Investors see cryptocurrencies as increasingly useful as the portfolio diversifies, according to an Economist report on consumer trust in digital currencies.
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A report published by The Economist paints a bright future for cryptocurrency adoption, with survey respondents anticipating growing demand in the near future.
Economist Impact published the findings of its “Digimentality Report,” delving into consumer trust in digital payments and the stumbling blocks that have hampered the digitization of basic monetary functions. The data obtained provide food for thought and perspective, as it compares trends from previous surveys on the subject carried out in 2020 and 2021.
Information was gleaned from a consumer survey completed by 3,000 consumers in early 2022, with half of the respondents living in developed economies including the United States, United Kingdom, France, South Korea, Australia and Singapore. The other half were respondents hailing from developing countries including Brazil, Turkey, Vietnam, South Africa and the Philippines.
Around 75% of the participants had a tertiary education or higher and had used a variety of digital payments methods to pay for goods or services. The latter part of the survey involved 150 institutional investors and corporate treasury management respondents — giving insight into the attitude of the wider conventional financial system on the subject.
A key takeaway was the prevailing sentiment from investors who agreed that open-source cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) or Ether (ETH) are useful as diversifiers in a portfolio or treasury account.
Eighty-five percent of respondents held this view, while nine in 10 institutional investors and corporate treasury survey takers indicated that demand for all cryptocurrencies, including CBDCs and enterprise blockchains, has increased over the past three years.
The report indicated that the rise of Web3 and different Metaverse projects may increase this demand. Seventy-four percent of respondents also agreed that nonfungible tokens (NFTs) are an emerging asset class that organizations plan to acquire and trade.
Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) were another notable focal point, with an increasing number of consumers expecting their respective governments or central banks to launch a working CDBC system by 2025. Sixty-five percent of the executives that took part in the survey believe that CBDCs are likely to replace physical fiat currencies in their countries of operation.
The regulation was identified as the primary obstacle stopping institutional investors or corporate treasuries from using cryptocurrencies. Thirty-five percent of respondents cited market trust or understanding of the space as an obstacle — a marked decline in perception from the 47% in the 2021 study.
This echoed the sentiments of U.S. Treasury secretary Janet Yellen, who unpacked her remarks on digital assets policy and regulation in May 2022. She noted barriers limiting access to cryptocurrencies which included financial education and technological resources.