Europe is now the leading cryptocurrency region, making up 25% of the global transaction volume, according to Chainalysis.
The region of Central, Northern, & Western Europe (CNWE) received over $1 trillion in cryptocurrency in the last year, overtaking East Asia, where China continues to clamp down on crypto activity.
North America follows closely behind CNWE, making up 20% of the transaction volume.
DeFi Staking Attracts Large Institutional Investors
One driver of CNWE growth came from increased large institutional activity. Chainalysis reported these large institutions handled over 50% of all CNWE activity by June 2021.
Decentralised Finance (DeFi) made up 85% of this large institutional activity, signalling further mainstream adoption of these blockchain protocols.
Much of this DeFi activity, Chainalysis states, comes from investors staking their assets to DeFi protocols for liquidity.
ETH and wETH (wrapped ETH) made up over 60% of these large institutional transactions between July 2020 and June 2021.
The United Kingdom led the way in cryptocurrency value received, responsible for $170 billion of the cryptocurrency activity.
As the CNWE market share has increased across the past 12 months, the East Asia region has seen a dramatic drop in its portion of crypto transaction volume.
In January 2020, it made up nearly 35% of the transaction volume. By July 2020, this was at under 20%, with the share dropping further by June 2021.
China, which is among the largest cryptocurrency markets in the world, has implemented various cryptocurrency restrictions in recent years. This includes crackdowns on crypto mining and, more recently, a complete ban on cryptocurrency transactions.