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Cryptocurrency investors are attracted by growth, but scepticism and lack of understanding remain – research reveals


60% of respondents state that they don’t understand cryptocurrency

WHAT: A global survey by consumer insights provider Toluna that interviewed 10,500 people between the ages of 18 and 64 years from four regions and 19 markets to understand consumer perceptions around cryptocurrency during August 2022. This survey builds on previous waves of research carried out in December 2021 and June 2022, and examines how perceptions of cryptocurrency have continued to develop and change over time.

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; with China also amongst the list of countries surveyed in APAC for this wave.

Key findings

Despite the temptation around both short- and long-term growth, the hesitation around cryptocurrency remains strong, with almost half (42%) of global respondents stating that crypto is a risky investment.

Respondents in emerging markets continue to view cryptocurrency in a more positive light, compared to those in developed markets where attitudes toward crypto are more sceptical.

For those already investing in crypto, loyalty remains strong. Despite the recent Luna & UST crashes, most existing crypto investors are still interested in crypto, seeing the potential for long-term stable growth (36%). In fact, 42% of respondents plan to place more of their assets in crypto within the next six months.

Investors torn between FOMO and losing to a risky investment

  • Cryptocurrency is the second most well-known form of investment, with 57% of respondents stating they were aware of it. Despite the high awareness, 60% of respondents state that they don’t understand cryptocurrency
  • Of those who haven’t invested in cryptocurrency, they cite that it’s too risky (42%), they don’t understand it enough (32%), and it isn’t secure enough (28%)
  • Many still view crypto as a currency for the underworld. When asked to rate agreement (scale of 0-10, with 10 being strongly agree) with the statement, ‘Crypto facilitates illegal activities,” 45% agreed.
  • 47% of respondents agree that ‘Crypto can be easily converted into cash’


Positive outlook despite market crashes

  • Despite the ongoing turmoil in the cryptocurrency market, 81% of respondents plan to either maintain or increase the percentage of their assets invested in crypto within the next six months
  • Among those who currently invest in crypto, 42% plan to place more of their assets into crypto within the next six months.
  • There are many reasons that people choose to invest in crypto: the potential for long-term stable growth (36%), short-term high growth (35%), to diversify (30%), to use as a means of payment for online purchases (25%), to avoid government regulation (11%), to hedge against traditional asset crashes (16%), and the general fear of missing out (15%)
  • Sentiments towards crypto are still mostly optimistic, and there are many potential investors looking to make the jump into crypto—and this is especially true in emerging APAC and LATAM markets. 

Developed markets are starting to favor crypto

  • The research highlighted that developed and APAC markets were experiencing a positive shift regarding their feelings of cryptocurrency and said they felt curious, optimistic, excited, inspired, and intrigued by it
  • Consumers in emerging markets claim higher familiarity with crypto (7.1/10) than their counterparts in developed markets (5.1/10)
  • Respondents in emerging markets have more trust (5.8/10) in crypto than those in developed markets (3.9/10). Likewise, they feel that it’s more secure (4.8/10) than consumers in developed markets (3.6/10).
  • Respondents in emerging markets are more likely to recommend investing in crypto (6.2/10) than those surveyed in developed markets (4.0/10)

Toluna’s Christine Tan, Senior Director, SEA, said: “Cryptocurrency is certainly shaking up the consumer investment market across the globe and, whether the sentiment is positive or negative, one thing is clear: people are talking about it, they’re familiar with it, and it’s getting their attention. The stark contrast in opinion between emerging and developed markets highlights just how important it is for financial services organizations to ensure they keep their finger on the pulse of crypto opinion among consumers and ensure they’re getting their messaging right. Education around crypto is vital—and something many providers need to work on to ensure people are fully aware of the role of cryptocurrency and the reasons to invest—and also when not to.”

About Toluna

Toluna delivers real-time consumer insights at the speed of the on-demand economy. With a commitment to leading by technology innovation, Toluna revolutionizes market research and empowers clients with the agility to instantly conduct quantitative and qualitative research. By combining global scale and local expertise with innovative digital solutions and award-winning research design, Toluna helps clients explore tomorrow, now.

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