China Climbs To Top Spot In Monthly Bitcoin Downloads, Second Overall

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Last month we showed the initial impact after Chinese state-run broadcaster CCTV ran a piece about bitcoin.  The Chinese presence in bitcoin has continued to accelerate since then, even as the rest of the world tempered its rate of adoption.

In May, China surpassed the previously-dominant US in number of monthly bitcoin downloads, with 85K compared to 64K in the US. Not only did China climb it’s way to the top spot for the first time, but it was also the only country out of the top 10 highest all-time downloading nations to increase the number of monthly downloads in May.

April to May Change 2

Countries listed in order of all-time downloads.

For further context, the graph below shows US and China download trends in 2013. You’ll notice that China’s downloads have so significantly increased recently that they comprised nearly 30% of global downloads in May and have almost doubled their representation in share of all-time global downloads from 5% to 9% since January. China now holds the #2 spot for most downloads of all time.

Download Trends 2

The trend of increasing Chinese adoption is supported elsewhere in the scope of bitcoin as well. China now holds 23% of active global nodes, surpassing the US’ 20%. Chinese trading activity has grown as well, with May CNY/BTC trading volume more than quintuple that of January, and CNY’s share of total BTC market volume climbing from 1.7% to 5.8% over the same time period.

CNY Trading 2

CNY’s share of bitcoin trading volume has grown 3.5x since January

Not to be overlooked is the outsized growth potential still remaining in China. When comparing total bitcoin downloads to total internet population, we found that there were 85% less downloads per internet-ready citizen in China than average across the other 9 countries on the list of top all time downloads.

Population Penetration

China has the lowest number of bitcoin client downloads relative to population with internet access of any of the top all-time bitcoin downloading countries.

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