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FCA research hailed as a ‘Bitcoin going mainstream’ moment

A detailed report into cryptocurrency by the Financial Conduct Authority should be regarded as a turning point that took Bitcoin into the mainstream, says a leading financial expert.

Research published by the FCA estimates that 2.3 million UK adults now hold crypto assets (up from 1.9 million last year). An impressive 78 per cent of adults have now heard of crypto assets – up from 73 per cent last year.

The consumer research shows that as holding cryptocurrencies has become more common, attitudes to them have changed. Just 38 per cent of crypto users now regard them as a gamble, whereas 47 per cent thought the same last last year. Increasing numbers see them as either a complement or alternative to mainstream investments.  

Enthusiasm for Bitcoin and alt coins is growing with more than half of crypto users saying they have had a positive experience so far and are likely to buy more (rising from 41 per cent to 53 per cent). Fewer people also regret having bought cryptocurrencies, down from 15 per cent to 11 per cent.

One in 10 who had heard of cryptocurrency said they are aware of consumer warnings on the FCA website. Of these, 43 per cent said they were discouraged from buying crypto. Most consumers recognise that crypto investments are not protected, although 12 per cent of crypto users believe otherwise.  

Sheldon Mills, FCA

Sheldon Mills, FCA’s Executive Director, Consumers and Competition said the research highlighted a definite increase in interest in cryptocurrency among UK customers.

“The market has continued to grow, and some investors have benefitted as prices have risen,” he said.

“However, it is important for customers to understand that because these products are largely unregulated that if something goes wrong they are unlikely to have access to the FSCS or the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Prepared to lose

“If consumers invest in these types of products, they should be prepared to l...

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