Emerging markets are more open to cryptocurrency than developed countries, with residents of the former more likely to have invested there. Those in developing Asia-Pacific countries are most familiar with cryptocurrency and plan to reserve 22% of their investable assets for digital currencies.
In fact, 46% of residents in emerging markets in Asia-Pacific had previously invested in crypto, compared to 26% of their peers in developed countries in the region. Some 39% in Latin America had done the same as well as 27% in EMEA, according to new research from consumer analytics firm Toluna. The global survey surveyed 9,000 people between the ages of 18 and 64 in 17 markets across four regions. Some 5,000 came from nine Asia-Pacific countries, including Singapore, Australia, Thailand, India and Indonesia. Six markets were from the EMEA region, including Germany, France and the UK.
The study found that respondents from emerging markets were more receptive to crypto, with 41% of those countries investing in it, compared to 22% from developed markets. The former also had more confidence in digital currencies at 32%, compared to 14% in developed countries, and less likely to view crypto as a risky investment at 25% when 42% of their developed market peers perceived it as risky .
According to the report, the most crypto-receptive countries were Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, and India.
There was greater familiarity and awareness of its inherent risks in emerging Asia-Pacific markets, however, with 53% aware of it and 47% agreeing that crypto investments were not guaranteed to succeed. . By comparison, 36% in Latin America knew about it and 32% knew that such investments were not guaranteed to succeed.
Some 20% of respondents in developed Asia-Pacific countries viewed crypto as just hype that would soon fall apart, compared to 49% of their peers in developed markets across the region who perceived digital currencies to be on a long-term upward trend.
The survey found that 41% of respondents in Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand had invested in crypto for its near-term growth potential. Another 33% in Thailand and Malaysia invested there to diversify their overall investment portfolio.
Some 51% of developed countries in Asia-Pacific considered crypto to be high risk, as did 38% in EMEA and 34% in North America.
Globally, 43% viewed crypto as a risky investment, with 40% citing a lack of understanding of digital currencies as the main reason for their reluctance to invest. Some 61% were aware of this and 45% thought it was an ongoing development that had no guarantee of success. One in 10 people overall had no intention of investing in crypto.
More in developing countries, at 75%, planned to increase the share of their investable assets for cryptocurrencies. In comparison, 57% expected to do the same.
Nearly half of Latin Americans viewed digital currencies more as an investment than a form of payment, with 45% believing they could be easily converted into cash. Some 45% of emerging markets in Asia-Pacific agreed with the latter. However, only 16% in EMEA as well as 18% in developed Asia-Pacific believed crypto could be easily converted into cash.
A separate study last August found that 67% of personal investors in Singapore expanded their cryptocurrency portfolio amid the global pandemic, with 78% owning Ethereum and 69% owning Bitcoin. Some 33% of people in the country had previously invested in crypto, with more than half citing lack of knowledge as the main reason.
In January 2022, Singapore’s industry regulator ordered cryptocurrency service providers not to promote or advertise their offerings to the general public. This rule applied to businesses such as banks and payment institutions that offered such services, and would be further extended to include the transfer of cryptocurrencies and the provision of wallet services.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore reiterated that cryptocurrency trading involves high risks and is not suitable for the general public, as prices are subject to “sharp speculative fluctuations”.