According to the latest research by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), cryptocurrency users in Great Britain are growing in numbers and appear to be more confident in crypto as an alternative investment vehicle.
The survey, conducted in January 2021 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.
One notable finding is the changing behavior of users when it comes to reasons for buying crypto in the first place. 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.”
When it comes to the investment preferences, 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 note does, however, come with a bearish caveat.
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.
The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.