Marcus Swanepoel, CEO and Co-Founder of Luno

Global cryptocurrency company Luno, recently released research commissioned by them showcasing that one in every five individuals in the United Kingdom (about 20% of the population) now owns cryptocurrency. Europe has also seen an increase in ownership by 5% (to 24.75%) from Q1 to Q2.

Commenting on the increased uptake of cryptocurrency, Marcus Swanepoel, CEO and Co-Founder of Luno, spoke about the volatility amongst investors and business while dealing with Bitcoin and Ethereum. He went on to say that the uncertainty over global trade wars and Brexit has pushed individuals towards cryptocurrency as an alternative in order to reduce exposure. Adoption significantly increased, according to data collected in March 2019, as Europeans moved some of their funds away from the Euro and Sterling into digital currencies. These were used for managing payments (22.5%), shopping online (31.25%) or as part of an investment portfolio (58.25%). In the UK, 67% of buyers bought crypto as an investment, a significant increase in the Q1 survey of 55%.

“At Luno we can also see increased confidence across Europe amongst potential crypto investors as France pushes the European Union to adopt a regulatory framework on cryptocurrencies similar to the guidance they have implemented at a national level. Even with this ‘Brexit’ effect, Europe is still a long way behind other countries in adopting Bitcoin, Ethereum and other coins”, added Swanepoel.

Following the impetus received via France, the European Commission launched a feasibility study on how to regulate the cryptocurrency market, even with the indeterminate status of the legislation. When questioned, majority of European cryptocurrency holders said they acquired the digital assets merely for investment purposes, Q2 saw a great increase in individuals in Europe using cryptocurrency for online shopping with France dominating the adoption with a great increase from Q1 (26%) to 35% in Q2. Over half of individuals in Italy (66%) 37% in the UK and 40% in France, said they would like to use cryptocurrencies to pay for things in stores and online.

Swanepoel concluded by demarking the usefulness of cryptocurrency in times of volatility as a safe alternative for investment while being secure, easy and efficient as a payment option.

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by Megha Bhattacharya
Market Analyst at IBS Intelligence
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