The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the country’s financial watchdog, has recently commissioned two studies as part of the UK Cryptoassets Taskforce, which found that most investors in the country seemingly bought crypto looking to “get rich quick.”
Other reasons for Brits to buy cryptocurrencies the studies found included fear of missing out (FOMO), and as a gamble. According to the watchdog, the two commissioned studies were looking at awareness of those investing in cryptoasset in the UK.
The first study involved in-depth interviews with 31 investors and was produced by Revealing Reality. It found that the number one reason to invest was an attempt to “get rich quick,” over dreams of luxurious lifestyles. The FCA’s report reads:
Particularly for the younger people in the sample, this seemed to be related to a more general aversion to traditional forms of employment and an attraction to lifestyles of leisure and making ‘easy money’ with little effort.
The interviews also found that FOMO heavily influenced cryptocurrency investors. This, as many read articles and stores on “consumers who had bought Bitcoin in or before 2017, and made a significant amount of money.”
Worried they wouldn’t be able to catch the crypto ecosystem’s historic bull run in 2017 – or any future upward moves – they invested in cryptoasset. The second study, conducted by Kantar TNS, surveyed 2,132 Brits and found that crypto remains a relatively niche investment.
Notably, 70% of the survey’s respondents revealed they didn’t either know what a cryptocurrency was, or couldn’t define it. The organization estimates that only 3% of UK residents have bought cryptocurrencies, with the most popular coin bought being bitcoin, followed by ether.
Christopher Woolard, the FCA’s executive director of strategy and competition, stated:
This research gives us evidence we haven’t had before about how consumers interact with cryptoassets. This will help us ensure we are acting on evidence as we seek to protect consumers and market integrity.
The survey’s results, per Woolard, suggest that while consumers are aware of cryptocurrencies, the majority don’t buy them or use them. Those who do buy, it seems, use their own money – instead of borrowing – and buy under £200 ($262) worth of crypto.
Woolard added that cryptoasset are “complex, volatile products,” that could see investors lose all of their funds. The study was conducted as part of the UK Cryptoassets Taskforce, which was set up last year, and involves the FCA, the Treasury, and the Bank of England.