It looks like more people in the United Kingdom are working to get their fingers on digital currencies.
The United Kingdom: Crypto’s Latest Home
The UK was one of the hardest-hit countries when the coronavirus first began spreading outside of Asia. The nation has faced more than 300,000 cases and has been smacked with more than 40,000 deaths, according to varying sources, while recently, counties such as Leicester have been shut down completely. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has referred to the spread of the disease as a “disaster.”
With so much uncertainty surrounding the economy and people’s health in the region, it makes sense that so many would strive to get a hold of digital assets. The global financial markets have experienced heavy strain over the past three months, and the attitudes towards bitcoin and its altcoin cousins have drastically changed. For one thing, many individuals now see these coins as worthy of being part of their portfolios. They are solid tools for hedging against inflation and protecting against economic strife.
With so many COVID cases spreading throughout the UK, it’s understandable why cryptocurrencies have gained such newfound popularity within the nation’s borders. According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the number of people in the United Kingdom purchasing crypto assets has doubled over just the last year alone. As many as 2.6 million people have purchased bitcoin and other altcoins at the time of writing since the beginning of 2020. This is up from the mere 1.1 million that were recorded in late 2019.
Interestingly, it appears that many of these individuals see crypto as a long-term investment, with more than half of present holders refusing to use their crypto, sell it or trade it in. In addition, most of the current holders are males over the age of 35, suggesting that women still lack a strong presence in the growing world of cryptocurrencies.
One of the big problems, however, is that many of these individuals still falsely believe they are protected against mis-selling, and the FCA says that approximately 300,000 of these persons are in danger. Sheldon Mills – the FCA’s interim executive director for strategy and competition – explained in a statement:
Crypto assets present risks and opportunities for consumers, and we hope these insights will help inform the policy debate in the UK and internationally as the use of these assets continue to grow.
People Still Aren’t Moving Quick Enough
About three-quarters of UK residents that allegedly own cryptocurrency possess stashes that are equal or less than 1,000 pounds. This means that while crypto is gaining popularity in the country, it is still a considerably smaller investment arena when compared with the likes of stocks, bonds, and similar products.
The FCA also held meetings last year discussing a potential ban on cryptocurrencies, though at press time, no decisions have been made.