Saudi Arabia fastest growing crypto economy globally

06 Oct 2023

Saudi Arabia ranked as the country with the highest growth volume of cryptocurrency transactions globally over a 12-month period, as adoption of decentralized finance gains traction in various countries across the Middle East, according to an industry report released Tuesday, and reported by Al-Monitor.

Decentralized finance is an overlaying term for the digital ecosystem that allows people to buy, sell, send and receive digital assets such as cryptocurrencies without relying on traditional intermediaries like banks, but rather publicly accessible blockchains, to make transactions.

The kingdom led globally with a 12% increase in crypto transaction volume reaching nearly $31 billion from July 2022 through June 2023, compared to the same period in 2021-22. It was followed by Vietnam (11.6%), Nigeria (9%) and Spain (6.9%), reported New York-based blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis in its 2023 Geography of Cryptocurrency Report.

The annual report since 2019 identified the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as the sixth largest crypto economy globally valued at $390 billion from July 2022 through June 2023, far behind leading regions like North America ($1.22 trillion) and Western Europe ($1.07 trillion). Chainalysis gathered data for the report by monitoring decentralized finance wallet services that allow the exchange of cryptocurrencies along with purchasing third-party data to monitor web traffic.