A new study by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (UJ) reveals that there has been a significant increase in cryptocurrency ownership in the country. The FCA published the results of a consumer survey today that found that 2.3 million adults in the UK are holding cryptocurrency assets. This is an increase from the 1.9 million last year and represents an increasing number of crypto investors, as well as an increase in ownership volumes. The median holdings now stand at £300, or roughly $420, up from £260 last year.
The rising popularity of cryptocurrency is in line with an uptick in the awareness level of digital assets. 78% of adults surveyed said they had heard of cryptocurrency, a 5% increase from last year. However, despite the increase in both awareness and ownership, the FCA flagged a notable decline in cryptocurrency understanding on the part of consumers. This suggests that some are purchasing digital assets even though they don’t completely understand the ecosystem, likely a result of the rapid gains of Bitcoin (BTC) and others. According to the FCA, only 71% of those surveyed were able to correctly define cryptocurrency from a list of statements, which was 4% less than last year. That led the FCA to conclude that there is possibly a “risk of consumers engaging with cryptocurrency without a clear understanding of it.”
The FCA study also said that consumers in the UK significantly favor BTC over other options, with 82% recognizing BTC. Among those who recognized at least one digital currency, 70% recognized only BTC, which is an increase from the 15% recorded in 2020. “It seems likely many adults who have now heard of cryptocurrency are only acquainted with Bitcoin,” the FCA asserted.