Dutch banking and financial services giant has recently hired a research company Ipsos to conduct a study on virtual currency perception in Europe, the United States and Australia. The results have just been published and they are encouraging – the interest in the budding industry is expected to double further down the road.
Despite bitcoin and other digital currencies going through a torrid time and hovering around or below their yearly lows, the study gives us hope that a period of recovery and sustained growth might be just around the corner.
The study was conducted by questioning respondents in 13 European countries – Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom as well as Australia and the United States. Approximately a 1000 respondents have been surveyed in each country.
According to the official report, “Sixty-six percent of people in Europe say they have heard of cryptocurrency. Fewer than one in 10 (9%) own it. An additional 16 percent say they expect to own it in future, which suggests uptake could more than double. Considering a third of those in Europe (34%) have not yet heard of cryptocurrency the growth potential could be even higher.“
Perhaps a bit surprisingly, Turkey is the most crypto-savvy nation in Europe, with 18 percent of surveyed Turks owning virtual currencies and a further 45 percent expecting to acquire some in the future.
Europeans seem to favour cryptocurrencies as a means of payment, instead of considering them to be just an investment opportunity. Over one-third of respondents believe that digital currencies are the future of online spending and 30% of those polled in Europe would consider using crypto to pay for goods online. Notably, 15 percent of Europeans would even consider getting paid in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
The study has also revealed that the majority of respondents consider virtual currencies to be a riskier investment than real estate, bonds or stocks, which is totally understandable, having a recent crypto slump in mind. In addition, when considering a crypto investment, people tend to trust financial advisors and specialist websites instead of their friends and family.
Jessica Exton, a behavioral scientist concluded by saying that, “Cryptocurrency remains an abstract investment for many, but there may be more appetite for digital currencies than some might suggest. Based on our survey, ownership of cryptocurrencies could more than double in the future – although we do not know when.“
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