Tuesday 8 June 2021 3:46 pm

Next generation of investors: One in four students now own crypto

With crypto fever once again making headlines in recent weeks, it seems that students are increasingly jumping on the digital currency bandwagon.

A study of over 24,000 UK students, conducted by student website UNiDAYS, found that 24 per cent now own some form of the digital asset, with a further third intending to buy within some the next 3 months. 

The most popularly owned cryptocurrency currently is Bitcoin (26 per cent), followed by Dogecoin (11 per cent), Ethereum (10 per cent) and Ripple (3 per cent).

Almost half (40 per cent) of those surveyed believe that cryptocurrency will replace traditional currency within the next 10 years and 43 per cent thinking that retailers should have the option to pay with cryptocurrency, one in 10 say that they have already paid for goods or services with it.

Generation Z

However, despite crypto’s popularity, many Gen Z’ers remain unconvinced. Following Elon Musk’s announcement that Tesla will no longer accept Bitcoin due to environmental concerns around mining, 40 per cent of Gen Z agree that digital currency is bad for the environment. Around a third (37 per cent) even believe cryptocurrencies are a scam.

Gen Z is embracing investing in general. In the past 12 months, half of those surveyed have put money into either cryptocurrency (16 per cent), ISAs (16 per cent) or stocks & shares (17 per cent).

A small amount (1 per cent) have even invested in alternative digital assets like NFTs, non fungible tokens.

Reality check

Students are realistic about their investments and not looking for get rich quick schemes. Only 1 in 10 say they expect fast financial returns on their investments. 

This is because Gen Z are overwhelmingly risk averse. Of those who invest, just 8 per cent class themselves as high risk investors, while 47 per cent avoid risk as much as possible.

The remaining 45 per cent admit they are comfortable with just moderate risk. This approach has mostly protected them from making substantial losses and, for around a third, has helped them to make money – 34 per cent claim they’ve made at least some profit in the past 12 months, 43 per cent are more or less event but an unlucky 23 per cent claim to have lost money.

“The study busts the myth that today’s young people are reckless with their money. Gen Z are generally more careful and thoughtful with their financial choices than many give them credit for and are both sensible investors and conscious consumers,” said Josh Rathour, CEO at UNiDAYS.

“Cryptocurrency markets may be extremely volatile now, but our results show that many Gen Z’ers see its long term potential as an alternative and more democratic value system. The fact that many of them want retailers to accept crypto as payment is food for thought for brands looking to connect with Gen Z,” Rathour concluded.