The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) in Canada has published a report on public opinion towards crypto assets. The major research objective was to understand how people engage with crypto assets and what their different objectives are. The research also covered topics such as how people gather information about cryptocurrencies. Which particular age group is inclined towards cryptos? Therefore, the answers to these questions are very important from the perspective of both crypto enthusiasts and investors.
The research survey reveals in detail the profile of Canadian crypto investors. The report states that cryptocurrency is far more popular among men (69%) than women (31%). In terms of employment, 54% have at least an undergraduate degree. This trend reveals that many crypto enthusiasts are well-educated and have a substantial degree of awareness. Around 69% of crypto users are full-time employed. It is also true that the crypto owners on average earn more than $100K annually. 53% of crypto owners belong to the age group of 25-44 years. This is perhaps because this age group has a high amount of disposable income compared to others. Only 26% of crypto owners are Middle-aged people (above 45) and the figures are lower (21%) for those who are young (18-24).
The survey results show that there are many different reasons for purchasing crypto assets. In this year as well as last year (2022), the most common reason for people buying cryptos was that it is a speculative investment. However, compared to last year, fewer people are buying crypto for long-term investment purposes. There has been a 9% decrease in 2023 compared to last year.
The positive news about this survey is the fact that the approximate current market value reported has increased substantially compared to 2022. The percentage of crypto holders holding less than $1000 worth of currencies has declined from 36% to 29%. However, the opposite is true for those cryptocurrencies ranging from $20K to $100,000. In 2022, the percentage was 16% and now in 2023, it has shot up to 23%. Similarly, the range of cryptos over $100,000 has increased from 10% in 2022 to 2024. This essentially implies that Canadian people are more confident about the market value of their cryptos compared to last year.
The survey also reveals that the crypto assets acquisition has not undergone significant changes. In 2022, 52% of owners acquired cryptos through a crypto platform. The percentage will remain almost unchanged in 2023. However, more people are acquiring cryptos through a decentralized exchange compared to last year. For instance, only 13% acquired cryptos through decentralized exchange which has risen to 19%. Mining, free gifting, token generation/initial coin offerings, and automated teller machines (ATMs) are some of the other ways in which users buy or sell cryptos. None of these methods have undergone significant changes. A surprising fact in the survey is that less percentage of people have asked friends, families, or colleagues to acquire cryptos.
The frequency of crypto trading in the last 12 months has declined considerably since 2022. For example, the survey report revealed that trading crypto assets in 2022 was 61%. It has come down to 53% now. Furthermore, a higher proportion reported that they had not made any trades within the past year. Canadians above the age of 55 years are likely to have not traded any crypto assets in the last year. The age group 18 to 34 has also traded less compared to last year.
The survey report revealed that cash continues to be the most popular method of financing cryptos. Around 46% of owners used cash savings in 2023 which is slightly lower than the previous year. Credit cards were the second most used method of payment. All other methods have not changed much in 2023. This essentially means that people are exploring new ways of payment but still prefer cash.
In 2022, 49% of users stored crypto assets in their platform. Only 32% store their assets in an accessible crypto wallet. Only a tiny percentage of 9% stored their cryptos in a hardware wallet where they have a private accessing key. These figures are more or less the same in 2023. The results indicate that people still depend on and trust their crypto trading platform in place of their wallets. A lack of knowledge of crypto wallets may be the possible reason.
The positive aspect of the report is that a greater percentage of crypto fund owners expect losses compared to 2022. Only a few expect profits. In the context of crypto asset holders, the figures are almost close. 29% expect losses but 30% expect profits. In the context of crypto investment fund holders, 35% expect gains but only 29% expect loss.
The survey report reveals that in Canada, most people continue to rely on friends, family, and colleagues as the main source for gaining information on crypto assets. However, in 2023, that has declined to only 34% from 41% in 2022. The next biggest source of information for Canadians on this topic is advice from social media outlets. In 2023, 23% admitted that they took advice from social media and online message boards. 22% of Canadians surveyed admitted that they spoke or listened to a blockchain technology expert. 21% of Canadians on the other hand relied on the financial press. There were a few changes as far as the source of information is concerned. These trends clearly show that financial literacy is quite high in the country.
The survey clearly shows that the Canadian public is very enthusiastic about cryptocurrencies. Many continue to rely on families, friends, and colleagues as the main source of information to gain knowledge on cryptos. Most trends in the survey indicate that crypto owners are more likely to be men. Age 25-44 form the largest age group among crypto enthusiasts. This can partly be attributed to their high disposable income and better risk-taking capacities.