Cryptocurrency, a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for secure financial transactions, has gained significant traction and popularity around the world in recent years. But is crypto big in the UK? Let’s take a look.
The Adoption of Cryptocurrency in the UK
According to a survey conducted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in 2018, only 3% of UK adults owned cryptocurrency.
However, this number has likely increased in recent years as awareness and understanding of cryptocurrency has grown. In 2019, a survey by YouGov found that 7% of UK adults owned cryptocurrency, with younger generations being more likely to own it.
There are several reasons for the growing interest in cryptocurrency in the UK.
One is the increasing acceptance of cryptocurrency as a legitimate form of payment by merchants and businesses.
Major retailers such as Microsoft, AT&T, and Overstock.com have begun accepting cryptocurrency as payment, and it is becoming more common for smaller businesses to do so as well.
Another factor contributing to the adoption of cryptocurrency in the UK is the introduction of cryptocurrency ATMs, which allow users to easily buy and sell cryptocurrency using cash. The UK currently has over 500 cryptocurrency ATMs, with London having the highest concentration.
Young UK Investors and Cryptocurrency
In addition to the overall growing interest in cryptocurrency in the UK, there is also a trend of younger generations investing in cryptocurrency.
A survey by YouGov found that 18% of 18-24 year olds and 14% of 25-34 year olds owned cryptocurrency in 2019, compared to just 3% of those over 55.
There are several reasons why younger investors may be drawn to cryptocurrency.
One is the potential for high returns, as the price of cryptocurrency can fluctuate significantly.
Another factor is the appeal of cryptocurrency as a relatively new and innovative investment option. Many young investors may view cryptocurrency as a way to diversify their investment portfolio and potentially earn higher returns than traditional investment options.
Regulation of Cryptocurrency in the UK
The FCA has taken a proactive approach to regulating the use of cryptocurrency in the UK. In 2018, it published guidelines on the use of cryptocurrency, stating that it would regulate firms that provide cryptocurrency-related products or services to ensure they meet certain standards of conduct.
The FCA has also issued warnings to consumers about the potential risks of investing in cryptocurrency, including the risk of fraud and the high volatility of cryptocurrency prices.
Despite these regulatory efforts, the UK has generally been seen as a friendly jurisdiction for cryptocurrency. It has a well-established financial sector and a history of innovation, making it an attractive location for cryptocurrency businesses.
Cryptocurrency is gaining popularity in the UK, with an increasing number of businesses accepting it as a form of payment and the availability of cryptocurrency ATMs making it easier for people to buy and sell it.
While the FCA has taken steps to regulate the use of cryptocurrency, the UK is generally seen as a favorable jurisdiction for cryptocurrency businesses.
It remains to be seen how much further cryptocurrency will penetrate the mainstream in the UK, but it is clear that it has already made significant strides in the country.
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