Developing Countries ‘More Positive’ About Crypto Than Rich Nations

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Wealthy nations have benefited enormously from the existing financial system. But in developing countries, the population appears to be positive about crypto - an innovation with the potential to upend the global order. Is a change on the way? 

The consumer insights provider Toluna interviewed 9,000 people aged between 18 and 64 from four regions and 17 countries to understand their attitude toward cryptocurrency.

The survey found that developing countries are “more receptive” and have a “much more positive sentiment” towards cryptocurrency than richer countries. 

“This is especially true in Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Latin America,” Toluna wrote. “The most receptive countries to cryptocurrency were Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, and India.

“The overall outlook for crypto investment is much stronger in developing countries, with 75% of investors expecting to increase their proportion allocated to investible assets for cryptocurrency investment vs. 57% in developed countries.”

The survey found that 62% of respondents in Latin America believe cryptocurrency is a “long-term upward trend” compared to 15% in North America. It also reported that 20% of respondents in developed APAC countries think crypto is “just hype that will crash soon”, compared to 49% of those in developing APAC countries who see it as a long-term upward trend.

Other numbers from the survey revealed that global awareness of crypto was very high, with 61% of respondents aware of cryptocurrency. However, 45% believe that “cryptocurrency is an ongoing project with no guarantee of success”.

One in ten have no intention to invest in crypto.

People in developing APAC countries were most familiar with cryptocurrencies and said they planned to plow 22% of their investable assets into crypto. A total of 46% of people in these countries are currently holding crypto investment, followed by 39% in Latin America. 

The biggest investors in developed countries were in EMEA (27%), which stands Europe, Middle East and Africa - three of the most different regions in the world which are nonetheless lumped into one by corporate types. A third of respondents currently owned cryptocurrency.

However, people who responded to the survey view cryptocurrency as risky and volatile, with fear of the associated risk (43%) and an overall lack of understanding of cryptocurrency (40%) named as the main reasons why potential investors are are not choosing to invest cryptocurrency. 

The study also found that older respondents were “more skeptical” about crypto and regard it as “hype”. Younger respondents were positive about crypto “becoming a genuine currency in the long term”. 

More than half (53%) of Gen-Zs aged 18-24 believe cryptocurrency will “become an upward trend in the long term” compared to 22% of Gen-Xs aged 41-56 and 38% of boomers aged 57-64), who think crypto is doomed to crash. 

“Overall, Gen-Zs and Millennials are less cautious towards crypto and treat it as a form of currency. Gen-Xs are more likely to treat it as a form of investment,” Toluna added.

The study found that 41% of Millennials think crypto is “more of an investment than a means of payment” and a third think now is a good time to invest, compared to just 11% of Boomers.

A third of Boomers (32%) think crypto facilitates illegal activities, closely followed by 27% of Gen-Xs.

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