An ING bank survey has revealed attitudes to cryptocurrencies in the US, Europe, and Australia.
The survey included almost 15 000 people, with 1000-person sample size for each country except for Luxembourg with 500.
ING defined cryptocurrency as ‘a kind of digital currency not created or secured by the government but by a network of individuals.’
Last year’s mushrooming of the bitcoin price has meant that 2 in 3 Europeans and 55% of Americans have heard of it. But surprisingly the younger generation was not significantly more likely to have heard of bitcoin than older generations.
Awareness is highest in Poland and Austria with 78% and 79% respectively. In comparison, the UK is at 61%.
Only 1 in 10 people on average, though, actually own any cryptocurrencies. Luxembourg and Belgium score lowest here: 4% and 5% respectively. Interestingly, Turkey’s ownership stands at the highest by far at 18%. Though currently, the country suffers from a falling Lira and an unstable political situation.
The UK polls at below average with 6% ownership.
Only 25% of people in Europe expect to own any cryptocurrencies in the future with mobile bankers (31%), the Spanish (32%), the Romanians (38%) and the Turkish (45%) being high scorers.
The UK stands far below average at 15%.
Men are twice as likely to own cryptocurrencies (13%) than women (6%). Men also are more likely to have heard of cryptocurrencies, 77% compared to 55% women.
ING found that 35% of Europeans think Bitcoin is the future of spending online with a similar number (32%) saying cryptocurrencies are the future of investing.
These low results stem from the perception that cryptocurrencies are risky investments.
46% of Europeans say shares as less risky yet almost half of that saying that stocks are riskier.
70% and 65% think gold and real estate respectively are less risky investments than cryptocurrencies. An interesting result when you consider bitcoin’s digital gold narrative.
Of Europeans who know about cryptocurrencies, almost 50% do not wish to change the way they pay for goods. A minority (23%) want to use crypto to pay for a cup of coffee, and only 17% see bitcoin primarily as an investment.
However, mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies would likely see these numbers rapidly change.
Moreover, almost 30% of Europeans would never invest in cryptocurrencies, and they trust specialist websites (27%) or financial advisors (21%) more than input from friends or family (8%).
This could reflect a general feeling that cryptocurrencies are both tricky to understand and require specialist help.