Top 10 Most Popular Cryptocurrencies In Europe
What Is The Most Popular Cryptocurrency In Europe? Photo KnowInsiders

Europe is now the world's biggest cryptocurrency economy, with the continent receiving over €870 billion in crypto in the past year.

Countries in central, northern and western Europe (CNWE) accounted for 25 per cent of all global cryptocurrency activity, new analysis by blockchain data firm Chainalysis found.

The United Kingdom saw the largest volume of cryptocurrency trading in the CNWE region, at around €145 billion. The UK was followed by France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain.

At the same time as crypto transaction volumes in Europe began to increase in mid-2020, volumes in East Asia - the previous world cryptocurrency capital by transactions - entered a steep decline.

Three huge crypto trends to look out for in Europe in 2022

Brace for more institutions

In 2021, we saw the European Investment Bank (EIB), the lending arm of the European Union (EU), use Ethereum technology to issue €100 million ($121 million) in two-year digital notes for the first time. European and American banks served as joint managers for the notes, including Goldman Sachs, Banco Santander SA and Societe Generale AG, demonstrating that American and European banks are keen on entering into this new arm in finance.

In 2022, I expect even more European financial institutions and corporations to step into the crypto space. Just recently Adidas made a dive into crypto, establishing a partnership with Coinbase as well as with metaverse playground The Sandbox. Plenty of crypto and corporate partnerships like this will happen next year as the adoption of cryptocurrency across Europe accelerates.

This is only the beginning and there is much more that we can do in Europe. Corporates will use the metaverse to show off their products and services - powered by digital assets like Ethereum and Bitcoin.

European businesses of all sizes will begin to hold bitcoin as an inflation hedge on their balance sheets. Banks across Europe, once regulations are more clear next year, will surely step into the space, as their clients demand it more than ever.

There are countless ways that banks and corporations can get into the fast growing crypto space in Europe, and much of this will start unfolding in 2022.

Regulation will become clearer

Europe’s regulatory regime will become significantly more clearcut in 2022 by laying out clear rules and regulations for the industry to follow. And this could happen very soon, possibly early next year.

We have already seen that the EU proposed framework for regulating crypto is getting closer to ratification. On November 24th 2021, the European Council, which sets the EU’s political agenda, adopted its position on the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) framework, according to a statement on its website. This means that the Council and the European Parliament can start negotiations on the proposition before it becomes law. This agreement also created the Council’s negotiating mandate for talking about MiCA with the European Parliament.

The MiCA framework promises to make it easier for crypto firms to expand throughout the region by facilitating a passportable license. Although the COuncil said that the MiCA regulations do not apply to non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

But I am sure that we will see EU authorities step into that space after they finish laying the groundwork for the industry. This is all going in the right direction - the clearer the regulations, the better for the industry.

The era of CBDC

With many countries across the world looking into building out their own central bank digital currency (CBDC), 2022 could be the year where we see the Eurozone make significant headways in making this idea a reality.

In July this year, The Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) decided today to launch the investigation phase of a digital euro project.

According to the ECB statement, “The investigation phase will last 24 months and aim to address key issues regarding design and distribution. A digital euro must be able to meet the needs of Europeans while at the same time helping to prevent illicit activities and avoiding any undesirable impact on financial stability and monetary policy. This will not prejudge any future decision on the possible issuance of a digital euro, which will come only later. In any event, a digital euro would complement cash, not replace it.”

Bitcoin will hit $100,000 during 2022

Price predictions, especially as they connect to Bitcoin and other crypto assets, are notoriously difficult to get right, but it is always worth giving it a shot.

Targets in excess of $100,000 (€88,760) are relatively common in the current conversation, but are normally projected to be at least several years away.

Especially given the recent volatility in price such a target might seem like a bit of a reach, but the trend toward wider adoption and integration bolsters this prediction.

This past year was a dynamic and fast moving one for the blockchain and crypto asset sector, but that does not mean that the future will be any less creative and innovative.

Even though much ambiguity and uncertainty remains in terms of how individual and institutional adoption, the underlying trend is clear.

Blockchain and crypto assets – of all kinds and iterations – will continue to proliferate, become integrated within business operations, and mature as the calendar flips to 2022.

No matter what specific trend or application comes to the surface, the future of the space looks bright indeed.

Cryptocurrency's leading European countries

European countries that will be the leaders of the next cryptocurrency storm that is about to arrive in 2022.

• United Kingdom: The UK has been a firm supporter of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In fact, the UK government is looking for ways to further regulate the uses and practices of digital currencies in the country. Currently, the country stands at the 11th position in Europe’s most regulated cryptocurrency country and is also planning to conduct a meeting on this purpose with Japan, European Central Banks, and other financial institutions.

• Czech Republic: Bitcoin is a rising star in the Czech Republic. Bitcoin transactions have enormously increased in the country and are spreading to larger groups where people are starting to notice the potential of this new technology. Downloads of the free Bitcoin-QT have increased and are slowly passing the records of the US.

• Netherlands: The Netherlands is an open supporter of cryptocurrencies, and has been a hotspot for crypto lovers. It allows its businesses to conduct transactions using digital currencies to exchange cryptos for products and services. Currently, the government is experimenting with its options and studying more about the impacts and opportunities revolving around blockchain.

• Turkey: At the crossroads of Europe and Asia, this country is home to several successful crypto companies and businesses. These companies have started sponsoring national football clubs, while football clubs also offer blockchain-based fan tokens. Even, certain Turkish investors have gone on the record to state that Bitcoin is their primary option for investment.

