People from countries facing economic difficulties see crypto as an opportunity rather than a threat

The developer of the MetaMask wallet has conducted a comprehensive study on the awareness of cryptocurrencies among Internet users from fifteen countries around the world.

A crowd of happy people holding gold coins
Consensys reports high global awareness of cryptocurrencies and lack of knowledge about Web3

On June 27, ConsenSys, a blockchain development company behind the popular MetaMask crypto wallet, released the results of its new study, "The State of Web3 perception around the world." ConsenSys has found an improvement in the general attitude towards the decentralized Internet, however, it has also discovered "a significant gap between awareness of cryptocurrencies and a practical understanding and utilization of Web3 technologies."

The extensive survey conducted by the company included 15,158 respondents from fifteen countries with varying economic levels, including Nigeria, South Africa, Japan, India, Indonesia, South Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and the United States.

Despite the differences between countries, most respondents (92%) know about the existence of cryptocurrencies. Oddly enough, the largest number (17%) of respondents who said they had never heard of cryptocurrencies was discovered in Japan, which is known for its unprecedented technological development. But even there, the total number of respondents who know about cryptocurrencies (83%) is very high.

Read also: ConsenSys clarifies misinformation: MetaMask does not collect taxes from crypto users

Despite the high level of awareness of Web3, only a small proportion of the survey participants (8%) consider themselves very familiar with the concepts of blockchain technology. According to the ConsenSys report, "The proportion of respondents who affirm they understand what cryptocurrencies are is much higher in Nigeria (78%), South Korea (63%), South Africa (61%) Brazil (59%), and India (56%), while being much lower in Indonesia and Japan, with only one in three saying they know what crypto is."

Unfortunately, high awareness is not enough to put Web3 into practice as a solution to the burning issues surrounding identity, privacy, and digital property online and the industry requires more understanding from users for effective adoption.

Meanwhile, 50% of respondents believe blockchain technology can help improve the online experience. For 67% of respondents, this prospect is critical as they seek to claim their rights to the online content they create.

Study participants are even more concerned about protecting their data. The desire for more control over online identities was expressed by 79% of respondents, while 70% want companies that use their data to share their profits with the owners of the information.

ConsenSys sees an opportunity for Internet users "to adopt a 'builders' mindset where they leverage Web3 products to solve problems around ownership on the web, identity, privacy, and creator monetization."

Interestingly, residents of South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia proved to be the most open to blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in particular. "In these countries, associations with concepts like the future of money, digital ownership or alternatives to the traditional financial ecosystem are stronger," ConsenSys’ report states, emphasizing that "in countries like Argentina and Nigeria, where the local currency is unstable, crypto is seen as an important way to access global capital and protect against inflation."

At the same time, South Korea, Japan, and European countries are more concerned about the potential for decentralized digital assets to be misused for money laundering.

Read also: The Pew Research: almost half of Americans are disappointed with their crypto investments

Another unexpected ConsenSys' finding is the proportion of NFT owners among respondents from different countries. "Among respondents familiar with the concept of NFTs, 76% of respondents in the UK have never owned an NFT, compared to only 24% of respondents in Vietnam," the report claims.

One of the objectives of the research was to determine the impact of adverse events in the crypto community on trust in the technology and the associated industry. "Respondents in Germany, Vietnam, India, and South Africa are more likely to declare that bankruptcies of centralized cryptocurrency companies had no impact on their trust in the ecosystem," the survey has found.