Over the past few years, cryptocurrencies’ meteoric rise in popularity has captured the attention of media and governments globally. While you may have read the headlines covering the huge rise in value of one coin or another, discussions exploring the reasoning behind why people invest in these digital assets is rare. To help shed light on this topic, Luno, in association with YouGov, conducted an online survey in August of nearly 6,642 respondents across six countries including South Africa and the UK. From retirement goals to funding education and house deposits, here’s what we found.
Education & wellbeing
As the growth of fintech brings more transactions online in Africa, it's vital that businesses go the extra mile to understand the habits and reasons behind their customers' behaviour. Contrary to the popular belief that crypto is all about a quick return, many of those surveyed invest to help secure a better long term future for their family. In South Africa, 61%of respondents intend to hold on to their investment over the next six months, while 56% said that they put their money into crypto to help fund their children’s education.
Education is an important factor in planning for the future and moving north we see it’s a behaviour shared by the majority of the population in Nigeria. Compared to other countries across the world, the number of Nigerians that do not have a plan when making investment decisions are small. The massive scale of cryptocurrency adoption in Nigeria over the past few years is well documented and much like the rest of the continent, over 60% of them have ignored the pitfalls of hype surrounding the digital currencies and relied instead on research to guide them. The theme of planning and future-thinking extends to the motivations behind their investments with the focus on children’s education (45%), savings for a home deposit (43%) and inheritances (40%).
Hodling out for a house
According to figures released by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), about 2.3 million people in the UK own digital assets. Luno’s research reveals that nearly one in five young Brits (aged 18 - 34) who do not currently own cryptocurrency have considered investing in cryptocurrencies over the past two years and of those, 56% of 18 to 24-year-olds and 36% of 25 to 34-year-olds said such an investment would fund a deposit for a home.
With major institutions such as Paypal launching their own crypto-related products in the UK and US, businesses have taken notice of this rise in adoption and are acting on it. Cryptocurrency could also hold the key to helping guide cautious Brits to consider diversifying their portfolios further. One in ten crypto holders who are also regular savers had investment in gold, versus an average amongst general savers of just three per cent.
Beyond the dip
The statistics revealed by this research paint a fascinating picture of customers’ priorities when it comes to the brave new world of cryptocurrencies. And it is clear that this activity is just the beginning. In South Africa alone, active users on Luno’s platform who bought and sold crypto rose by 140% over the past 12 months alongside half our respondents who keep as much as 30% of their savings in crypto.