Asia, Africa see rise in share of crypto startups this year, says accelerator

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The share of cryptocurrency startups launching in Africa and Asia increased to their highest levels ever in the first half of 2024, snatching share from the United States and Canada amid recent regulatory uncertainty. 

According to a July 10 X article by blockchain startup accelerator and founder community Alliance, Europe overtook the US and Canada as the leading place for new cryptocurrency startups in H1, making up a 31.4% share, while Asia came third place with a 26.8% share.

Alliance DAO’s Qiao Wang and “Chloexyg” believe the trend could be due to regulatory uncertainties in the US and digital asset applications seeing more adoption in emerging markets.

Africa also saw its share rise to 5.2% — slightly below Latin America — while Oceania, comprising mostly Australia and New Zealand, saw only 1.8% of the total crypto startups in the first half of the year. 

Share of cryptocurrency startups by continent since 2021. Source: Alliance

Alliance said it compiled the data through the 3,000 annual applications it receives for its startup accelerator program.

“Because of the sheer sample size and the fact that we are relatively agnostic to these factors, we are able to derive unique insights into where the industry is heading.”

The same regulatory uncertainties cited by Alliance forced self-custody service providers Phoenix Wallet and Wasabi Wallet to recently exit the US market, while several other firms have expanded elsewhere too.

Many have blamed the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s regulation-by-enforcement approach.

Meanwhile, the number of startup founders coming from big tech firms has fallen more than 15 percentage points since 2021, Alliance’s data shows.

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There’s also been a similar fall in the number of founders that come from a top 100-ranked university.

Share of founders in cryptocurrency startups that graduated from a top 100-ranked university in 2021. Source: Alliance

About 39% of startups were launched by a solo founder, while 51% of startups comprised teams between 2-5 members.

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