More than 5 million Britons have invested in cryptowritten by Bella Palmer
One in ten people over the age of 18 said they bought a digital currency such as bitcoin at some point over the last few years
More than 5 million adults in the UK have owned a risky crypto asset, a report has revealed.
One in ten people over the age of 18 said they bought a digital currency such as bitcoin at some point over the last few years – a startling rise from the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) estimate of 2.3 million last year.
But worryingly, the research from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and data firm Kantar showed that 55 per cent of those had never sold any of their holdings – meaning many who bought in recent times are likely sitting on heavy losses as the value of crypto has tumbled since autumn.
The Bank of England, meanwhile, warned crypto owners to brace for a storm, with rising interest rates and sky-high inflation causing turmoil in markets.
Sounding the alarm on crypto, its financial stability report said: Crypto asset valuations have fallen sharply, exposing a number of vulnerabilities within crypto asset markets.
It added that faster-than-expected interest rate hikes and slower-than-expected economic growth would leave risky assets such as crypto ‘vulnerable to further sharp adjustments’.
HMRC’s report showed that 76 per cent of crypto-asset owners were aged under 45 and the majority, at 69 per cent, were male.
Just over half of current owners, at 52 per cent, had holdings of up to £1,000 ($1,197.45), with 7 per cent holding more than £5,000 ($5,987.23) in crypto.
The most mentioned reason for having crypto-assets, cited by 52 per cent, was that they are a ‘fun investment’ – but a worrying 19 per cent said crypto-assets were a ‘core part of my investment portfolio’.
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