‘A fifth’ of UK adults own cryptocurrency

Just under a fifth - 18 per cent - of UK adults now own cryptocurrency, according to research from crypto exchange Gemini.

Nearly half of these UK adults - 45 per cent - invested in cryptocurrency for the first time in 2021.

Over a third – 35 per cent - of UK cryptocurrency investors are female according to the research.

The research found that the UK’s crypto ownership is comparable to other major European markets, such as Ireland, where 18 per cent of adults own crypto, and Germany, where 17 per cent of adults own crypto, and in line with other developed nations including Australia and the US, where 18 per cent and 20 per cent have bought crypto, respectively.

Europe is comparatively conservative in terms of crypto adoption according to research, with the highest crypto ownership being found in Brazil, where 45 per cent of the population own crypto, and Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates, where 41 per cent and 35 per cent of the population own crypto.

Just under half - 49 per cent - of UK respondents who do not currently own crypto said they are interested in learning more or likely to buy it in the next 12 months, of those identified by the report as ‘crypto curious,’ the majority - 55 per cent - are women.

The research found the average age of crypto investors is 36, with 62 per cent of investors aged 25 to 44.

Crypto ownership is highest in London, where 23 per cent of the population own crypto, followed by 12 per cent in the North West, 11 per cent in the South East, and 11 per cent in East Anglia.

Four-in-five – 80 per cent – of UK investors buy and hold crypto for long-term gains, versus 40 per cent who are actively trading crypto to make a profit.

Other European countries such as France and Germany are less likely to hold for the long term according to the research, at 75 per cent and 79 per cent respectively, and are more likely to actively trade, 47 per cent and 47 per cent, respectively.

Half - 52 per cent - of UK investors believe crypto is a good way to diversify assets, lagging investors in countries such as Brazil, India, France, and the US, where 81 per cent, 71 per cent, 60 per cent, and 55 per cent believe this, respectively.

The most owned currencies by UK investors were Bitcoin, which was owned by 69 per cent, followed by Ethereum, which was owned by 33 per cent.

“Last year was transformational for cryptocurrency ownership, with significant growth in UK adoption,” said Blair Halliday, head of UK at Gemini. “A high proportion of UK investors see crypto as a long-term store of value, suggesting more people are recognising crypto’s part to play in a diversified investment portfolio”.

He added: “There is a huge opportunity to support those who expressed interest in learning more, and Gemini is focused on providing simple tools and high-quality education to enable the curious consumers to start their journey.”

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