- The number of Brits owning cryptocurrencies has grown 21% in the past year
- The median holding has also grown, as has the perception of cryptocurrencies as an investment rather than a gamble
- However, understanding of cryptocurrencies among investors has dropped in the past year, reflective of the meme coin boom
The British financial watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) yesterday published its annual cryptocurrency report which found that more than 2.3 million Britons own cryptocurrencies, up from 1.9 million last year. This 21% rise is a huge decrease from last year’s 78% jump, but a more interesting finding is that the perception of cryptocurrencies as a gamble is dropping, even with meme coins being the reason for many to get into the market in the first place, showing that the thesis of cryptocurrencies being a legitimate investment is growing.
Average Investment Up, but Understanding Down
In their report, Cryptoasset Consumer Research 2021, the FCA notes that the drive in cryptocurrency adoption over the past year is down to a number of factors including:
- Heightened public interest and media coverage
- Continued growth of the cryptocurrency market
- High cryptocurrency prices
- More widespread involvement of financial services firms in the market
- Significant institutional investment
According to the FCA, 78% of adults have now heard of cryptocurrencies, although “the level of understanding of cryptocurrencies is declining”, which is reflective of the rise in meme coins like DOGE, SAFEMOON, and SHIB. These coins, shilled on social media by influencers and celebrities, are seen as get rich quick schemes with buyers having little idea what they are getting into.
However, with the median holding being only £300 in value (up from £260 last year) it doesn’t seem that many are putting their life savings into cryptocurrencies, although half of crypto users saying they intend to invest more.
Institutional Interest in Cryptocurrencies Has Broadened Acceptance
One of the more interesting findings is that attitudes towards cryptocurrencies have shifted from last year, with fewer crypto users regarding them as a gamble (38%, down from 47%) and more people seeing them as an alternative to mainstream investment. This reflects the growth in institutional adoption and the confidence in cryptocurrencies long term from some of the world’s wealthiest people and offers hope that not everyone is a meme coin-buying moonboi.