Cryptocurrency awareness high among Filipinos
While a majority of Filipinos indicated awareness about cryptocurrencies, their actual holdings remained low due to perceived risks related to these digital assets.
An Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report published this month titled “Cryptoassets in Asia: Consumer attitudes, behaviors and experiences” said the level of awareness of cryptocurrencies in the Philippines was 74 percent among respondents to a survey conducted in February and March this year.
The level of awareness, however, ranged from “not very well” (27 percent of respondents) and “to some extent” (20 percent) to “very well” (17 percent).
Besides the Philippines, the survey also covered Malaysia and Vietnam.
However, a lower 38 percent of respondents were aware about so-called initial coin offerings or ICOs, a form of crowdfunding using cyptocurrencies.
Of the Filipino respondents, only 32 percent said they owned cryptoassets, while just 14 percent were ICO investors.
In the Philippines, the majority or 51 percent of cryptocurrency holders were between the ages of 45 and 54; more men than women own cryptoassets, and those employed and who have master’s or doctorate degrees hold cryptocurrencies, the survey showed.
Intention to invest in cryptocurrencies was also high among Filipinos at 53 percent, even as ICOs were not as appealing with only 25 percent of respondents expressing interest.
The top reasons why Filipinos held cryptocurrencies included curiosity to know more about these assets (40 percent of respondents); using them as a means to pay for online purchases (39 percent), and to make money quickly (36 percent).
ICOs, on the other hand, appealed to Filipinos who wanted to earn money quickly (38 percent of respondents); to those looking for long-term investment or retirement fund (31 percent), and to know more about ICOs (also 31 percent).
Most Filipinos or 43 percent of respondents bought cryptocurrencies on an online platform; 37 percent “mined” them, and 27 percent received them as payment for goods and services.
To buy cryptocurrencies, 47 percent of Filipino respondents shelled out money from their monthly budget, while 43 percent sourced funds from their savings.
Before purchasing cryptocurrencies or investing in ICOs, 55 percent and 72 percent of respondents in the Philippines, respectively, sought advise from mostly family members or friends, experts in blockchain technology and related technologies as well as professionals such as accountants or financial advisers.
As for risk appetite, 62 percent of respondents said they could afford to lose the money they had invested in digital or cryptocurrencies.
“Respondents who held cryptocurrencies in the Philippines were slightly more exposed to risk, with 15 percent of them having 50 percent or more of their portfolio concentrated in cryptocurrencies,” the OECD report read.
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