Many people buy cryptocurrency in the hope of getting rich – but this kind of investment doesn’t necessarily mean big bucks for everyone. In fact, relatively few buyers hold millions’ worth of crypto assets worldwide, according to a recent report.
While the sector has been experiencing an unprecedented crisis of confidence for months, cryptocurrency remains a widespread investment. Some 425 million people hold crypto worldwide, of whom 210 million have Bitcoin. But far fewer have amassed a small fortune thanks to these virtual currencies.
The Crypto Wealth Report from investment firm Henley & Partners estimates that only 88,200 people worldwide own the equivalent of at least US$1 million (RM4.7 million) in crypto. This represents less than 1% of all users of these virtual currencies.
Half of them hold this amount in Bitcoin, attesting to the popularity of the most famous cryptocurrency.
There are even fewer crypto centimillionaires and billionaires, with the former reportedly totalling just 182 individuals, 78 of whom owe their status to Bitcoin holdings. The latter category is thought to comprise 22 investors; of these, six are reported to be Bitcoin billionaires.
These figures should be treated with caution, however, given the highly volatile nature of digital currencies. Nevertheless, they show that investors are keen to embrace these assets as much out of a taste for easy money as out of distrust of the traditional banking system.
Furthermore, interest in crypto varies across age groups and from country to country: Singapore tops Henley & Partners’ Global Crypto Adoption Index, followed by Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, and the United States.
Australia (in 6th place), Canada (8th), Austria (15th) and Portugal (18th) have embraced this new form of finance more than France or Belgium, for example.
The geography of cryptocurrency adoption shows it is also flourishing in economically challenged countries such as Thailand (11th), Antigua and Barbuda (14th) – and, of course, Malaysia (10th).