Global payments provider Checkout.com debuted its Demystifying Crypto: Shedding light on the adoption of digital currencies for payments in 2022 report, pointing to increasingly positive trends in the adoption of digital currencies for e-commerce.
The report finds that one in three (30 per cent) of UK consumers intend to use crypto as a form of payment in 2022, increasing to two in five (40 per cent) when looking at respondents globally. Almost a third (28 per cent) of UK consumers believe that crypto should be seen as a notable form of currency, rather than just an investment asset, as nearly half (45 per cent) say they trust brands who accept crypto payments.
The comprehensive report independently surveyed a total of 30,000 consumers and 3,000 merchants in 11 countries, looking at behaviours and sentiments regarding commercial activity using cryptocurrencies. The first chapter of the report hones in on the specific trends in the 18-35-year-old age bracket, of which there were 16,000 participants.
According to the findings, crypto is rapidly gaining in appeal among younger demographics in particular, with 40 per cent of 18-35-year-old consumers wanting and planning to use cryptocurrencies to pay for goods or services within the next year. That’s up from less than 30 per cent last year and marks a substantial shift in attitude from digital currencies being seen solely as an investment vehicle to a means of doing business on a regular basis. It also sees consumers pacing ahead of online businesses, only 23 per cent of which say they are planning to offer crypto payment as a method of payment by 2024.
This increased consumer acceptance of cryptocurrency is driven by broader appetite for more convenient, safer payment methods. That is then matched by more merchants and third parties providing the underlying infrastructure to support those methods.
As a result, Crypto is already having a material impact on merchants and the market overall. More than $2.5billion worth of payments were made through Visa’s crypto-backed card in the first fiscal quarter of 2022 alone. And those merchants that embraced cryptocurrency payments experienced net-new growth, with 82 per cent saying those options allowed them to rapidly attract new customers and reach new demographics.
Almost 70 per cent of the merchants surveyed believe that the speed with which crypto payments can be made and settled has the potential to revolutionise their business models – with over 80 per cent of merchants with existing crypto payment options saying it was easier to settle than using fiat currencies.
“We believe this is the largest consumer survey of its kind, and the findings present a clear evolution of attitude toward cryptocurrencies around the world. This is a legitimate transition from the early adoption phase to one that’s more practical, pragmatic and positive overall,” said Jess Houlgrave, head of strategy for crypto at Checkout.com.
“This transition means there’s a groundswell in demand for fintech companies that can provide easy-to-deploy solutions and services to get merchants up and running with crypto payment options—and then help them optimise the process over time. We expect that trend to only get stronger over the coming year as we bridge more services into Web3.”
Consumer attitudes and trust
Even with a solid technology foundation underpinning crypto, the momentum can still be volatile. To date, vendors and merchants have made a considerable effort to build trust in these services. And the rising acceptance of crypto at a consumer level has started to influence the way larger corporates are working with digital currencies.
According to the Checkout.com report, over a third of survey participants—including CFOs and corporate treasurers—are increasingly interested in holding stablecoins on their balance sheets. They see this as a way to use decentralized finance for treasury management.
Some are going as far as planning to pay vendors and employees in stablecoins—primarily in response to demand from those audiences, with 51 per cent of companies reporting that at least some employees had expressed an interest in being paid in crypto.
More broadly, new communities of content creators, gamers, and gig workers are embracing crypto. Almost half (46 per cent) of online creatives say their fans and audiences have sent them digital currencies to support their work. These communities are stretch-testing what is possible when it comes to the use of tokens and crypto, a preview of what’s to come in the mainstream.
One other likely scenario held by 65 per cent of C-level executives is that Web3 will significantly change the B2C dynamic as consumers increasingly become producers. This market is expected to be significant, with the gaming economy forecasted to hit $260billion by 2025 and expected to rise.
“The cryptocurrency world is maturing and is increasingly being driven by utility, pragmatism and empowerment,” added Houlgrave. “Checkout.com sees the potential for cryptocurrency to not only transform the way people transact, but also to potentially reinvent the dynamics of the entire digital economy.”