COVID-19 accelerates crypto adoption, with 81% predicting a cashless society: Crypto.com survey

  • A survey by Crypto.com and the Economist has revealed that digital currency adoption and acceptance has spiked amid the COVID-19 crisis.
  • The survey also found that not only are merchants and institutions accepting crypto as payment, but also for its capital appreciation and asset diversification.

A new survey has revealed just how popular digital currencies, including cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum, have become at a time when COVID-19 has accelerated digital payments. The survey by Crypto.com and the Economist found that 80 percent of respondents predict a cashless society in the near future, with crypto playing a major part in it.

The survey, which was shared with Crypto News Flash, was conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, commissioned by popular exchange Crypto.com. It followed up on a similar survey the EIU conducted last year to gauge the popularity of digital currencies. The company undertook the survey in February and March this year.

One of the trends it discovered was a move towards digital payments. 27 percent of the respondents reported that they always use these digital payments and not physical banknotes or credit cards. This was up from 22 percent the year prior.

The report noted:

While there are a variety of ways people can transact digitally—including smartphone apps or digital currencies—the most common form of digital currency consumers recognise is the open-source variety, typically called a cryptocurrency—such as Bitcoin.

Crypto popularity has shot up in the past year, the survey found. 55 percent of respondents reported being aware of cryptos, even if they didn’t use them personally. On the flipside, CBDCs were the least recognizable form of digital payment. This is despite the hype by many central banks and increased media coverage.

Institutions pile in as crypto offers ‘safe haven’

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought death, economic devastation and loss of jobs. However, one of the few positives to emerge from the pandemic is the acceleration of digital payments. The survey noted:

The covid-19 crisis has contributed to digital currency awareness, with about half of the consumer respondents agreeing that the pandemic has heightened the use case for a cryptocurrency.

For the institutional and corporate executives, the pandemic had even more influence. Three in four claim that it has accelerated demand for digital currencies. For them, digital currencies go beyond transactional purposes. As the survey found, the most common commercial use cases are capital appreciation and asset diversification.

A majority of executives see digital currencies taking up the role gold has had in their portfolios. They favor ‘digital gold’ as it’s easily divisible and transferrable.

Jason Wincuinas, the Economist Intelligence Unit editor who spearheaded the survey remarked, “Money is rapidly evolving. Only a few years ago there seemed to be very little commercial or popular support for even the idea of a digital currency… We’ve seen interest and trust in cryptocurrencies grow among consumers.”

Now that we’ve added perspective from some of money’s heaviest users—corporate treasuries and institutional investors—we have a more comprehensive view of how digital currencies might evolve. Sentiment on the institutional side of the scale already seems much higher than expected

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