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‘Easy Money’: Crypto Is Still Attracting Newbie Investors

‘Easy Money’: Crypto Is Still Attracting Newbie Investors

In the retail investing world, there is nothing easier to invest in than cryptocurrency. It’s a no-hassle endeavor that requires zero due diligence. There are no companies to do background on and the only real fundamental to track is sentiment. That’s why it’s become one of the trendiest things to do in this space--often netting investors massive returns.

A new poll conducted by CNBC and Momentive now finds that 10% of investors surveyed have invested in cryptocurrency. Since last year, cryptocurrency has been the fourth most traded asset, following real estate, stocks, mutual funds and bonds.

Some 65% of those cryptocurrency investors jumped into the digital coin in the last year, citing the excitement of investing and the fast returns. 

“About a third of investors said they trade crypto on a monthly or weekly basis, and nearly one-quarter said they trade the asset daily,” the poll said.

According to the survey conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago, any lingering hesitancy around investing in cryptocurrencies isn’t so much about lack of money as it is about lack of understanding of the market, though this latter hasn’t stopped other newbies from jumping in head first--especially since the pandemic. 

The survey found that the average cryptocurrency trader is under 40, over 50% of which do not even have college degrees. Some 44% are non-white and 41% are women. Moreover, 35% have household incomes under $60k annually.

The trend shows no sign of abating. Nearly half of millennial investors have at least 12% of their wealth in cryptocurrencies, while 75% of those have made a profit. 

The next generation of investors, Generation Z, is even more bullish on cryptocurrency and the technology around it, including meme coins, non-fungible tokens and decentralized finance.

But it’s not only for those looking for a quick and easy profit.   

With gains of close to 300% last year, bitcoin was hard to resist. It outperformed the gains of gold and the Dow Jones by 10 times. 

In April, Bitcoin surged to an all-time high of more than $63,000, fell sharply soon after and recently increased again to $49,000.

The volatility hasn’t scared anyone away. A survey published by Gambler’s Pick stressed that 37% of bitcoin investors said they would not cash out their crypto if they had a critical payment to take care of. 

According to the 2021 World Wealth Report by French management consultancy Capgemini, 72% of global high-net-worth individuals, which includes those holding investable assets of at least $1 million, invested in cryptocurrencies in 2020.

A survey of nearly 3,000 high-net-worth individuals in 26 countries showed the growing interest in digital currency investments. 

The currency surge to record levels was in part driven by the entry of larger, institutional investors into the market. In late October last year, Payment company Square said it bought 4,709 bitcoins, worth approximately $50 million.

Fidelity Investments, among others, also announced it would form a new trade group designed to lobby the regulatory environment around bitcoin. And then, there are quite a few fintech startups that are offering bitcoin cashback on their credit cards.

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