The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on Thursday published a consumer research report on crypto assets, revealing that 2.3 million adults in the country are now holding digital assets. This number was at 1.9 million at the end of 2020.
The report highlights the penetration of crypto assets among regular retail investors, and attitudes towards such assets are changing.
It outlines that 78 percent of UK adults have heard of crypto assets, jumping from 73 percent over a year. Additionally, only 38 percent of the survey participants consider crypto as a gamble, which is down from 47 percent last year. Most of the participants regarded cryptos as an alternative investment vehicle.
“The research highlights increased interest in crypto assets among UK customers. The market has continued to grow, and some investors have benefitted as prices have risen,” said Sheldon Mills, FCA’s Executive Director of Consumers and Competition.
Understanding of Crypto Is Declining
However, the results are a bit of concern as well. The overall understanding of crypto assets has declined, with only 71 percent of the survey participants correctly identifying the definition of crypto assets.
The FCA has been overseeing the UK’s crypto-asset market and actively issuing warnings against the risks of investing in such assets. Only 10 percent of the respondents aware of cryptocurrencies also know about the FCA warnings and 43 percent among them were discouraged from purchasing cryptos.
But, the enthusiasm regarding cryptos is clearly increasing as more than half of the participants had a positive experience from crypto investments, while only 11 percent regret their decisions.
Interestingly, crypto investments are increasing despite a majority of the consumers recognize that crypto investments are not protected.
“It is important for customers to understand that because these products are largely unregulated that if something goes wrong they are unlikely to have access to the FSCS or the Financial Ombudsman Service. If consumers invest in these types of products, they should be prepared to lose all their money,” Mills added.