Switzerland and Austria are the most open to cryptocurrencies

Swiss and Austrians perceive cryptocurrencies as more reliable than Germans and French. That’s according to a YouGov poll conducted on behalf of BearingPoint.

The vast majority of respondents in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and France do not believe that their national currencies will be replaced by digital currencies. However, almost one in five respondents thinks introducing a central bank digital currency is a good idea. It should also be noted that Swiss and Austrians perceive cryptocurrencies as more reliable than Germans and French. That’s according to a new YouGov survey commissioned by management and technology consultancy BearingPoint.

Zurich, August 4, 2022 – The vast majority are familiar with cryptocurrencies, but only a few use them. Nevertheless, 28% of the Swiss see it as a suitable form of investment, shows a new YouGov survey commissioned by the management and technology consultancy BearingPoint.

Almost everyone is familiar with the concept of cryptocurrency, but very few use it

In Switzerland and Austria, 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 has never heard of cryptocurrencies, compared to 14% in France. At the same time, the number of respondents who say they are knowledgeable about cryptocurrencies or who use cryptocurrencies remains below 10% for all countries.

The majority of respondents do not believe in replacing local currencies with digital currencies

For 72% of the Swiss, it is unlikely that national currencies will be replaced by central bank digital currencies. When this score is high, Switzerland is the country where this skepticism is lowest compared to its neighbors. Additionally, respondents’ confidence in the stability of cryptocurrency prices is low on average (22%). Government currencies (Francs or Euros) are seen as far more reliable (68% of respondents) and gold is by far the most trusted asset (87%).

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

One in five thinks digitizing the Swiss franc is a good idea

On average, every fifth respondent thinks the creation of a digital central bank currency, i.e. the digital franc or euro, is a good idea. Respondents in Switzerland and Austria are most in favor of this idea (both 22%), followed by Germany (19%) and France (18%). In addition, Switzerland is the only country where more than half of the population surveyed (56%) would consider a digital franc as a means of payment. Share deciding with other countries where the number of people willing to use a core 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 it is 81% and 80% respectively. France brings up the rear with 86%. In the Swiss population that has 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% with an online broker and 5% with a specialist cryptocurrency broker.

Stéphane Bellac, Partner at BearingPoint, adds: “We are observing that younger generations in Switzerland perceive cryptocurrencies more positively than older ones 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 continues to top the charts as the investment of choice

Gold remains the most suitable form of investment for more than 80% of respondents from all countries combined. Next come stocks (including mutual funds) and government securities such as cash, bonds, time deposits, or money market funds. In Switzerland, 87% of the population consider gold to be an appropriate form of investment, in Austria even 91%. Same observation for Germany (83%) and France (80%). Cryptocurrencies come in last place behind stocks and government bonds, because on average in the 4 countries only 25% of those surveyed consider them a suitable investment vehicle. 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 through their traditional bank

How to invest in cryptocurrencies? One in ten respondents plan to invest through their usual bank before crypto exchanges, online brokers or specialized cryptocurrency brokers.

The study shows a difference between people who have experience with cryptocurrency and newcomers. In fact, only 3% of Swiss who have already invested in cryptocurrencies have gone through their usual bank. Conversely, 13% of people who have never invested in cryptocurrencies would do so at their usual bank first, a population four times that of those who have already invested. The numbers are similar for Austria, France and Germany and the trend is clear: the house bank is attractive for people who want to find out more about cryptocurrencies. It should also be noted that more than one in ten responded that they did not know how to invest in cryptocurrencies until now.

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