With a new report highlighting that one in five Brits own cryptocurrency, Nick Vermeulen from PwC Channel Islands said younger people were already using such digital assets to transact online. The most well-known cryptocurrency is Bitcoin.
‘The way I look at this is that the next generation is already using something that the older generation might consider foreign,’ said Mr Vermeulen, territory senior partner at PwC Channel Islands.
‘The next generation has already adopted it and is already using it.’
Mark Le Page, director, assurance, at EY, said nobody had a full insight into how widely cryptocurrencies were now in use. Their value has been volatile, leading regulators to also urge caution.
But referring to findings that 18% of Brits owned such assets, Mr Le Page added: ‘It would not surprise me. I have literally been in queues in shops and heard people discussing their holdings in crypto – particularly Bitcoin.
‘My view is that while cryptocurrencies are powerful in the right hands, they should not be in retail hands because of the risks.’
A survey from US cryptocurrency exchange Gemini found that 18% of those surveyed in the UK reported crypto ownership, while the figure in the US was 20%. Brazil and Indonesia lead the world in crypto adoption, with 41% of respondents saying they own such digital assets.
Nearly 30,000 people across 20 countries took part in the research, which was conducted between November 2021 and February 2022. It found that last year was a huge year for cryptocurrencies.
Inflation was a particular driver for people adopting such digital assets in countries that had seen currency devaluation, according to the report.