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Japan Leads the Way With NFT Adoption

With NFTs booming in popularity over the past year, Bankless Times has conducted research into the NFT vs. Cryptocurrency trends and has found NFTs are now more popular than standard cryptocurrencies.

The research used Google Trends data to look at where the topic “non-fungible token” – which includes  – which includes variations in language/characters and different search terms related to the topic – was most popular.

Coming out on top was China – where Google is technically blocked. The next four spots in the top 10 were all in the Asia Pacific region, with high interest in Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Australia.

Khashayar Abbasi, Bankless Times contributor and founder of the analysis newsletter Crypto With Kash, commented: “Asian countries are typically more used to cashless and digitised systems than western ones, so this could be why their adoption of NFTs has been so widespread.”

“China’s Alibaba, one of the world’s largest companies, has launched its own NFT marketplace as well.

“Meanwhile the country recently banned cryptocurrency trading, which could see crypto-keen investors move over to NFTs.”

Will NFTs be more popular than cryptocurrencies?

The market for cryptocurrencies currently dwarfs that of NFTs. While they are intended to serve different purposes, one being a digital unit of currency and one being a digital asset, they also have much in common. They are blockchain-based, being used as an investment tool by many, and are both booming.

Bankless Times wanted to compare searches for ‘NFT’ with searches for ‘cryptocurrency’ to see how they have changed over the last year.

Japan, which has a notable NFT art market but also a highly advanced cryptocurrency market, had swung to the highest ratio of NFT searches over cryptocurrencies, as the newer market apparently surges in popularity.

Nigeria, meanwhile, had the highest ratio of cryptocurrency searches over NFTs. According to Statista figures, the country has one of the highest rates of cryptocurrency ownership in the world, but NFTs don’t appear to yet be catching up.

Digital currencies have surged in popularity in some developing countries where fiat currencies are weaker, and are sometimes used in places where overseas workers send remittances home.


  • Polly is a journalist, content creator and general opinion holder from North Wales. She has written for a number of publications, usually hovering around the topics of fintech, tech, lifestyle and body positivity.

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