The number of Australians who own cryptocurrencies has, according to a recent survey, nearly tripled since the beginning of this year, despite the crypto market’s bearish trend, which saw most cryptocurrencies drop from their all-time highs.

According to local publication, Finder-backed brokerage firm HiveEx surveyed 2,000 people both in January and in August of this year. It found the number of Australians who hold crypto surged from 5% to 13.5%.

The results are notable as CryptoCompare data shows the price of bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, plummeted from about $16,300 in early January to $6,450 at press time. Its all-time high, in mid-December, was of nearly $20,000.

Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at ThinkMarkets, was quoted as saying:

Crypto bulls are feeling the doom and gloom. The price of bitcoin is threatening this year’s low once again ($US5887) and this isn’t a good sign at all.

HiveEx’s survey further found that 50% of Australians holding cryptocurrencies were doing so as an investment, while 34% claimed to have entered the market out of fear of missing out (FOMO). An additional 26% noted they were using cryptos to save for retirement.

While a third of respondents who hold crypto stated they were planning to pay their taxes with it, 80% revealed they would use their cryptocurrency holdings more often for day-to-day purchases it “it was as easy to use as Australian dollars.”

Out of those who didn’t own any cryptocurrencies, 65% said they didn’t enter the market because they didn’t understand them or because they were too hard to use. Per, over one in five said they believe cryptos are a scam or a bubble.

Bitcoin’s price notably dropped this week after a mysterious whale moved over $100 million to cryptocurrency exchanges, and after reports suggested Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs was dropping plans to launch a bitcoin trading desk.

The financial institution’s chief financial officer, R. Martin Chavez, recently revealed it is, in fact, “setting up a trading desk to make markets in digital currencies such as bitcoin.” Per Chavez, Goldman Sachs is now working on bitcoin derivatives “because the clients want it.”

As CryptoGlobe covered, cryptocurrency exchange Huobi has expanded into Australia. The co-founder of hit comparison site Finder, Fred Schebesta, has revealed he wants to create the country’s first crypto bank.

Schebesta, after purchasing a “significant” personal holding in West Australian bank Goldfields Money, revealed he believes a bank is a logical move for the industry, as he believes growing cryptocurrency adoption will see people need services that include “custodianship, cold storage, escrow, exchange and spending.”