Crypto ownership is booming and seen as an alternative to mainstream investing, according to an investigation by UK regulators

According to a study by the UK financial regulator, more people now own cryptocurrencies and fewer view virtual currencies as gambling.

According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), an estimated 2.3 million adults in the UK now own crypto assets, up 21% from last year’s 1.9 million.

bitcoin BTCUSD,
is probably the most famous cryptocurrency, a form of digital money, although Dogecoin DOGEUSD,
is also popular.

Read: A Goldman Sachs boss has reportedly quit after making millions off Dogecoin

Consumer research shows that 38% of crypto users view it as a gamble, up from 47% last year, while a growing number of crypto users view it as either a complement or an alternative to mainstream investing.

Up to 14% of respondents said they borrowed money to invest in cryptos after reading reports of big wins.

In contrast, the general understanding of cryptocurrencies is declining, suggesting that some people who have heard of cryptos may not fully understand it, as only 71% correctly identify the definition of cryptocurrencies from a list of statements.

Read: Police raid suspected cannabis farm only to find illegal bitcoin mining operation: reports

Sheldon Mills, Executive Director, Consumers and Competition, FCA, said: “The study shows the increased interest in cryptoassets among UK customers.

“The market has continued to grow and some investors have benefited from the rising prices. However, as these products are largely unregulated, it is important that customers understand that they should be prepared to lose all their money if something goes wrong.”

The study was commissioned between January 5 and 24, 2021, with more than 3,000 online respondents recruited by YouGov.

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