August 2, 2021

Approximately 43 per cent of Singaporeans own cryptocurrency, with 46 per cent having intentions to buy in the next 12 months, according to a new study by Independent Reserve, a digital asset exchange with operations in Singapore.

The 2021 Independent Reserve Cryptocurrency Index (ICRI) Singapore polled 1,000 everyday Singaporeans on their attitudes toward cryptocurrency. 2021 is the first year that the index is carried out in Singapore. A similar index was published for Australia in 2019 and 2020.

In its inaugural year, Singapore scored 63 in the Independent Reserve Cryptocurrency Index, reflecting the country’s positive and progressive attitude towards cryptocurrency. In comparison, Australia scored 47 in the IRCI 2020—possibly highlighting Singapore’s role in the region as a leader in progressive financial instruments.

Although crypto prices have cooled off since May 2021, Bitcoin has still grown significantly in value since the close of 2020. This has led to an increase in retail awareness for cryptocurrency globally as Bitcoin prices became more prominent in news stories.

Unsurprisingly, the survey found that in 2021, 93 per cent of Singaporeans have heard of cryptocurrency, and 90 per cent have heard of Bitcoin. 43 per cent of Singaporeans surveyed own a cryptocurrency, with those in the 26 to 45 age band leading the charge with an adoption rate of 66 per cent. Comparatively, the other age groups had a cumulative adoption rate of about 31 per cent. By gender, 35 per cent of women own some cryptocurrency compared to 51 per cent of male respondents.

“Since we expanded our cryptocurrency exchange business to Singapore in 2020, we have been eager to understand how cryptocurrency is being perceived by the Singaporean public,” said Adrian Przelozny, CEO of Independent Reserve. “With digital currency gaining momentum worldwide, Singapore continues to emerge as a key hub in Asia due to its robust and well-regulated financial markets infrastructure and openness to new technologies.”

“The strong awareness and adoption of crypto among Singaporeans in the survey findings are probably a natural reflection of the country’s progressiveness and commitment to preparing for the future,” he said.

Interest in cryptocurrency is growing in Singapore, as 46 per cent of respondents plan to buy crypto in the next 12 months, with 25 per cent being “very likely”. As with crypto ownership, younger adults are also more eager to adopt cryptocurrency in the near future. The survey found that those aged between 26 and 45 are also twice as likely to buy crypto in the next 12 months, with 61 per cent indicating they were very likely or likely to purchase.

In the 12 months leading up to March 2021, 74 per cent of respondents who owned crypto said they had increased their wealth through their investments, while 7 per cent reported a loss.

40 per cent of respondents invest more than S$100 per month into cryptocurrency, and 4 per cent invest more than S$10,000 per month. Of those who invested in cryptocurrency, the likelihood of having locked in profits increased in line with their monthly salaries. 21 per cent of those within the 36 to 45-year-old age bracket were likely to be investing S$1,001–S$10,000 per month compared to their younger counterparts aged 26 to 35, at only 12 per cent.

As cryptocurrency edges towards the mainstream, Singaporeans are relatively optimistic about its prospects and credibility. Overall, 59 per centof Singaporeans surveyed believe that crypto will reach mass scale adoption. Those under the age of 45 were also substantially more positive about cryptocurrency’s future, with 70 per cent of respondents believing that adoption by business and everyday people was likely or very likely compared to 44 per cent of respondents over 46 years old.

While most Singaporeans are also likely to perceive Bitcoin as an investment asset, only 7 per cent of respondents considered Bitcoin to be a scam.

Some Singaporeans were deterred from investing in crypto due to the uncertainties surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic. The survey found that one in five Singaporeans, or 21% of respondents, planned to buy crypto but did not because of the direct impact of or uncertainty related to Covid- 19.

What will Bitcoin be worth in 2030?

Half of all respondents believe that Bitcoin’s value will increase and be worth more than S$50,000 in 2030. About 13% of those under 45 believe Bitcoin will be valued at more than S$250,000 by 2030 compared to 4.8% of respondents aged over 45.