A large chunk of Southeast Asians is aware of bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies. Nearly two-thirds of consumers in the entire region are interested in paying with crypto for purchases, with Indonesia, Vietnam, the Phillippines, and Thailand leading the region in the crypto payments trend, according to a research report released by Visa on July 5, 2022.
Digital Payments Gaining Traction in Southeast Asia
In its annual Consumer Payment Attitudes Study, Visa researchers found that digital payment methods usage has accelerated in the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and preference for cashless payments continues to grow among businesses and consumers.
Per the report, more than half of the entire Southeast Asian consumer population, including Indonesia (68 percent), the Phillippines ($66 percent), and Malaysia (60 percent )have transitioned to cashless payment options since the start of the pandemic.
Of the plethora of cashless payment methods available to consumers, a good number of Southeast Asia residents say they are interested in using cryptocurrency for payments at supported merchants.
“Nearly two-thirds of Southeast Asian consumers (64 percent) have also indicated an interest in using cryptocurrencies for payments. Indonesia, Vietnam, the Phillippines, and Thailand lead the region in this trend. Interested consumers are lured by the convenience of use (53 percent), the novelty of this new payment mehod (53 percent), as well as potential incentives and rewards,” the report reads.
Rising Interest in Crypto
In the same vein, the survey found that nearly three respondents out of every five Southeast Asian consumers (59 percent) are open to using their credit or debit cards to make crypto-related purchases, with 64 percent of respondents saying they are interested in receiving their credit or debit card rewards in the form of cryptocurrencies, as they view crypto as real assets.
The researchers also noted that a vast majority of respondents that indicated an interest in crypto investments are from Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Thailand.
Notably, the study also found that a vast majority of Southeast Asians (92 percent) are aware of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
However, less than one in four Southeast Asian consumers (22 percent) have invested in crypto, with more than half (54 percent) of those who haven’t invested in crypto making it clear that they plan to do so in the future. Most of the consumers interested in crypto are from the Philippines (70 percent), Thailand (69 percent), and Vietnam (69 percent).
Despite the super volatile nature of blockchain-based digital currencies, the popularity of these nascent cryptoassets has continued to increase globally, as evidenced by a recent survey of 9,500 respondents across various continents.
Even at that, the current crypto markets outlook remains quite gloomy, as the continued crash in the price of bitcoin (BTC) and altcoins, which has wiped out over $2 trillion from the total market capitalization of the cryptocurrency market in 2022, has forced many large businesses to close shop and no one can say for sure when the bulls will return.
Earlier today, reports emerged that high-ranking officials at China’s Blockchain Services Network (BSN), a state-run distributed ledger technology (DLT) project, have labeled bitcoin and altcoins as the “biggest Ponzi scheme in human history.”
At press time, the price of bitcoin (BTC) is hovering around $19,755, according to CoinMarketCap.