UK Regulator reports uptrend in crypto interest amongst investors

06/21/2021

A survey, conducted recently by the Financial Conduct Authority among 2,568 respondents nationwide, has shown that:

  • 78% of the adult population in the UK has heard of crypto–a significant increase from 43% in 2019 and up a further 5% in 2020.

  • The number of users that own crypto is also on the rise as 5.7% of respondents, compared to 5.4% last year, said that they hold or have held digital currencies.

  • Based on these numbers, the researchers estimate that as many as 2.3 million people in the UK currently own crypto, up from approximately 1.9 million in 2020.

  • A typical British crypto holder profile is broadly unchanged from 2020–mostly male (78%), with 70% aged over 35.

  • Two-thirds of the respondents (66%) said that they own Bitcoin, up 3% on the previous year, followed by Ethereum (35%), Litecoin (21%), XRP (18%), and Bitcoin Cash (15%).

The Investment Sentiment

More than a third of respondents still see cryptocurrencies “as a gamble to make or lose money,” however, this number is down 9% compared to 2020.

As users’ median holdings have risen–up from £260 ($362) to £300 ($418)–the survey’s authors believe that this might be a sign of increased confidence in cryptocurrencies on the back of the impressive market performance over the past year.

Alongside the diminishing perception of cryptocurrencies as a “gamble,” 30% of respondents said that digital assets are a part of a wider investment portfolio–up 5% compared to the last year.

The research also suggests that there’s growing acceptance of crypto as more users–up from 26% to 32%–agreed that “cryptocurrencies and other alternative investments are better than investments provided in the mainstream financial sector.”

A word of Caution

The survey’s results point to a declining level of general understanding of cryptocurrencies. For example, only 71% of respondents who had heard of crypto correctly identified its definition from a list of statements.

This may suggest that some respondents don’t fully understand what they’re investing in.

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