One of the biggest questions that is occupying the Internet is “Is Bitcoin Legal”. Just to emphasis how big it is, it’s the first thing Google autocompletes when you search for Bitcoin queries.
The unclear answer to this question has brought up a different websites such as Wikipedia and BitLegal (a new independent project) to try and find how countries actually feel about Bitcoin. But while countries take a long time to act because of bureaucracy several major online brands have already adopted Bitcoin as a legitimate currency. So today I would like to show you how Bitcoin adoption would look worldwide if these online brands were actual countries. What I did was find out the total number of users / customers each website has and compared it to the population of different countries. Here are the results.
#8 – The Isle of Man / NameCheap
One of the first online retailers to accept Bitcoin was the domain register NameCheap. With around 80,000 active monthly visitors NameCheap is the equivalent in size to The Isle of Man.
#7 – Jamaica / The Internet Archive
The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format.
The site actually offers a cool service that allows you to see how different websites looked in different time periods. It accepts donations in Bitcoins, and with over 2.7M monthly users it’s the equivalent of the population of Jamaica.
#6 – Finland / Virgin Galactic
On November 26th 2013 Virgin Galactic announced that it will be accepting Bitcoins for private space flights. Since Virgin is a huge company, I decided to use its airline user base. Virgin’s 5.5M customers are equal to the whole population of Finland. Coincidently Finland is also the #6 country to be searching for “Bitcoin” according to Google Trends.
#5 – Ecuador / OK Cupid
Ranked among the 4 biggest dating sites in the US, OK Cupid started accepting Bitcoins on April 2013. It currently has 15M active users which is around the number of people that inhabit Ecuador.
#4 – Netherlands / Overstock
Just as 2014 started Overstock decided to partner with Coinbase and accept Bitcoins. In less than 24 hours it made $124K through 780 transactions with Bitcoins. Overstock is a HUGE online retailer with over 16M visitors each month, making it the size of the Netherlands.
#3 – Turkey / WordPress.com
As an act of democracy, WordPress.com started accepting Bitcoins on November 2012 for it’s services. WordPress.com currently hosts over 74.2M blogs worldwide. This creates an enormous amount of traffic which is really hard to measure. So in this case we will consider each blog as 1 person, which makes WordPress.com the size of Turkey.
#2 – Germany / Reddit
Reddit allows you to upgrade your subscription to Reddit Gold in order to get some premium features. On February 2013 it announced that it will allow you to pay for this feature with Bitocins. Reddit is the #74 site on the whole world wide web with monthly 81.4M monthly unique visitors. That’s the size of Germany…
#1 – Brazil / Zynga
The announcement from Zynga earlier this year that it would start accepting Bitcoins for some its online games drove the Bitcoin price over $1000. Zynga’s 232M customers make it probably the largest Internet merchant to accept Bitcoins. If Zynga’s customers were to form a country, it would be the size of Brazil.
So although it might be taking the actual countries some more time to adopt Bitcoin, the Internet giants are definitely not waiting for anyone’s approval. And if you want to see how the actual adoption of worldwide sellers looks like, you can use this amazing Github project that shows Bitcoin merchants worldwide. And in the meantime, just imagine how the world will react if Brazil, Germany, Turkey and the rest suddenly announced that Bitcoin is an actual currency…
Great write up! Especially the country comparisons.