READ MORE: Top 10 Most Popular CryptoCurrencies in the World

What should be considered when buying cryptocurrencies in Europe?

Top 10 Most Popular Cryptocurrencies In Europe
Photo Bitcoin

REPUTATION AND TRUST

Before you even think about transferring money from your EU bank account, you first need to explore the credentials of the cryptocurrency platform in question. In an ideal world, the platform will hold a regulatory license of some sort.

With that said, much of the industry still operates in an unregulated manner – not least because Bitcoin is not controlled or governed by any single person or entity. As such, you’ll need to look at other metrics to determine whether the platform can be trusted – such as general feedback in the online domain.

In this respect, a select number of cryptocurrency platforms in Europe have amassed an excellent reputation that spans several years of trading. This includes the likes of Kraken and Coinbase – both of which I will discuss in more detail later on.

TRADING FEES

Regardless of which cryptocurrency platform you decide to buy Bitcoin from, you will need to pay a fee to access the market. In most cases, this comes in the form of a trading ‘commission’. This is no different from buying and selling stocks with a traditional share dealing platform.

You will likely find that your chosen platform charges a variable fee. For example, if you buy €1,000 worth of Bitcoin and the platform charges 1%, then you will pay a commission of €10. Then, if you sell your Bitcoin holdings when it worth €2,000 – your 1% commission will amount to €20.

There are other fees that you also need to take into account. For example, some cryptocurrency platforms will charge you a fee when you deposit and/or withdraw funds. Coinbase, for example, will charge you 3.99% to deposit funds with a debit card.

Fortunately, transferring funds via SEPA will usually only cost you a few cents in fees. This payment method also permits larger purchases and is arguably much safer than using a debit card.

PAYMENTS AND ACCOUNT MINIMUMS

Leading on from the section above, you also need to ensure that your chosen cryptocurrency platform accepts your preferred payment method. As noted above, most Europeans will opt for a SEPA transfer as it is cost-effective, safe, and usually pretty fast to arrive.

Alternatively, you might want to consider a debit/credit card if you are after an instant deposit. Some platforms – such as eToro, also support e-wallets. This includes PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller. On top of payment method-specific fees, you should also check to see what the platform’s withdrawal policy is.

What is the most popular cryptocurrency in Europe?

Ethereum and wETH are the most popular cryptocurrency in almost every country, according to Chainalysis.

Ethereum was created in 2014 by Vitalik Buterin, a Russian-Canadian programmer, and Gavin Wood, an English computer scientist who later contributed to other cryptocurrency projects. The Ether currency is built on top of the Ethereum blockchain, which operates smart contracts.

Top 10 Most Popular Cryptocurrencies In Europe
Photo Forkast

Unlike Bitcoin, which investors primarily view as a store of value, Ether’s value derives from its enablement of smart contracts in decentralized applications. Most “DeFi” (decentralized finance) projects are built on Ethereum. Ether’s supply is unconstrained, meaning the total number of Ether minted is still undecided, but will be determined by Ethereum’s community members. The network is scheduled to transition from a proof-of-work mechanism to a proof-of-stake mechanism in the near future.

What are the advantages of buying into Ethereum?

According to eToro, Ethereum can be easily traded or exchanged for other cryptocurrencies.

In addition, the broker says the cryptocurrency can be used at a growing number of online and ‘bricks-and-mortar’ retailers. Transaction times are faster when compared to those for Bitcoin and it also provides access to a number of decentralised applications (dApps) enabling developers to create new online tools.

Progress in the retail payments sphere was emphasised in March 2021 when Christie’s became the first auction house of its kind to accept Ether as payment for a work of art by Beeple. Called ‘Everydays: The First 5000 Days’, the purchase price equated to a figure of $69.3million.

At the end of April 2021 and confirming the financial sector’s growing interest in the cryptocurrency sphere, the European Investment Bank issued its first ever €100 million two-year digital bond via the Ethereum blockchain.

Meanwhile, at the beginning of May, the S&P Dow Jones launched several cryptocurrency indexes, including one for Ethereum, aimed at measuring the performance of digital assets.

How do you buy Ethereum?

This can be done through a crypto exchange such as Coinbase or via online platforms such as Gemini , Kraken or eToro.

You create an account with the chosen provider confirming your place of residence and identity and then link to your bank account in order to buy the currency. Fees will vary from one provider to another and can depend on the amount you want to deposit, (eventually) withdraw and for the transactions you want to carry out.

Payment methods can include those via debit/credit cards to PayPal and wire transfers. New investors may need greater levels of customer assistance compared with seasoned traders.

Could Ethereum’s price rise even higher?

In the world of cryptocurrencies, few things can be taken for granted, and there are no racing certainties. And as we’ve reported above, there are plenty of senior figures in the financial community who hold deep reservations about the safety, perhaps even the viability, of the overall concept.

But Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of the deVere Group financial consultancy, recently suggested Ethereum’s price could soon exceed the $5,000 mark: “Ether is one of the main beneficiaries in the wider explosion in the cryptocurrency market. The boom over recent months has been fuelled by soaring interest from major institutional investors and growing recognition that borderless digital currencies are the future of money.

“Ether can be expected to significantly dent Bitcoin’s market dominance over the next year and beyond. Compared to its bigger rival, Ethereum is more scalable, offers more uses and solutions, such as smart contracts which are already used across many sectors, and is backed with superior blockchain technology,” he added.

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