Digital assets are on their way to wider adoption in the United Kingdom as over a million more residents admit they are or have been involved with cryptocurrencies.
The latest crypto survey from Great Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) reveals the significant yearly increase from 3% to 5.35% in those UK residents that currently hold or held digital currencies. This represents the growth of 2.35% from approximately 1.5 million to 2.6 million people this year.
The research, published on June 30, estimates that around 3.86% of the UK’s 50 million population currently owns cryptocurrencies, which amounts to approximately 1.9 million citizens older than 18 years old.
Mostly hold small amounts
Most cryptocurrency owners hold digital assets worth small amounts. Half of the current crypto owners confirmed that the value of cryptos they hold is £260 ($320) or less. Meanwhile, 75% reported holding up to £1,000 ($1.230) and 90% admitted they are owning £4,300 ($5.320).
Consumers appear using digital currencies mainly for trading and speculation. 47% of respondents said they have bought cryptocurrencies for “a gamble that could make or lose money” as one of the main reasons. This is 16% more compared to 31% of 2019.
Other top reasons for purchasing cryptocurrencies include buying “as a part of a wider investment portfolio” (25%) and “I don’t want to miss out on buying cryptocurrencies” (22%).
In the meantime, the majority (77%) of respondents told they have bought cryptocurrencies through the online exchanges. 83% used only foreign-based exchanges with Coinbase (63%) being the leading one and followed by Binance (15%), Kraken (10%) Bittrex (8%) and Bitfinex (7%).
Cryptocurrency exchanges were as well among the most popular places where crypto owners hold their digital assets. Nearly half (46%) of the respondents confirmed they store their assets at the same exchange they bought it from. Over one-third (34%) however moved their funds into another cryptocurrency wallet online. 24% hold cryptos offline.
Increased role of media
According to the FCA crypto survey, UK residents seem to be increasingly aware of cryptocurrencies. The number of those who have never heard about them dropped by one-third from 58% last year to 27% this year.
Bitcoin was the best recognized digital currency (78%), meanwhile Libra came in a second position (22%), closely followed by Bitcoin Cash (20%), Ether (17%), Bitcoin SV (12%) and Litecoin (12%).
The researchers explain the better knowledge mainly relates to increased media presence. This year more Britains became aware of cryptocurrencies through the traditional (27% compared to 22% last year) and online (27% compared to 23%) media including blogs. Meanwhile, the number of respondents that first got to know about digital assets from adverts on social media remains the same (15%.)