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Kiwis Turn to Crypto as Home Ownership Becomes Elusive, New Research Reveals

New research by reveals that almost half of New Zealanders are interested in crypto investments as an alternative to home ownership, despite significant barriers in understanding and trust.

Close to 50 per cent of New Zealanders own, have owned or are considering future investment into crypto, according to research by consumer insights company Protocol Theory and cryptocurrency exchange Easy Crypto.

Sixteen per cent of respondents said they could invest a small amount in real estate over time, compared to almost 60 per cent who believe they could do the same in crypto.

“For many Kiwis, the dream of home ownership is at odds with their current economic reality,” says Janine Grainger, co-founder and CEO of Easy Crypto. “At the same time, crypto is entering the mainstream – including institutional investment – and our mission is to leave no one behind. The main goal of our research was to understand the next wave of crypto adopters and what we need to do to support them to make informed and smarter investment decisions.”

The research also shows a willingness to consider alternative assets, with only 20 per cent of those surveyed believing that the only safe investments are those insured by the government; signalling increased consideration of alternative assets to grow their wealth.

Twenty-six per cent of Kiwis agree that crypto enables greater equality for all – compared to just 23 per cent for property investments.

High adoption rates

The survey results revealed some of the highest adoption figures yet, with 14 per cent of the over 1000 respondents from the general adult population reporting that they either own or have owned crypto (compared to 10 per cent reported by the FMA in 2022).

“These rates rise to 45 per cent – almost half of Kiwis – when we also factor in those ‘considering future investment’. What’s more, once people have adopted the asset class, very few abandon it,” Grainger also added.

“Crypto offers a low capital, low cost investment, but there are significant gaps between investment ‘intent’ and ‘action’, i.e. between wanting to invest, and actually investing.”

Education needs

Seventy-two per cent of those who haven’t invested yet find doing so confusing and admitted they ‘do not know where to start’. Their concerns included that information is difficult to understand (67 per cent); and they don’t know who to ask for help (67 per cent). Among investors, barriers to entry were the same as those faced by the general population.

Alongside the need for clarity, 50 per cent of respondents supported the need for regulation governing ‘how’ crypto providers conduct themselves (i.e. ethical, trustworthy operations) to enable wholesale participation.

“While the consensus around confusion is disappointing, the findings are a clear call for the crypto industry to do a lot better when it comes to engaging with both existing and future investors,” says Grainger. “There is clear intent to invest and uptake is growing. What’s more, investors are disillusioned with current solutions and looking for alternatives. For them to close the value-action gap between identifying crypto as a way to create a better future for themselves – and acting on this belief – we need to ensure a much easier ‘onramp’.

“Exchanges should provide enhanced security that includes blockchain analytics and refuse to take a user’s money when they suspect users are being taken advantage of or scammed.”

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