Afghanistan still mostly operates as a cash economy, so money in Hotak’s crypto wallet won’t help him put dinner on his table tonight, but it does give him peace of mind that some of his wealth is safeguarded against economic instability at home.
Google trends data shows that web searches in Afghanistan for “Bitcoin” and “Crypto” rose sharply in July just before the coup in Kabul.
It’s hard to get insight into crypto adoption in Afghanistan.
Unlike many crypto boosters – who tend to be vocal and community-driven – digital currency supporters inside Afghanistan often don’t want others to know they exist.
“The crypto community in Afghanistan is very small,” said Hotak.
New research from blockchain data firm Chainalysis is offering fresh optics on the country’s apparently burgeoning peer-to-peer crypto network, which is increasingly the most telling metric of adoption in Afghanistan.
Chainalysis’ 2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index gives Afghanistan a rank of 20 out of the 154 countries it evaluated in terms of overall crypto adoption.