Switzerland and Austria are the most open to cryptocurrencies

Switzerland and Austria are the most open to cryptocurrencies

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The Swiss and Austrians perceive cryptocurrencies as more reliable than the Germans and the French. This is revealed by a YouGov survey carried out on behalf of BearingPoint.

The vast majority of respondents in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and France do not believe that their state currencies will be replaced by digital currencies. However, nearly one in five respondents believe the introduction of a central bank digital currency would be a good idea. It should also be noted that the Swiss and Austrians perceive cryptocurrencies as more reliable than the Germans and the French. This is revealed by a new YouGov survey carried out on behalf of management and technology consultancy BearingPoint.

Zurich, August 4, 2022 – The vast majority know about cryptocurrencies, but few use them. Yet 28% of Swiss see them as a suitable form of investment, shows a new YouGov poll commissioned by management and technology consultancy BearingPoint.

Almost everyone knows the concept of cryptocurrency, however very few use them

It is in Switzerland and Austria that the population is most familiar with the topic of cryptocurrencies with only 7% of respondents not knowing what these currencies are. In Germany, one in ten people have never heard of cryptocurrencies, compared to 14% in France. At the same time, the number of respondents who say they know the subject of cryptocurrencies well or who use them remains below 10% for all countries.

Majority of Respondents Do Not Believe in Replacing State Currencies with Digital Currencies

For 72% of the Swiss, it is unlikely that state currencies will be replaced by digital currencies from central banks. If this figure is high, Switzerland is the country where this skepticism is the lowest compared to its neighbors. In addition, on average, respondents’ confidence in the stability of cryptocurrency prices is low (22%). State currencies (franc or euro) are considered much more reliable (68% of respondents) and gold is by far the asset in which people have the most confidence (87%).

Marco Kundert, Partner at BearingPoint, says: “Compared to its neighboring countries, the Swiss are the most open to cryptocurrencies. Despite this, the number of users is still low (8%). This is due to the high volatility, lack of security when depositing and regulatory uncertainty of this asset class. In addition, the majority of the Swiss population surveyed indicate that they would use a digital Swiss franc for payments in the future if such a currency were to emerge. Demonstrating such innovation in the field of digital payments would be a positive signal for the Swiss and even international financial center.”

One in five people think digitization of the Swiss franc is a good idea

On average, one in five respondents thinks that the creation of a central bank digital currency, i.e. the digital franc or euro, is a good idea. Respondents in Switzerland and Austria are the most in favor of this idea (22% in both cases), followed by Germany (19%) and France (18%). Moreover, Switzerland is the only country where more than half of the surveyed population (56%) would consider using a digital franc as a means of payment. Proportion coming to decide with other countries where the number of people ready to use a central digital currency is 36% (Germany) and 43% (Austria and France).

A population still reluctant to invest in cryptocurrencies

Overall, people are still very reluctant to invest in cryptocurrencies. The vast majority of respondents in Switzerland (79%) have never invested in cryptocurrencies. In Germany and Austria this figure is 81% and 80% respectively. France is at the back of the pack with 86%. In the Swiss population who have already taken the plunge, more than 7% have chosen to invest through an account with a crypto exchange. Only 3% did so with their bank, 5% through an online broker and 5% through a specialized cryptocurrency broker.

Stéphane Bellac, Partner at BearingPoint, adds: “We observe that younger generations in Switzerland perceive cryptocurrencies more positively than their elders, and invest more in this asset class. For banks and online brokers, adding crypto-assets to their product offering is therefore an opportunity to better serve and retain this clientele.”

Gold still tops the charts as preferred investment

For more than 80% of people surveyed, all countries combined, gold remains the most appropriate form of investment. This is followed by equities (including investment funds) and government securities such as cash, bonds, term deposits or money market funds. In Switzerland, 87% of the population consider gold to be an appropriate form of investment, rising to 91% in Austria. Same observation for Germany (83%) and France (80%). Cryptocurrencies come in last place behind stocks and government securities, because on average across the 4 countries, only 25% of respondents consider them to be an appropriate means of investment. Switzerland leads the ranking with 28%, followed by France (25%), Austria (24%) and finally Germany (22%).

Neophytes prefer to make their first investment in cryptoassets via their traditional bank

How to invest in cryptocurrencies? One in ten people surveyed plan to invest through their usual bank, ahead of crypto exchanges, online brokers or specialist cryptocurrency brokers.

The study shows a difference between people who are experienced in cryptocurrency and neophytes. Indeed, only 3% of Swiss who have already invested in cryptocurrencies have gone through their usual bank. Conversely, among people who have never invested in cryptocurrencies, 13% would do so first with their usual bank, a population four times greater than that who has already invested. The figures are similar for Austria, France and Germany and the trend is clear: the main bank is attractive for people who want to learn about cryptocurrencies. It should also be noted that more than one in ten people answered that they did not know how to invest in cryptocurrencies to date.

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