Urban Indians likely to invest in cryptocurrency,but demand is lesser among those who never owned it
July 16th, 2021, Sonika Choubey

Urban Indians likely to invest in cryptocurrency,but demand is lesser among those who never owned it

Bitcoin is the most popular type and WazirX the most preferred platform among people likely to invest in digital money this year

YouGov’s latest study reveals that cryptocurrencies as an asset class have generated a fair amount of awareness as well as purchase intention amongst urban Indians. Although a third of the 1000 polled already own some cryptocurrency; overall close to 60% Indians said they are likely or very likely to consider investing in this asset class in 2021. This number is largely driven by people who have already invested in cryptocurrencies in the past while those who have never bought any form of cryptocurrencies are also less likely to buy it this year.

Having said that, almost a fourth of all respondents (23%) are unsure about investing in cryptocurrencies; only 18% have firmly made up their minds and are unlikely to invest in the same. The idea of investing in virtual coins is more popular among younger generations such as millennials (64%) and Gen Z (62%) as compared to the Gen X (55%) respondents.

Among the different kinds of cryptocurrencies available, Bitcoin (50%) is the most sought-after virtual currency that people are likely to invest, followed by Dogecoin (31%) and Ethereum (30%). Other popular altcoins include BCH, Litecoin, USD coin, TRON and Binance.

When asked about the platform they are most likely to use to invest in cryptocurrencies, Wazir X emerged as the most popular choice, with one is five saying they are likely to invest through this. Roughly one in seven are likely to use CoinSwitch Kuber (13%) or Coinbase (11%). Interestingly, Wazir X is more popular among millennials while CoinSwitch Kuber has a greater appeal among Gen Z respondents.

The key driver for most urban Indians to invest in digital currencies is primarily the promise of high returns in a short time (58%). The other two top reasons to invest are high liquidity, through which one can easily buy and sell cryptocurrencies in case of need (48%) while 45% claim that their interest has piqued due to higher awareness of all the marketing information on cryptocurrencies via ads, social media etc.

But there are still various reasons that deter people from investing in cryptocurrencies. More than half (51%) of urban Indians find lack of government regulations on cryptocurrencies to be a key factor discouraging them from investing in them. Unlike many other emerging markets, the government in India is yet to issue a regulatory stance on this new asset class and it seems this will enhance people’s confidence in digital money.

Many urban Indians find lack of information and cyber threats related with digital currency (41% each) to be a barrier. Interesting, price volatility (39%) and lack of an inherent value (35%) of cryptocurrencies are cited less of a concern as compared to the other factors.

The rapid increase in digitization in the past few years has created a ripe environment for digital currency. Almost half of the surveyed respondents said they would start or increase their investments in cryptocurrencies if there was more awareness about benefits of investing in them or if it was more widely accepted as a mode of payment (46% each).

Many believe increasing awareness about the investment apps for crypto trading might encourage them (38%), while others said they would be lured if the price volatility of the cryptocurrencies could be controlled (29%) or if there was an increase in sign up bonuses for investing in these instruments (28%).

When asked about their source of information for cryptocurrencies, people who have invested in cryptocurrencies tend to rely more heavily on the information shared on social media (by influencers and celebrities, social media communities, etc.) about cryptocurrencies (33% crypto investors vs. 24% of the non-investors) while both investors & non-investors alike (26%) follow podcasts or blogs by investment leaders/market experts and the recommendations of their friends and family (22%). Interestingly for the people still on the fence about cryptocurrencies, the non-investors, are more likely to trust news channels and portals (19% vs. 9% of crypto investors).

Data collected online by YouGov Omnibus among 1004 respondents in the country between June 22nd-27th, 2021 using YouGov’s panel of over 11 million people worldwide. Data is representative of the adult online population in the country.