While cryptocurrency has been around for quite some time now, a stratospheric rise in its use has materialized over the last year, primarily due to the pandemic. As more and more businesses are readily accepting digital currency as payment for goods and services, the number of crypto transactions has risen by a huge margin.
The increased use of crypto due to COVID-19
To understand what’s driving this shift and derive actionable data, Crypto.com, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, commissioned the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU), the world leader in global business intelligence, to organize a consumer survey across North America, Asia, and Europe.
Dubbed as “Digimentality—Fear and favoring of digital currency,” the annual report released by the EUI underlined several new trends after running a detailed comparative analysis with its 2020 survey. The results reveal that the use of digital currencies and transactions has increased manifold over the previous year.
A total of 3,053 consumers, mainly in the 18-38 age group, from developed countries, such as France, UK, US, Australia, Singapore, and South Korea, and developing countries, such as the Philippines, South Africa, Vietnam, Brazil, and Turkey participated in the survey.
In addition to the consumers, part of the report also derived data from another study of 200 institutional investor and corporate treasury management professionals based out of the same countries.
Reviewed by Henri Arslanian, PwC Global Crypto Leader, and Mathew McDermott, Managing Director and Global Head of Digital Assets at Goldman Sachs, notable highlights of the report include:
- Due to the physical distancing norms implemented during COVID-19, almost 81% of the participants agreed that they could see their country gradually becoming a cashless economy, compared to 72% in 2020.
- Consumers are increasingly favoring digital transactions. Almost 46% of the surveyed consumers agreed that COVID-19 heightened the use case for digital currencies/assets.
Seeing this sharp rise in the acceptance of cryptocurrencies in day-to-day life, Henri Arslanian commented, “This is such a pivotal moment in the history of money, in the future of money and there’s been a couple of catalysts to it, and one of them was actually COVID-19.”
The Meteoric Rise Of Digital Payments
In terms of customer awareness, cryptocurrencies remained the most well-known digital currency choice. More than 55% of consumers surveyed in 2021 admit they are aware but have never owned or used a cryptocurrency.
Other significant trends include:
- Of the total participants, 27% said they preferred digital payments instead of fiat currency or credit cards. By comparison, 41% claimed that they used digital currencies for at least half of their purchases, compared to a mere 22% from 2020.
- 18% of the surveyors said they used open-source cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.), followed closely by 12% of consumers using government-issued CBDCs and 10% using any other digital currency issued by a verified entity.
- The 2021 report further clarifies that 17% of the participants said they expect their country to become cashless within a year or two, representing a rise from the previous year.
Remarking on consumer’s responses, Mathew McDermott adds, “As more people adopt and have access to digital wallets, you can just see the number who have access and invest in cryptocurrencies continues to broaden.”
You can find in-depth details, year-over-year comparisons, and insights from institutional investors and corporate treasurers on the official website.
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