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Aussies ‘embracing crypto with open arms’, but concerns remain: Survey

Patrick Buncsi18 April 2024
cryptocurrency investment Australia bitcoin

More than one in four (27.5%) Australians now own a cryptocurrency, a 64% increase on 2019 ownership figures, results from a new meta-analysis survey reveal. However, a significant proportion of Australians are still hesitant to invest in these digital currencies due to their perceived risk and volatility.

Australia’s crypto ownership rate – at 27.5% – is also significantly above the 15% global average, the survey found, citing data from Finder.

“The higher adoption rate showcases Australia’s leadership role as a forward-looking financial market ready to adopt global trends and embrace new technologies and investments,” wrote Priya Jain, a data analyst from invezz, which conducted the meta-analysis combining results from multiple surveys.

The survey found that the typical profile of a crypto owner is male with an annual income of between $60,000 and $149,000.

Fewer than 5% of higher-income Australians (earning between $200,000 and $499,999 per year) own or have held cryptocurrency; just 31% of crypto owners are women.

Male investors invest a median of $8,300 in different cryptocurrencies.

Crypto has also become progressively more mainstream, with the survey revealing that 95% are now aware of at least one form of cryptocurrency. This is up from the 92% of Australians in 2022.

Elder Millennials (between 35 and 44 years of age) are, unsurprisingly, also the most crypto-aware, with 98.6% of this surveyed cohort stating they are aware of these digital assets.

The world’s most popular currency is also Australia’s most sought-after, with nearly two-thirds (63%) of Aussie crypto investors owning Bitcoin – and 93% of Australians being aware of it. Ethereum is the second most popular currency locally, owned by 35% of Australians, followed by Ripple (18%) and Cardano (15%).

According to the survey, 41% of crypto investors want to invest in Bitcoin over the next 12 months.

However, concerns around the perceived volatility and higher risk of crypto investments remain, with 42% of Australians hesitant to invest because of these concerns.

“Price volatility and investment risks remain the leading reasons for these barriers,” the survey found, while 38% of investors think there’s a lack of consumer protection and regulation and 36% consider it confusing or difficult.

Moreover, one in five Australians (20%) still consider cryptocurrencies a scam, while a further 20% fail to adopt them because they are unaware of where to start their investment.

More than one in three (38%) Australians are also concerned about a lack of consumer protection and regulation, considering it a key barrier to cryptocurrency trading and adoption.

“The statistics also indicate public demand for a definitive, integrated Australian government framework to ensure safety and security in cryptocurrency markets. This mirrors fears of fraud, scams, and financial loss in an environment many investors consider too unregulated,” Jain wrote.

Investment time doesn’t correlate with investment size

“Contrary to popular belief, more experience doesn’t necessarily translate to large crypto investments,” Jain wrote. By year five, crypto investments typically peak, dropping significantly after 10 years in crypto.

Within one year, investors, on average, had $1,000 invested in a cryptocurrency. This swells by more than five times between years one and two.

Between years two to five, crypto investments peak at an average of $8,100.

After 10 years, however, this investment size drops significantly, hitting $2,500.

For Jain, after a significant period invested in crypto, investors begin to properly understand their risks.

“Typically, investors with more experience have an in-depth understanding of crypto risks,” she said.

“Such investors prefer diversified investment strategies. They do not invest large amounts in cryptocurrency but spread their risk across different assets.”

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