Half of Brits are unconvinced about crypto and don’t plan to use it: here’s why

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There’s no denying that cryptocurrency has become quite an important part of the global financial system. However, despite its growing popularity, many people in the UK remain wary. This is especially true when it comes to using it for payments. Indeed, new research reveals that nearly half of Brits are not sold on crypto and don’t plan to use it.

So, why are Brits so sceptical? And what’s the likelihood of Brits’ feelings about crypto changing in the future? Let’s find out.

Brits and crypto: what does the research show?

Okta and Statista polled over 12,000 consumers, including 2,000 Brits, to learn about their attitudes toward cryptocurrency.

They found out that scepticism towards crypto is quite rife among Brits. Nearly half of those surveyed (49%) said that they have no plans to use crypto.

Only 26% of the participants said they were open to using crypto for their banking or payments.

Why are almost half of Brits sceptical about crypto?

Safety was the main reason cited by Brits for not using crypto. More than half of those polled (54%) said they felt their funds would not be safe.

Of those polled, 47% said they simply prefer physical to digital currency and 41% said they prefer a currency issued by a central authority, such as the government. Crypto is not issued by any such authority.

Meanwhile, Brits who were open to using crypto gave the following reasons for their decisions:

  • Resistance to government interference and manipulation (46%)
  • Reduced risk of counterfeiting and double-spending (42%)
  • Greater safety and protection for their money (41%)

Could Brits’ feelings about crypto change in the future?

Ian Lowe, head of industry solutions at Okta, the organisation that commissioned the study, thinks it’s still early days for crypto. He says that Brits’ attitudes towards crypto may change over time, particularly as their lives “become more intertwined with the digital realm”.

He cites the increased drive towards digital services and products, especially as a result of Covid-19. For example, the pandemic has resulted in 86% of Brits now having an online bank account, including a fifth (18%) with a digital challenger bank.

In addition, most Brits (61%) admit to interacting with banks and the financial services sector digitally more than physically over the past year.

Across the world, countries and governments are also buying into digital currencies and crypto. India, for example, has introduced a digital rupee. China is testing a digital yuan and Nigeria has lauched a pilot. El Salvador has become the first country in the world to use Bitcoin as legal tender.

Meanwhile, according to Ian Lowe, “the UK is currently exploring the feasibility of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), nicknamed Britcoin, which would sit alongside cash and bank deposits.”

And in another major crypto breakthrough, credit card giant MasterCard announced last year that it would soon allow people to send and receive payments using cryptocurrencies by integrating them into its network.

All these developments could boost the credibility of digital currencies as a legitimate mode of payment comparable to credit cards and debit cards, and increase their acceptance among Brits. But we’ll have to wait and see.

What about crypto as an investment?

According to data from the FCA, 2.3 million UK adults owned crypto investments as of June 2021 (4.44% of the population). This was an increase of 400,000 compared to the previous year.

Newer research indicates that interest in cryptocurrency as an investment is growing, particularly among younger people. According to the Boring Company, around 12% of UK adults aged 45 and under now own crypto assets, which is double last year’s figure.

People should keep in mind, however, that crypto is still a highly volatile and speculative asset. Experts generally advise investing only what you can afford to lose.

For those looking for less risky ways to invest, there are plenty of other options. One of the top options is investing in stocks and shares, which you can easily do with one of our top-rated share dealing accounts.

Unlike cryptocurrency, which is still relatively new and operating in uncharted territory, stocks have been around for centuries. They have a solid track record of helping investors to build wealth.

As with any investment, however, make sure you do your homework before you invest and seek professional advice if necessary.

The content in this article is provided for information purposes only. It is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, any form of investment advice. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are highly speculative and volatile assets, which carry several risks, including the total loss of any monies invested. Readers are responsible for carrying out their own due diligence and for obtaining professional advice before making any investment decisions.

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