A global survey by consumer insights provider Toluna that interviewed 9,000 people between the ages of 18 and 64 years from 4 regions and 17 countries to understand consumer perceptions around cryptocurrency. Survey respondents came from North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), and Asia-Pacific (APAC), in the countries of Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Philippines, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, US, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, UAE and Brazil.
- 61% of respondents were aware of cryptocurrency, but responses show that most do not yet fully understood the asset class.
- 45% believed cryptocurrency is an ongoing project with no guarantee of success.
- One in ten have no intention to invest in cryptocurrency.
- Those who live in developing APAC countries were most familiar with cryptocurrency and reported that they planned to set aside 22% of their investible assets for crypto. 46% of people in these countries were currently invested in crypto, followed by 39% in Latin America. The biggest investors in developed countries were in EMEA (27%).
- Respondents currently view cryptocurrency as risky and volatile, with fear of the associated risk (43%) and an overall lack of understanding of cryptocurrency (40%) recorded as the main reasons why potential investors are hesitating to invest in cryptocurrency.
- While a third of respondents were current owners of cryptocurrency, six in ten in that group showed a lack of familiarity with their crypto asset.
Attitudes around cryptocurrency differ dependent on age:
- The study found that older respondents were more skeptical about crypto and regard it as hype, while younger respondents were more positive about crypto becoming a genuine currency in the long term.
- Over half (53%) of Gen-Zs (aged 18-24) surveyed believed cryptocurrency will become an upward trend in the long term compared to 22% of Gen-Xs (aged 41-56) and 38% of boomers (aged 57-64) who think crypto is hype that will soon crash.
- Cryptocurrency is most popular amongst younger decision-makers from developing countries. In these countries, 42% of Gen-Zs have already invested in cryptocurrency, which rises to 44% in Millennials aged 25-40.
- Overall, Gen-Zs and Millennials are less cautious towards crypto and treat it as a form of currency, Gen-Xs are more likely to treat it as a form of investment.
- 41% of Millennials think crypto is more of an investment than a means of payment, and a third think now is a good time to buy crypto – a contrast to just 11% of Boomers.
- Almost a third of Boomers (32%) think crypto facilitates illegal activities, closely followed by 27% of Gen Xs.
Developed vs developing countries – the cryptocurrency divide
- The global survey found that developing countries were more receptive and carry a much more positive sentiment towards cryptocurrency than richer, developed countries. This is especially true in Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Latin America. The most receptive countries to cryptocurrency were Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, and India.
- 62% of respondents in Latin America believed cryptocurrency was a long-term upward trend, compared to 15% in North America.
- 20% of respondents in developed APAC countries thought crypto was just hype that would crash soon, compared to 49% of those in developing APAC countries who said they thought it was a long-term upward trend.
Reasons for and reasons against investing in cryptocurrency
- 41% of people in Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand said they had invested in cryptocurrency because of its potential for short-term growth.
- A third (33%) of those in Thailand and Malaysia said they had invested in cryptocurrency to diversify their overall investment portfolio.
- Developed countries were more likely to view cryptocurrency as high-risk, including over half (51%) of respondents in APAC developed countries, 38% of respondents in EMEA, and 34% of those in North America.
- Those surveyed in developing countries were much less likely to see cryptocurrency as a risky investment (25%) compared to those in developed countries (42%), and therefore place greater trust in the digital currency (32% vs. 14% of respondents in developed countries) and were much more likely to invest in cryptocurrency (41% in developing countries vs. 22% in developed countries)
- The overall outlook for crypto investment was much stronger in developing countries, with 75% of investors expecting to increase their proportion allocated to investible assets for cryptocurrency investment vs. 57% in developed countries.
Crypto-mania in Latin America
- Out of the developing regions, Latin America showed the strongest growth potential, along with the highest trust and lowest perceived risk of crypto.
- Nearly half (49%) of respondents in Latin America view cryptocurrencies as more of an investment than a means of payment, with 45% believing that it could be easily converted to cash. This is in comparison to just 16% of respondents in EMEA and the developed APAC countries who think cryptocurrencies can be easily converted to money.
- Only 16% of those in EMEA (and 18% in developed APAC countries) think cryptocurrencies can be easily converted to cash.