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Southeast Asia’s Crypto Interest Led by 2 Countries

4.3
| by
Lim Yu Qian
-

Which Southeast Asia Countries are Most Interested in Crypto?

Singapore and the Philippines are leading Southeast Asia’s interest in crypto this year. The two countries accounted for the majority of crypto interest in the region year to date (YTD), with Singapore holding a 43.5% share and Philippines holding 40.3%, on a per capita basis.

Singapore is considered a crypto hub not only in Southeast Asia, but also in the wider Asia region. The city-state was previously the third most crypto-curious country worldwide, and has been one of the top web3 gaming countries for three consecutive years.

The Philippines’ crypto interest is primarily driven by GameFi, and the country has similarly maintained its position as the top web3 gaming country from 2021 to 2023. Specifically, Philippines was at the forefront of the Axie Infinity mania, with homegrown gaming guilds and rags-to-riches success stories. Philippines was also among the top meme coin countries earlier this year, alongside Malaysia.

Southeast Asia Countries with Moderate Crypto Interest

Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia also contribute to crypto interest in Southeast Asia in 2023, albeit at more modest levels. These four countries represent in total 14.7% of regional crypto interest per capita, YTD. 

Notably, Malaysia has a disproportionate share of regional crypto interest, compared to its impact on the crypto industry. Two of the most commonly used crypto data tools, CoinGecko and Etherscan, are founded by Malaysia teams and headquartered in the country.

Like Singapore and the Philippines, Vietnam’s strong interest in GameFi has also placed it among the top web3 gaming countries for three years.

Aside from crypto interest levels, the top Thailand crypto exchanges generated $37.94 billion in trading volume last year, and the top Indonesia crypto exchanges $23.97 billion. In comparison, the top ten crypto exchanges globally recorded $2.11 trillion in trading volume in 2022.

Southeast Asia Countries with the Least Crypto Interest

Meanwhile, the smaller Southeast Asian economies only hold a combined 1.5% share of regional crypto interest per capita. This points to Cambodia, Myanmar, Brunei, Laos and Timor-Leste as untapped markets for the crypto industry. That said, the state of crypto adoption in these countries is unlikely to improve in the near term. Except for the wealthy nation of Brunei, the smaller Southeast Asian economies are considered lower-middle income countries.

Which Crypto are Southeast Asia Countries Watching in 2023?

Layer 1, GameFi, meme coins and DeFi-related crypto have emerged as the most popular crypto in Southeast Asia so far this year. These four narratives each represent 4 of the top 18 crypto in the region YTD (22.2% each). In particular, breakout meme coin Pepe (PEPE) featured among the top 3 crypto in three countries and bluechip Bitcoin (BTC) appeared in the top 3 for two countries.

As expected of the top web3 gaming country, the Philippines’ 3 most popular crypto are all GameFi even in 2023: Axie Infinity’s Smooth Love Potion (SLP) and Ronin (RON), even as hype over the game has slowed down elsewhere, as well as Wemix (WEMIX).

Besides Bitcoin, Malaysia investors are watching out for DeFi crypto Maple (MPL) and BoringDAO (BORING). Both Maple and BoringDAO are DeFi protocols, for uncollateralized lending and cross-chain services respectively. This suggests that despite crypto being a niche interest in Malaysia, the current community may be more crypto native than in neighboring countries.

On the other hand, 4 of the 6 Southeast Asian countries have a mix of narratives in their top crypto ranking.

In addition to the meme coins in all 4 country’s rankings: The most popular crypto in Singapore this year is The Graph (GRT), an infrastructure or analytics protocol which indexes and queries blockchain data. In Vietnam, interest in Aptos (APT) is still going strong, followed by privacy tool Bob (BOB). 

Whereas for Thailand, the top crypto are GameFi studio Gala Games’ Gala (GALA) and the tenth most popular layer 1, Canto (CANTO). Finally over in Indonesia, investors are monitoring the crypto AI project Not Financial Advice (NFAI), as well as decentralized exchange governance token AirSwap (AST).

Southeast Asia Top Crypto 2023

  • Singapore’s most popular crypto are The Graph (GRT), Bitcoin (BTC) and Pepe (PEPE).
  • The Philippines’ most popular crypto are Smooth Love Potion (SLP), Wemix (WEMIX), and Ronin (RON).
  • Malaysia’s most popular crypto are Bitcoin (BTC), Maple (MPL) and BoringDAO (BORING).
  • Thailand’s most popular crypto are Floki (FLOKI), Gala (GALA) and Canto (CANTO). 
  • Vietnam’s most popular crypto are Aptos (APT), Bob (BOB) and Pepe (PEPE).
  • Indonesia’s most popular crypto are Not Financial Advice (NFAI), AirSwap (AST) and Pepe (PEPE).

Southeast Asia Crypto Interest by Country 2023

Rank Country in Southeast Asia Crypto Interest Market Share
1 Singapore 43.46%
2 Philippines 40.31%
3 Malaysia 6.16%
4 Thailand 3.39%
5 Vietnam 3.11%
6 Indonesia 2.04%
7 Cambodia 0.70%
8 Myanmar 0.39%
9 Brunei 0.35%
10 Laos 0.08%
11 Timor-Leste 0.00%

Methodology

The study examined crypto interest by country in Southeast Asia, based on CoinGecko data for web page views from January 1 to July 2, 2023. Potentially inflated views were excluded to ensure representative data. The dataset was normalized using a per capita basis to take into account differences in population sizes.

This study is for illustrative and informational purposes only, and is not financial advice. Always do your own research and be careful when putting your money into any crypto or financial asset.


If you use these insights, we would appreciate a link credit to this article on CoinGecko. A link credit allows us to keep supplying you with data-led content that you may find useful.

Curious to find out more about our previous research studies? Check out this one we did on the countries most interested in AI crypto.

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Lim Yu Qian
Lim Yu Qian
Yuqian is a crypto research analyst at CoinGecko, covering a range of topics from NFTs to ETFs, crypto adoption and interest, and beyond. She's especially fascinated by the philosophical and socioeconomic aspects of crypto. She holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honors from the National University of Singapore. Follow the author on Twitter @solosbrqt

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