NFT have become the biggest crypto on-ramp for countries in Central and South Asia, as well as Oceania, according to a report from Chainalysis on Wednesday.
The blockchain analytics firm noted that in the second quarter of 2022, 58% of web traffic from these countries to crypto services was related to NFT.
NFTs are unique and blockchain-based tokens that are used to represent ownership of other digital or physical items. These tokens are frequently traded as speculative collectibles, but may also offer additional features and benefits to their holders.
The NFT market exploded in the past two years. Sales of these digital assets reached $23 billion in 2021 and are on track to beat this record this year, although the The NFT market has cooled in the second half of 2022. NFT collectibles like CryptoPunks and Bored Apes have helped bring digital collectibles into the mainstream — and, according to Chainalysis, the NFT boom has had a particularly big impact on broadening the adoption of cryptography in Central and South Asia.
The analytics firm noted that another 21% of traffic to crypto services is related to play to win blockchain games, which reward players with cryptocurrencies and often incorporate NFTs into their gameplay. Chainalysis suspects the correlation is probably no coincidence.
“For countries with high web traffic to NFT markets, particularly Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines, much of this NFT-related traffic may therefore come from blockchain game players,” the report said.
Blockchain games like Axie Infinity were particularly popular in the Philippines, although these games experienced a considerable drop in the number of users in recent months as crypto prices crashed. In terms of crypto adoption in the region, the Philippines is second only to Vietnam.
Overall, Chainalysis found that citizens in the region received a total of $932 billion in cryptocurrency value from July 2021 to June 2022. This makes it the third largest crypto market the company has indexed.
Apart from NFTs and play-to-earn games, cryptocurrency is also growing in popularity as a fund transfer tool in these regions, according to the company. “Pakistan, India and Bangladesh each have remittance markets of over $20 billion, and blockchain-based payment providers are beginning to disrupt traditional intermediaries.” note the report.
In line with the popularity of remittance payments and NFTs, the two most actively traded crypto assets in these countries are stablecoins, Ethereum, and Wrapped Ethereum.
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