Only three percent of Brits own cryptocurrencies according to new research. The research was conducted by the Financial Conduct Authority, the U.K’s financial services regulator. A majority of these crypto owners are men, aged between 20 and 44. Of those who own cryptos, an overwhelming majority describe it as a risk they are willing to take.
These were some of the findings of the research titled “Cryptoassets: Ownership and attitudes in the UK.” The FCA sampled over 2,000 respondents and while ownership and awareness are still low in the U.K, those who own cryptos had nothing but praise for the asset class. While most cryptos have shed over 80 percent of their values in the bear market, 71 percent of U.K crypto owners don’t regret the decision to invest in the volatile asset class.
However, the country still has a long way to go, the research found. 73 percent of the respondents either hadn’t heard of cryptos or couldn’t correctly define what they are. Interestingly, one percent of the surveyed respondents think cryptos are “a means of raising money by selling numbered tickets and giving prizes to the holders of numbers drawn at random.”
The country has had a chequered history with cryptocurrencies. On the one hand, the country has continued to produce hundreds of crypto startups, especially in the capital, London. However, the FCA, which oversees over 58,000 financial firms is yet to formulate concrete laws for the industry.
A report by Sky News last year also revealed that the 2018 crypto winter has had severe effects on the crypto industry in the U.K. According to the report, 340 startups dealing in cryptos and blockchain technology shut down operations. Over 200 of them shut down operations between June and November of last year alone.
The research further highlighted the important role the media plays in crypto enlightenment. Of those who had heard about cryptos, 23 percent had done so through online news publications. Traditional media sources came in at a close second with 22 percent, with friends and family, as well as social media, being the other major sources of information.
Slightly worrying was the fact that one in every five investors confessed to not having done any research at all before investing. Without conducting prior research, investors are likely to lose money by investing in the wrong projects. This further erodes the credibility that the industry has struggled to cultivate for the past decade.
Not surprisingly, bitcoin was the most popular crypto with U.K investors. 51 percent of the respondents own the king of cryptos, with Ethereum coming in second at 34 percent. Litecoin, XRP and Bitcoin Cash were some of the other popular options. Surprisingly, the new kid on the block Bitcoin SV was close behind the titans and way ahead of EOS.
Most Brits look at crypto as a speculative asset, the research revealed. This is no different from investors elsewhere, with cryptos still struggling to establish themselves as a currency.