Research conducted by the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has found that 1.9 million U.K. residents currently own cryptocurrencies, while 2.6 million are estimated to have bought crypto “at some point.”

The research report published by the FCA into how consumers interact with cryptocurrency markets in the U.K. found that 3.86% of the country’s general adult population owns cryptocurrencies, as its adult population is estimated to be of approximately 50 million people.

To the FCA, there was a “statistically significant increase” in cryptocurrency holders throughout the UK as last year roughly 3% of the country’s adult population owned crypto at some point, and is now up to 5.35%. The rise brings to the total number of U.K. residents who ever held crypto up to 2.6 million, up from 1.5 million.

While the amount of adults owning crypto is relatively small compared to the total adult population, industry awareness appears to have hit a new high, as 73% of polled adults revealed they have heard of cryptocurrencies, up from 42% last year.

According to the FCA’s research, however, 75% of the 1.9 million people that currently hold crypto in the U.K. have less than £1,000 (around $1,230) in the space, with 83% of them buying their assets via exchanges that are not based in the U.K. Those who do buy crypto are nevertheless aware of the risks, per the FCA.

The report notes most “seem to understand the risks associated with the lack of protections, the high volatility of the product and have some understanding of the underlying technology. The report adds this isn’t the case for all:

Nevertheless, the lack of such knowledge among some presents potential consumer harm to consumers. 11% of current and previous cryptocurrency owners thought they were protected. This amounts to approximately 300,000 adults.

The most common reason for U.K. consumers to purchase crypto, it adds, was as a “gamble that could make or lose money.”

Crypto Ads’ Influence 

The FCA’s report also found that 45% of current and former cryptocurrency holders had seen cryptocurrency-related ads. A total of 35%, around 400,000 people, said the crypto-related ads made them more likely to invest in the space.

Overall, 16% of those who have had or currently have cryptocurrencies revealed they have been influenced by crypto-related ads. The report, however, also claims the “media’s role in raising consumer awareness about cryptocurrencies has risen.”

As CryptoGlobe reported earlier this year, the FCA added nine new financial crypto companies to its warning list, as it has been ramping up efforts to keep consumers safe even if they are investing in the crypto space. Cryptocurrencies are not covered by consumer protections.

Featured image via Pixabay.