Published Feb 24, 2022
We’re willing to bet you’ve heard the buzz around cryptocurrency, a digital form of currency that’s secured by cryptography and designed to be highly secure. This prevents issues including fraud and double-spending. Even major platforms such as PayPal and Mastercard are starting to accept digital currency payments! It can also be traded for profit.
Because cryptocurrency is virtual-only, it’s exclusively exchanged across computer networks, making it free of government or bank control. This is a major draw for many investors, but other consumers have their hesitations and prefer more traditional investment options.
In a constant effort to bring you insights on the trends that matter most, we sought to deliver a real-time picture of consumer sentiment around cryptocurrency in 2022. In our study, we surveyed 9,000 people across 17 markets on their feelings around cryptocurrency, including investment habits, perceptions of individual consumers, and future purchase intent. Here’s what consumers are saying.
Cryptocurrency is a familiar term for many. But it’s a complex concept that’s not easily understood, even by those with active investments in the currency. While 61% of global consumers say they’ve heard of cryptocurrency, only 23% say they’re familiar with it.
Notably, 41% of current investors say they’ve decided to do so because of short-term growth potential. An additional 40% have invested for long-term stable growth, and 33% to diversify their portfolio. One-third of consumers say they’re invested in cryptocurrency, but just six out of every ten investors feel that they’re actually familiar with their investment.
Cryptocurrency is taking emerging markets such as APAC and LATAM by storm, where there’s a stronger positive outlook around digital currency and its potential. In fact, 75% of investors in emerging markets expect to increase their cryptocurrency investment allocations, compared to 57% in developed markets.
Emerging markets are more likely to view cryptocurrency as a long-term upward trend, while developed markets see it more as hype, as these stats illustrate:
● 32% of consumers in emerging markets say they have trust in cryptocurrency, compared to just 14% in developed markets
● 41% of consumers in emerging markets say they’ve invested in cryptocurrency, compared to 22% in developed markets
Developed markets certainly display interest in cryptocurrency. However, according to our consumer insights, emerging markets offer the greatest potential for growth—both now and in the future.
The public largely sees cryptocurrency as risky and volatile as compared to stable, low-return, fixed-deposit investments. To this point, 45% of consumers agree that cryptocurrencies are not guaranteed to succeed.
Associated risk (43%) and a lack of understanding (40%) are the main reasons why potential investors are holding back their investments. Whereas 61% of consumers trust fixed, traditional deposits, just 23% say they trust cryptocurrency deposits in today’s market.
The dichotomy between emerging and developed markets remains true here, too. Twenty-five percent of consumers in emerging markets consider cryptocurrency investments to be risky—a stark contrast to 42% in developed markets.
When asked what can be done to improve the consumer experience and establish more trust around cryptocurrency, respondents say they want to see the following:
● Competitive transaction fees
● Accurate exchange rates
● Fast transaction speeds
● More crypto coin options to choose from
● Tutorials and simple interface
● Secure systems
Insights show that younger decision-makers are most drawn to cryptocurrency, especially in emerging markets. Older consumers are significantly more conservative when it comes to their trust and investments in cryptocurrency, as illustrated in the following stats:
● 42% of consumers from ages 18-24 (Gen Z) in emerging markets say they invest in cryptocurrency, with 38% from developed markets close behind
● 44% of consumers from ages 25-34 (Millennial) in emerging markets say they invest in cryptocurrency, as opposed to 37% in developed markets
● Just 21% of those ages 57-64 (Baby Boomers) plan to invest in cryptocurrency within the next year, and 18% plan to do so in years to come
There’s lots of hype surrounding digital, decentralized, and encrypted cryptocurrency—and it’s not expected to slow down any time soon. Having a head start in understanding real-time consumer sentiment offers a better glimpse into the future of digital currency. In turn, this helps inform how financial institutions can play a relevant role in this ever-changing digital landscape.