For most people in Western countries crypto is still in a bear market throughout 2023. Bitcoin has struggled to break through $30k and Ethereum remains 60% off its late 2021 highs. However in many emerging markets due to inflation and continued country depreciation both major cryptocurrencies are at or near all-time-highs. As a result, an increasing number of individuals in these countries are turning to cryptocurrencies as a potential hedge against the eroding value of their national currencies.
For many early-adopters this proves out one of Bitcoin’s core advantages. It’s 21 million hard capped supply stands in stark contrast to the endless amounts of fiat currency that has been printed out thin air since the COVID pandemic.
Let’s explore 5 countries where Bitcoin and Ethereum are at or near their all-time-highs today.
In the early days of crypto, tales of Zimbabwe and hyperinflation were told to new adopters when speaking about Bitcoin ideals. A decade later multiple G20 countries find themselves near hyperinflation.
One of those countries is Turkey. A country known for its rich history and diverse culture, it has been facing a significant economic crisis in recent years. The Turkish lira has experienced severe devaluation, resulting in inflation and reduced purchasing power for its citizens. Over the past year Turkey’s inflation rate has been as high as 80% and currently sits around 50% annually. This has resulted in many Turks storing their wealth in USDT and Bitcoin, which has led to crypto in-person exchanges becoming popular on city streets.
Bitcoin is trading at all time highs in Turkey at time of writing.
Argentina has a long history of economic volatility, including hyperinflation and currency devaluation. The Argentine peso’s constant fluctuation has led citizens to seek stable assets that can retain their value over time. It’s common on city streets to be offered “Cambio” which means currency exchange. While most Argentinians are saving physical dollars, more are choosing stablecoins as a safer way to protect their savings from the effects of inflation.
At time of writing Bitcoin is trading at all time highs in Argentina.
Nigeria made headlines earlier this year when Bitcoin was trading at 60% premium due to currency controls put in by the government due to the declining value of the naira.
With citizens having limited access to traditional banking services and many have started to adopt cryptocurrency to protect their savings. As a young and tech-savvy country with a lot of diaspora in western countries such as the United States, many Nigerians also use USDT and Bitcoin for overseas remittances.
This has led to a surge in adoption of cryptocurrency and Bitcoin trading only 14% off all time highs at time of writing, compared to more than 50% in US dollars.
Lebanon’s ongoing economic crisis has made headlines over the past few years since the 2020 Beirut Explosion. The banking system has collapsed and the local Lebanese pound has gone into hyperinflation trading 98% below the 2019 value against the dollar.
As the economy continues move towards cash and dollarize, many are adopting USDT and Bitcoin to pay for remittances and to protect their savings from hyperinflation.
With cases of Lebanese having to hold up banks to get their own money out, many Lebanese understand the benefits of crypto and self-custody.
Bitcoin is trading at an all time high in Lebanon at time of writing
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, prices for fuel and grains went up globally. As a country heavily reliant on imports, Egypt has felt the brunt of the global increase in commodity prices. Dwindling foreign currency reserves have led to the depreciation of the Egyptian Pound and put the country on the verge of economic crisis and political unrest.
While not seen as a major crypto adopter, crypto transactions in Egypt grew 221% over the last year, the most in the MENA region.
Bitcoin is trading at nearly an all time high in Egypt at time of writing.
While people in Western countries endure another year in a bear market, crypto is fulfilling one of its original use cases in various countries globally as a means to preserve wealth and protect against inflation. Though these and other countries may experience hyperinflation in the future, it remains to be seen if crypto can be widely adopted as a means of payment along with being a store of value.