We partnered with GlobalWebIndex to produce the most in-depth survey on European cryptocurrency holders. One of the key objectives of this report was to draw on a wide set of data points to paint a more holistic picture of European cryptocurrency investors and provide an insight into the attitudes and behaviours that set them apart from the average investor.

Key findings of the research report include:

  • The archetypical cryptocurrency holder is a young, highly educated, high-income male working full-time or as a freelancer in a major European financial centre in IT, engineering or finance.
  • But this stereotype is challenged by increasing diversity among cryptocurrency holders. 1 in 5 are women, and 40% are over the age of 35. The majority (54%) don’t have university degrees, even though cryptocurrency holders are far more likely to.
  • European cryptocurrency holders are interested in business and technology. They have technical knowledge, higher disposable income, and they tend to lean towards risk-taking and gambling.
  • They pursue novelty, are open to risk and have a strong sense of economic empowerment. We see this pattern with more affluent internet users as well, but it is particularly pronounced in the crypto community.

The Crypto Landscape

Cryptocurrency forms a part of the portfolios of 4% of internet users in 17 European markets, making it the least common of the nine named investment types tracked in the survey.

Switzerland and Austria have the highest rate of cryptocurrency ownership in Europe and among the highest in the world: 7% of all internet users there hold cryptocurrency.

4% of European internet users in 17 markets own cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency ownership is associated with particular demographics more than anything else. The European markets with the most cryptocurrency holders tend to have wealthier, younger online populations. Higher investment in gold also has a strong connection with the share who invest in cryptocurrency. This association is mostly down to Turkey, where 48% of savers reported owning some gold.

Switzerland and Austria have the highest rate of cryptocurrency ownership in Europe and among the highest in the world: 7% of all internet users there hold cryptocurrency.

Though the UK as a whole only has the 11th highest share, it’s worth noting that London on its own has the highest concentration of cryptocurrency holders found in Europe. At nearly three times the average rate, it even exceeds Zürich’s share.

Demographics

Apart from a gender imbalance, cryptocurrency holders aren’t dominated by any single demographic. What we see instead is a mix of traits that other GlobalWebIndex research often associates with higher rates of tech adoption.

Compared to the average internet user in Europe, cryptocurrency holders are more likely to be:

  • Male
  • Under 35
  • A full-time worker or a freelancer
  • Educated to a postgraduate level
  • In the top income decile
  • In the top wealth decile, but outside the top 1%

There’s a large gender split among crypto holders, but all share the same interests. When it comes to attitudes, there’s very little difference between men and women. Female holders share the orientation towards tech, gambling, business, entrepreneurship, computers and finance that characterise their male counterparts, albeit to a smaller extent.

There’s a large gender split among crypto holders, but all share the same interests. When it comes to attitudes, there’s very little difference between men and women.

Cryptocurrency holders tend to be well-educated professionals in technical, IT and financial industries. 46% have undergraduate or postgraduate degrees, compared to 33% among the average European internet users. Together, software development, IT and telecommunications, and engineering account for 24% of cryptocurrency holders.

Finance and investment behaviours

Greater wealth is correlated with cryptocurrency ownership, but not to the extent that we see for other assets like art, real estate or bonds. Cryptocurrency is something people diversify into once they have the means to do so, and it isn’t as much a preserve of the affluent as other assets. They tend to have more diversified portfolios than other savers. Like other affluent consumers, they venture into more exotic and niche investments.

Cryptocurrency holders express confidence, optimism about their finances and the world economy, and show a sense of personal financial empowerment.

Cryptocurrency is something people diversify into once they have the means to do so, and it isn’t as much a preserve of the affluent as other assets. They tend to have more diversified portfolios than other savers.

Lifestyle

Their risk-taking mindset isn’t limited to their finances. It needs to be seen in relation to a wider set of attitudes they voice. For one, these are a group who are looking for adventure. Many are young, most are relatively affluent — and are willing to act accordingly as consumers. They’re about 50% more likely than average to say that other people view them as adventurous, and over 60% of them say they like to pursue a life of challenge and change.

Their signature interests read like a catalogue of hot topics in crypto: tech, coding, economics, business, and entrepreneurship. Outside of tech, sports and gaming are important pastimes for this audience — both male and female. The strong personal interest overlap suggests that personal fascination could play a role in motivating people to invest in cryptocurrency beyond purely economic reasons.

They’re an aspirational consumer group too, even more so than other asset holders. A full 55% say they like to stand out in a crowd. When it comes to decision making, a narrow majority (51%) say they tend to make decisions based on gut feeling — narrow, but well above average.

The strong personal interest overlap suggests that personal fascination could play a role in motivating people to invest in cryptocurrency beyond purely economic reasons.

Cryptocurrency holders are no more concerned about privacy than average, but they’re more likely to be taking action to safeguard it.

Read the full report here.