Cryptocurrency Europe Insights

Over 50% Of Crypto Investors Keep a Backup on a Paper Wallet Finds NGRAVE

NGRAVE, the cybersecurity company looking to provide clients with actionable steps to improve their overall level of security, has the results of its annual Crypto Security Self-Audit Survey in conjunction with Efani and Unstoppable Domains. The survey shows more than half of crypto users (54 per cent) continue to keep their backup on a paper wallet. Furthermore, 50 per cent of respondents stated that if someone were to find their backup, their keys would be compromised.

The research, which focused on analysing attitudes towards asset security in the crypto industry, also found that 62 per cent of respondents store part of their crypto on multiple exchanges, while a third of people store more than 40 per cent of their crypto on a single exchange, leaving them vulnerable to a single point of attack. The study also found that six in 10 respondents use a hardware wallet, one in 10 own but do not use a hardware wallet, and three in 10 do not own a hardware wallet. The use of QR-code based hardware wallets also doubled from 10.4 per cent to 21 per cent.

The study surveyed more than 2,000 people across 87 countries.

Ruben Merre, CEO and co-founder of NGRAVE, said, “The results of our annual Security Self-Audit show that there are glaring gaps in the methods investors are using to ensure the security of their assets, especially at a time when high-profile and high-value breaches are becoming increasingly common. It is clear that there is much to be done to secure the crypto assets of investors the world over, if the industry is to avoid the hacks that we have seen in recent months.”

Other key findings from the study:

  • The industry’s gender imbalance was spotlighted with crypto ownership overwhelmingly male-dominated (95.4 per cent).
  • Almost one out of two investors joined the industry after 2019, with adoption peaking in 2021.

When it comes to portfolio size and wealth distribution:

  • The 80/20 rule is also a reality in the crypto retail market with 20 per cent of investors holding more than 80 per cent of the wealth;
  • One in five respondents holds more than $100k, while half of respondents hold portfolios of less than $20k.
  • Compliance continues to be a hot topic with the number of users claiming they verify their identity through KYC rising from 85 per cent to 93 per cent.

The number of users that do a test transaction has remained stable at approximately six out of 10, as well as the number that whitelists addresses at seven out of 10.

Despite more than half of crypto investors opting to use paper backups for their security keys, this was a fall on the previous year (67 per cent). Merre added, “This trend speaks in favour of the use of metal backups, which grew significantly from 15.8 per cent to 25 per cent over the course of the last 12 months. Other backup options such as social backups through Shamir Secret Sharing (SSS), or keeping a backup on one’s computer, have each remained stable. If the crypto industry is to achieve mass adoption, investors need to be able to trust that their assets will remain safe and secure. We are proud to be leading the way towards a more secure, trustworthy, and innovative crypto landscape.”


  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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