Wat drijft bezitters van cryptocurrencies? Wantrouwen of zijn cryptocurrencies gewoon een interessante belegging? Deze vragen staan centraal in een working paper van de Bank for International Settlements (BIS).
Eerst een paar kanttekeningen. De onderzoekers hebben gebruik gemaakt van data van de Survey of Consumer Payment Choice van de Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. De data ziet op een kleine groep inwoners van de VS. Daarnaast bezat volgens de onderzoekers (slechts) 1,4% van de inwoners van de VS van 18 jaar en ouder in 2019 een of meer cryptocurrencies en was 73% bekend met een of meer cryptocurrencies.
The main analysis uses the 2019 wave, completed by a total of 3,372 individuals. As
an additional analysis, we use the 2014-19 waves. In Figure 2a, it is shown that the
2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 samples contain 1,238, 1,429, 3,404, 3,099 and 3,153
individuals respectively. From the data, 1,264 individuals participated in just one
wave and 3,876 participated in more than one wave. From them, 470 participated in
the six waves of the survey (Figure 2b).
Providing an in-depth exploration of representative data on cryptocurrency owners,
we disprove the hypothesis that cryptocurrencies are sought as an alternative to
fiat currencies or regulated finance: compared with the general population, US
cryptocurrency investors show no differences in their level of security concerns with
either cash or commercial banking services.
We find that men tend to invest more in cryptocurrencies than women.
Furthermore, higher levels of income and education, and having digital financial
experience (captured through having a debit card and using a mobile app to pay
for products and/or services) increase the likelihood of recognising at least one
From a policy perspective, the overall takeaway of our analysis is that as the
objectives of investors are the same as those for other asset classes, so should be the
regulation. Cryptocurrencies are not sought as an alternative to fiat currencies or
regulated finance, but instead are a niche digital speculation object. A clarifying
regulatory and supervisory framework for cryptocurrency markets may be beneficial
for the industry.
In the light of these considerations, an important point regards how one could
apply technology-neutral regulation to this asset class, while at the same time
harnessing the potential of the technology itself in the supervision process. In this
regard, one promising option that supervisory and regulatory agencies could pursue
is “embedded supervision” (Auer, 2019b). By this, we understand implementing
a supervisory framework for cryptocurrencies that allows for compliance to be
automatically monitored by reading the market’s ledger. The main aim is low-cost
supervision of decentralised markets, which may be particularly relevant amidst recent
deliberations of the need for adequate prudential oversight of the cryptocurrency
industry (Basel Committee, 2019, 2021).