban.

China has a similar story to South Korea. The country banned crypto exchanges and ICOs as far back as September 2017.

While Forbes reported that the ban could end after the 19th Communist Party elections in 2017, but things haven’t fared much since then. Chinese investors have also found VPNs and Tether to be useful allies for trading cryptocurrencies.


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Posted by Jimmy Aki

Based in the UK, Jimmy has been following the development of blockchain for several years, and he is optimistic about its potential to democratize the financial system. Follow him on Twitter: @adejimi


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