Ricardo Esteves has seen business and economics through many lenses. He joined the Financial Services Industry in 2009, and has been a financial journalist since 2011. He holds a degree in Business Administration and has experience producing real-time news, from both buy-side and sell-side, as well as for retail traders, brokers and service providers. Esteves' work has appeared in a variety of online publications including FX Street and FinanceFeeds.
A survey conducted by FinTech Sowa Labs, a subsidiary of Boerse Stuttgart Digital Ventures, found that cryptocurrency traders want uncomplicated, safe, and quickly accessible ways to invest in virtual currencies.
As digital currencies emerge and claim the spotlight in the capital markets, FinTech Sowa surveyed over 1,000 people online to conclude that interest in the new asset class is surging, but there are quite a few limitations regarding ease of use, accessibility, and safety.
Ulli Spankowski, Managing Director at Sowa Labs, commented: “More and more investors are interested in cryptocurrencies. However, our survey shows that existing arrangements and venues for crypto trading are not suitable for a mass audience.”
“Not only is there a lack of user interfaces in the German language, but many trading platforms are also quite difficult to use”, Spankowski continued, adding that registration and proof of identity are often too complex. “Simply opening a user account usually takes up to several days – much too long for the fast-paced crypto world.”
The survey found that two-thirds of respondents wanted a registration process that would allow them to start trading within 24 hours. Other complaints include error-prone trading processes and the high fees charged for purchasing digital coins.
Named #thefutureofcrypto, the report highlights that the vast majority of investors have not entered the crypto world yet, despite three-quarters of them having already traded securities. It is only one third – mainly men under the age of 35 – that had an account on a crypto platform and two-thirds of that cohort has invested in at least three cryptocurrencies.
“The number of new accounts opened has increased by leaps and bounds – very much in line with all the bitcoin hype”, Spankowski continued, as the crypto trader respondents carried out frequent transactions, three-quarters of which trading every month. They overwhelmingly base their trading decisions on information obtained from online sources, such as forums, blogs, and social media.
As to why the majority of participants did not trade in cryptocurrencies, trust is the issue: “Many of those questioned do not trust digital money, regard investment in it as too risky, or have insufficient expertise”, according to Spankowski.
Both traders and non-traders agree that the digital currency market is more speculative in nature, but regarding the cryptocurrency market as a bubble is something that most crypto traders are not ready to admit, unlike the others. Participants were undecided as to whether cryptocurrencies were an alternative to the current payment system.