How do we Germans score in an international crypto comparison? Are the men of this world really dominating the crypto market or are the women slowly catching up when it comes to digital currency? And how much confidence do we really have in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether & Co. when we compare ourselves to other countries and cultures? A joint study by We Are Social and Hootsuite reveals that Germany is among the crypto-skeptics, young people invest more in cryptocurrencies than older people and men more than women.
The big shock came slowly and in stages: since the start of the year, the price of bitcoin, which was worth around US$68,000 in November, has fallen by 60%.. Those who invested in Terra Luna lost almost all of their deposits. The existence of several? A sea of shards. Analysts speak either of a “collapse” (t-online) or of a “healthy adjustment” (Manager Magazin). In any case, the loss of confidence is enormous. Cryptocurrencies were in fact not only designed as an object of speculation, but also as a hedge against the loss of value of conventional currencies. The reverse happened, the losses of Bitcoin, Tether & Co. are significantly higher than the inflation rates of the major economies.
What is the mood of the countries of this world towards cryptocurrencies? And what percentage of the respective population is invested in it? We Are Social and Hootsuite investigated this in a joint study in April 2022. A brief conclusion from a German perspective: In a global comparison, we tend to be among the cryptoskeptics. And in this country, it is mainly men and young people who have invested.
Most Crypto Fans Live In Asia, Germany Is Bottom
Trading and possession of digital currencies is prohibited in Vietnam, Bolivia, Pakistan and now also in China. In 111 countries, however, cryptocurrencies are allowed by law, including Germany. The highest percentage of cryptocurrency owners are found in parts of Asia, with Vietnam (29%) and Turkey (24%) topping the list. In the Philippines (23%) and Thailand (20%), one in five internet users say they hold some form of crypto. In some African countries too, the proportion of crypto investors is well above the global average of 10.7%: Nigeria (21%), Ghana (17%) and Kenya (16%) make up the 3 first countries.. In Latin America, Argentina and Mexico lead with 15%, closely followed by Venezuela (14.6%), Colombia (14.5%) and Brazil (14.4%).. While risk appetite seems to be very high in parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America, the currency is viewed with skepticism in Europe: Germany in particular is seen as the country most wary of crypto: 76% say investing is not an option. It is therefore not surprising that in our joint analysis with Hootsuite, Germany is one of the last countries examined. In the crypto comparison we are in 28th place out of 47. The homeownership rate in Germany is 9.8%, which is lower than the world average of 10.7%.. A look at other European countries also makes it clear: cryptocurrency is well below average in this part of the world. The French are even less enthusiastic about cryptocurrencies (6%) than the Germans, and Italy brings up the rear in Europe with a share of crypto users of only 5.7%..
Developing countries: crypto as a means against corruption?
So, people in Africa, Latin America and Asia seem to have more hope in cryptocurrencies than their Western counterparts. Why is it so? The initial promise of cryptocurrency was transparency. It is therefore not surprising that crypto is particularly attractive in regions that have little or no confidence in their financial system or their governments. And where either inflation is high or corruption is endemic. Cryptocurrencies also promised quick profits in a short time. The last six to eight months have shown that the opposite has happened.
Crypto: currency for digital affines or something for baby boomers?
Typically, people over 50 also own most of the assets in the world. But does the so-called boomer generation also invest their money in a digital currency? Rather no, as only around 9% of internet users between the ages of 55 and 64 now own some form of cryptocurrency.. This is shown by the Digital Statshot Report 22 survey from We Are Social and Hootsuite. Millennials are much more willing to take risks and have an affinity with digital: a total of 37% of people aged 25-39 in Germany own some form of crypto, among GenZ it’s 30%. German baby boomers are definitely more reserved and cautious: they only have a few here 3% a form of digital currency.
But are baby boomers trailing the world’s crypto trail? Not in the Philippines. The Southeast Asian archipelago is the only country in the world with the highest percentage of crypto investors over the age of 55. In the United States, on the other hand, the largest cohort (50%) is again among the crypto-millennials.
Apparently, not only the available assets are decisive, but above all the digital affinity, which is more pronounced among the younger generations.
Crypto: (still) a typically male domain
Gender views on cryptocurrencies are similar to differences in age groups. Ownership of digital currency is clearly geared towards male internet users – they own with almost 60% more likely than women to use cryptocurrency. It was also mostly men who were at the forefront of cryptocurrency from the beginning. According to research by Blockpit, a majority of women only jumped on the crypto bandwagon in 2020 and 2021.
There are only four countries in the world where the proportion of women is higher: Malaysia, Norway, Russia and Venezuela. In Germany, as in the United States, men clearly dominate. In Germany, only 3% of women invest in crypto, in the United States 7%. Most Young Men Are Investing in Crypto – Often Overconfident and Believing in the Constant Growth of Digital Currency, According to Research by UK:Mode. This confirms the findings of other forms of crypto investing. Men generally tend to favor risky investments and are also more likely to be interested in day trading or more speculative short-term investments. Women, on the other hand, tend to invest more defensively and seek long-term security. Interestingly, female crypto users are also generally slightly older than their male counterparts – 55% of women are over 35, while only 44% of male crypto fans fall into this age group..
Despite the fact that interest in the crypto market is still dominated by men, it is clear that women are increasingly interested in this investment strategy. 60% of women even think crypto is the future of the financial market and nearly half say crypto makes up just under a quarter of their total investment portfolio.
Crypto: Germany remains cautious
What’s next for cryptocurrencies after the price crash? Will the world-famous German anxiety also be overcome with digital currencies? Or was the reluctance of the Germans – given the current sharp drop in prices – exactly the right strategy? If the German Savings Banks and the Giro Association win their case, Germany remains rather cautious in international comparison. The savings banks, where almost half of Germans have a current account, have just spoken out against the planned introduction of crypto trading and therefore also against a crypto wallet. As a consolation, they will at least offer digital titles in the future. It remains to be seen whether this will satisfy long-term customer needs.
Author Max Retzer is Director of Public Relations and Communications at We Are Social
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