The Dutch bank ING, one of the leading banks around the globe, has published a “Cracking the code on cryptocurrency” report which contains results of a survey carried out in Europe, the U.S, and Australia. The good news is that the interest for cryptocurrencies is explicit. The not so good, at least for crypto enthusiasts, is that fewer than one in ten Europeans currently own cryptocurrency.
A total of 14 828 respondents from 13 countries partook in the survey. The report presents the results for each of the questions posed, most of which are closed-ended, meaning that you can answer either yes or no. Mostly the respondents come from the European Union states, however, people from the U.S., Australia and Turkey also answered the bank’s questions.
To begin with, there are countries which are interested in cryptocurrencies. These include Turkey, Romania and Spain with 18%, 12% and 10% of the surveyed residents in these countries noting that they own digital currencies respectively. Then there is the “could not be bothered” group which includes Luxembourg and Belgium where solely 5% and 4% of residents respectively admit that they have some crypto in their wallets.
Likewise, Belgians and Luxembourgians and more surprisingly the Dutch, who have previously shown interest in cryptocurrencies with Amsterdam Schiphol Airport even installing a ‘Bitcoin ATM’, are not planning to acquire digital assets in the future — foreseen or not. At the same time, a European consumer is more likely to get some digital assets (25%) than an Amercian (21%) or an Australian (15%) one.
The classic gender division is also noticeable in the findings as solely 55% of women said they have heard about digital currencies compared to 77% of men. Likewise, 31% of men in Europe agree they expect to own cryptocurrency in the future and only 20% of women say the same.
Then come the more surprising findings showing the respondents’ contradictory assessments. Hence, around 15% of respondents said they would consider receiving their salary in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies despite the fact that it was established that people regard Bitcoin investments as risky. For instance, 46% see investment in digital assets as riskier than usual shares with nearly 29% of the surveyed discarding Bitcoin and the alike altogether noting they would never invest in it.
Another quite interesting finding was that familiarity with crypto matters did not vary significantly across age groups: Those who are between 45-54 know as much and even a little bit more about cryptocurrencies as those who are between 18-24 — 66% vs 64%.
To summarize, Jessica Exton, a behavioral scientist at ING, pointed out that “Cryptocurrency remains an abstract investment for many, but there may be more appetite for digital currencies than some might suggest.”
While the report certainly provides a new insight into the matter, it should be treated carefully as it apparently omits a number of key variables, such as residence (urban vs. countryside) and economic status (income rate, class belonging, etc) which would further shed light on consumer behavior and hence reiterate the findings so that business strategies and predictions can be buttressed on them.
However, previous surveys, such as the one which was conducted in Germany, did show that more people are interested in cryptocurrencies. Thus, according to a Postbank Digital Study carried out in February and March 2018 46% of respondents between the age of 18-34 are interested in investing in cryptocurrency.
Concurrently, the ING bank itself is very enthusiastic when it comes to implementing new technologies and together with the UK-based HSBC has recently made a breakthrough financial transaction using blockchain.