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Statista Survey Shows China’s Crypto Users, Owners Declined in 2021

As Europe rejects a proposal that could have limited activities related to Proof of Works (PoW) crypto assets within its region, a move diametrically opposed to China’s, the findings of a Statista Global Consumer Survey show that the number of crypto users and owners in China reduced between 2019 and 2021. 

The survey was conducted in India, South Korea, the U.S., Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Spain and China among 2,000 to 7,000 18-64-year-olds between January and August 2019 and January to December 2021. The German market and consumer data provider suggests in the survey that China is the only country – of the eight surveyed – with a backward trend. Others like India, South Korea and the U.S. saw their numbers increase significantly. 

The survey’s finding somewhat resonates with a newly-released compilation of crypto users and owners worldwide. According to Triple A’s latest ranking, India has about 100 million crypto owners of the overall 300 million (based on an estimated global crypto ownership average rate of 3.9%) as of 2021. The Singaporean company that helps businesses increase their access to the cryptocurrency users community ranks the U.S, next with 27 million, Nigeria (13 million), Vietnam (5.9 million)and the United Kingdom (3.3 million) in terms of the number of crypto owners. South Korea is noted to have about 1.9 million crypto owners, Germany with 2.1 million, Spain (1.2 million), Mexico (3.1 million), and Brazil (10.4 million) while there is no published data for Chinese owners. 

EU rejects China’s version of PoW crypto mining ban

China has been the de facto leading nation for digital assets until 2021 when the Asian giant called for a ban of all related activities within its territory. As a result, the vast majority of crypto-related activities that include mining, Bitcoin network hash power contribution, trading and equipment manufacturing which were reportedly held in China ceased – or dropped drastically.

One of the reported reasons behind China’s exit from the cryptocurrency mining space is to reduce the carbon footprint left behind by the industry due to the PoW method being employed – though a new peer-reviewed study published in the energy research journal Joule says the CO2 emitted into the environment since China left is even worse. China set a target in 2020 to peak CO2 emissions by 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, a goal that was reportedly threatened crypto mining hence the ban as a policy intervention to prevent a rise in energy consumption and higher emission.

The EU chose not to follow in China’s step as it was earlier feared before a new regulation which could have seen crypto banned was put to a vote last week. Members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs voted against a draft rules version of the Markets in Crypto Assets bill (MiCA) with a PoW ban: 31 votes in favour to 4 and 23 abstentions.

The MiCA seeks to be a means to pave the way for a regulatory framework for crypto assets within Europe while still trying to allow innovation but the debate over the PoW ban was quite intense. French member of parliament, Pierre Person, sees the vote as a victory for Europe to remain in the global competition. It has since been reported that a key proponent of the PoW ban in the EU Parliament has published that greens were never out to ban crypto but wanted to set hard ecological criteria.

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