Thanks to the likes of MicroStrategy, PayPal, and yes, Elon Musk, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have increasingly become an important part of the mainstream financial market. However, acceptance and recognition don’t always mean adoption, with the same evident when adoption stats from around the world are looked into.
The United Kingdom is a case in point, with a recent survey by Finder highlighting the gap that exists between people who know about cryptocurrencies and people who actually own and use cryptocurrencies. However, it also underlined the fact that this gap is being bridged with every passing year.
The survey found that at least 19% of all Brits have invested in cryptocurrencies at some point. In fact, Finder found that there has been a 558% hike in the number of people owning cryptocurrencies in the U.K since 2018. That’s a staggering rate of growth, especially since for most of the intervening period, Bitcoin and the rest of the cryptocurrency sector was in a bearish market.
In fact, while there was a brief period of bullish respite in 2019, it wasn’t until mid-2020 that the bull market finally took flight, with a flurry of institutional investments coming in to underline confidence in the digital asset.
Of the people who responded in the affirmative, a significant percentage (25%) were found to have invested in cryptocurrencies for the very first time in 2020. What’s more, 11% of these first-time investors already intend to buy some more cryptocurrency in the future.
It must be noted, however, while the rate of growth is staggering, a significant chunk of the populace still refuses to invest in cryptocurrencies. “No interest” and “Too risky,” a combined 72% of the market’s investors said, with the survey’s findings highlighting, again, how far away cryptocurrencies are from achieving mainstream status.
Finder’s findings are in line with the observations made by money app Ziglu in its own survey a few weeks back. The latter found that 62% of its respondents wouldn’t buy any cryptocurrencies, with the same citing a lack of market understanding. However, the silver lining was that 36% of these respondents would consider investing if financial institutions began to offer crypto to retail customers.
It is worth noting, however, that cryptocurrencies, as an asset class, are yet to fully emerge out of the shadows as a legitimate investment with long-term holding potential. This was evidenced by the fact that 19% of the respondents said that making a quick buck was what motivated them to invest in cryptos. With Bitcoin continuing to surge on the price charts, this percentage is likely to shoot up.
Finally, the demographics associated with crypto-investment in the U.K are also interesting. According to the survey, 37% of all investors are in the age group of 18-35 years. In fact, Finder projected that 6 out of 10 people in the 18-24 years age group (A demographic the survey identified as ‘Generation Bitcoin’) would own cryptos in the future.
This, again, is an observation that could have significant implications for the market going forward, especially since many have predicted that the future will see the greatest wealth transfer in history, a wealth transfer that will see wealth move into the hands of a demographic that trusts crypto over mainstream financial institutions.
“When it comes down to this “Great Wealth Transfer” of Boomers to Millennials, we know one thing for sure, Bitcoin is positioned as a vehicle for the storage of newly acquired wealth. Millennials have demonstrated a strong trend of embracing the digital age with open arms while at the same time turning their backs towards the traditional financial system.”