Aussie interest and investment in crypto gains momentum despite cost of living crunch: Independent Reserve research

Aussie interest and investment in crypto gains momentum despite cost of living crunch: Independent Reserve research

Australians’ interest and investment in crypto remains high and continues to gain momentum, with sentiment demonstrably shifting to a phase of renewed optimism and growth, according to Australia’s longest-running and most robust crypto research, the Independent Reserve Cryptocurrency Index (IRCI), released today.

This comes despite rising interest rates and cost of living pressures impacting investors’ portfolios, forcing sales and causing others to remain on the sidelines.

Conducted annually, and now in its fifth year, the IRCI is a national survey providing a benchmark for the awareness, trust and confidence that everyday Australians have in digital currencies. The 2023 survey was postponed to early 2024 to capture the impact of the Bitcoin spot ETF, approved in January 2024.

The crypto industry faced multiple challenges in 2023, including the fallout from the FTX saga and the collapse of Signature Bank. Despite this, this year’s IRCI data demonstrates that Australians’ interest and investment in crypto remain high and continue to gain momentum with awareness of crypto reaching a new high of 95%, up from 92% in 2022. The age group with the greatest awareness of crypto was those aged 35-44 (98.6%).

Aussie crypto ownership rates increased to 27.5% from 25.6% in 2022. In 2019, ownership was just 16.8%.

Anticipation of the first Bitcoin spot ETFs propelled Bitcoin’s value more than 150% higher during 2023 and with the next Bitcoin halving approaching in April, it’s no wonder Bitcoin remains a favourite among crypto investors, with 63% ownership. More than half (52%) of crypto investors prefer Bitcoin over other digital assets.

Over the last 12 months, interest rates and inflation have increased dramatically, driving up the cost of living for all Australians. The cost of living crunch has unsettled crypto investors, with almost a quarter (24%) thinking of selling or partially selling their crypto portfolio to help them cope with the rising costs.

Australians who don’t invest in crypto said they wanted more regulation (36%) and better consumer protections (38%) before investing.

Under a new regulatory regime for cryptocurrency exchanges, the Federal Government will require crypto exchanges to hold a financial services licence issued by the corporate regulator to reduce risks for investors. This landmark development promises to bring the industry greater confidence and certainty, paving the way for institutional investment and broader adoption.

Independent Reserve CEO Adrian Przelozny, said, “Our 2024 IRCI results reflect greater awareness of crypto, higher adoption rates and an increase in medium-term confidence with a rise in the number of people likely to invest in the next 12 months.

“This comes despite the current economic uncertainty for many Australians with the increased cost of living and rising interest rates.

“The palpable shift in Aussie awareness of, and sentiment towards cryptocurrencies, has been driven primarily by Bitcoin and the global Bitcoin spot ETF approvals, but also by local regulatory reform that will help drive investment, provide certainty to the sector and ultimately, increase consumer protection.

“In 2023, Bitcoin propelled many investors into profitability, solidifying its position as the undisputed digital gold, and with the next Bitcoin halving approaching in April, 2024 promises to be a bullish year,” he said.

To read more and download the full report from Independent Reserve, click here.