Scepticism towards crypto is rife in the UK with almost half of Brits unwilling to use digital assets a new survey has revealed.
Some 49 per cent of consumers would not be willing to use crypto currencies in future compared to just 26 per cent who would, according to a Statista survey. More than half of respondents, some 52 per cent, said they did not feel like their money would be safe in digital assets, 47 per cent of Brits prefer using physical to digital currency and 41 per cent stated a preference for currency issued by a central authority.
“Although the perception, popularity and adoption of digital banking has improved, digital currency is still being met with scepticism,” said Ian Lowe, Head of Industry Solutions at Okta, the company which commissioned the study.
The drive towards digital services and products during the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in the overwhelming majority of UK consumers, some 86 per cent, opting to bank online. Almost a fifth of UK consumers use digitally-native challenger banks, with the figure rising to 29 per cent amongst 16 to 25 year olds.
Crypto adoption has also surged amid the push into digital finance. While 100m people owned crypto at the start of 2021 the figure had swelled threefold by the end of the year, according to Crypto.com data.
“It’s still early days for cryptocurrency,” Lowe continued. “The UK is currently exploring the feasibility of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), nicknamed ‘Britcoin’, which would sit alongside cash and bank deposits. So while Brits aren’t bought into the concept now, this could change in the future, as our lives become more intertwined with the digital realm.”
A UK CBDC, currently being consulted on by the Treasury and Bank of England, could go some way to meeting demand for digital currencies in the UK without requiring investors to bet on speculative assets.
The Statista survey, which covered 12,000 Europeans and included 2,000 Brits, found that 42 per cent of respondents who were open to using crypto were attracted to digital assets by their protections against counterfeit or double spending while 41 per cent thought their assets would be better protected in digital form.
However, for the 46 per cent of Brits who said they are drawn to digital assets because their resistance to government manipulation Britcoin, which would be centrally managed, may seem a poor substitute for crypto.