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Crypto User Index Shows Low DeFi Interest in China 

While decentralized finance (DeFi) is most popular in Southeast Asia where more than 50% of users use their decentralized applications (dApps), crypto users from China are least likely to use DeFi applications, findings from Binance’s 2021 Global Crypto User Index suggest.

54% of the general population who identified as DeFi users are from Southeast Asia, the region where more crypto natives – power users with a good understanding of Bitcoin – tend to be based. On the other hand, only 7% of DeFI users is from China, the report which seeks to help create a better understanding of the dominant crypto user profiles and their corresponding preferences shows. 

A view held earlier is that China is becoming a considerable power in DeFi. It follows, among several others, a suggestion that searches for DeFi on WeChat doubled between July and October according to the WeChat Index, and has even seen wider adoption as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak’s impact on the financial system. 

Also, a Chinese market development specialist Hugo Xia, pointed out that DeFi started growing in China around Q2 2020 after he identified that strict regulations in the crypto sector of Japan, South Korea, the US and certain European countries forced some DeFi projects to flood into China. 

Yet, findings from the new Binance Index somewhat contradict this view even though it notes that crypto usage has been driven globally of late by DeFi dApps picking up and that DeFi dApp users make up about two-third of dApp users (or 33%). 

“The prominence of DeFi dApps is further corroborated by on-chain data, showing that over 95% of all traffic is generated by DeFi apps,” the Index states, referencing DeFi users reaching about a million as at December 2020 and a total value locked of ~$16 billion as against $697 million as at the end of 2019. 

Meanwhile, aside from DeFi, debt financing of cryptocurrencies is identified in the report as most common in China with 23% of the general population financing their cryptocurrency purchases with borrowed capital.

The Binance Index grouped the over 61,000 crypto users surveyed for the report across 178 countries and regions into 20 markets. The stated goal of the survey which ran from 15 September to 25 October 2020 is to understand the similarities and differences between retail crypto users across different profile types in addition to countries and markets.

On a general note, the Index which seeks to investigate the motivations, behaviors and preferences of the crypto space’s growing audiences from a global scope finds that a concentration of wealth in crypto is typical for crypto users as 57% of the general population have more than half of their invested wealth in cryptocurrencies.

It adds that the concentration is also usually part of a long-term savings plan particularly as the concentration of wealth in crypto coincides with a strong wish for financial independence – 55% of the general population own crypto as part of their long-term savings plan.

Crypto confidence is also high with users across the board having no regrets about their investments except for 3% of the general population which regret buying cryptocurrencies and 11% that uses most of their cryptocurrencies for payments or value transfers (e.g., remittances).


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