Interest in cryptocurrencies is also growing in the Czech Republic, which is not a member of the euro area. According to the March survey, more than 13 percent of Czech investors own it, a year ago it was less than ten percent.
The cryptocurrency market has been showing sharp price fluctuations for a long time and has been experiencing significant turbulence, especially recently. The authorities are therefore trying to estimate whether sharp price fluctuations in this relatively new segment of the financial system could pose a threat to household budgets.
The ECB survey focused on consumer expectations and found that, on average, ten percent of households in the six countries surveyed have cryptoactive assets. The share of such households is from six percent in France to 14 percent in the Netherlands.
Around 37 percent of respondents reported owning cryptocurrencies in the amount of up to 999 euros (CZK 24,644), while 29 percent held cryptocurrencies in the amount of 1,000 to 4,999 euros (24,669 to 123,320 CZK) and 13 percent in the amount of 5,000 to 9,999 euros ( CZK 123,335 to CZK 246,646). The rest invested more.
In all countries surveyed, the survey showed that the 20 percent richest respondents were most likely to have cryptocurrencies. However, according to the survey, digital coins have a larger share of households with lower incomes than those belonging to the middle class.
“On average in the countries surveyed, young adult men and highly educated respondents are more likely to invest in cryptoactive assets,” the ECB said. “In terms of financial literacy, respondents who ranked either the highest or the lowest in terms of financial literacy outcomes were highly likely to hold cryptoactive assets.”
The European Central Bank is publishing this data for the first time. She quoted them in an article she published as part of the financial stability report.
There is also interest in cryptocurrencies in the Czech Republic, especially among young investors. Among those under the age of 26, a third of investors own cryptoactive assets. This is according to a survey conducted by Generali Investments CEE, which took place from March 11 to 15.
“But starting with cryptocurrencies, which are highly unpredictable, can be a big risk. On the other hand, it turns out that after initial attempts at cryptocurrencies or investment applications, young people often move to more traditional forms of investment,” said Petr Mederly, Generali Investments CEE Sales Director. .
Years ago, the European Central Bank warned consumers that unregulated virtual currencies posed a major risk. Their deposits are not protected in any way. The ECB has now reiterated its long-standing position, saying that cryptocurrencies are not suitable for most retail investors. At the same time, the ECB called on the European Union authorities to swiftly approve the new rules on cryptoactive assets.
The ECB began publishing a survey of consumer expectations in 2020. It is conducted each month on a sample of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. The survey is in a pilot phase and the ECB does not yet publish complete results.
Bitcoins and other virtual currencies
There are many virtual currencies. One of the oldest and currently most popular are the so-called bitcoins. They were established in 2009, but have enjoyed greater popularity in recent years. This currency was designed so that it could not be influenced by any government or central bank.
Cyber coins are “minting” a network of computers with specialized software programmed to release new coins at a steady but declining pace. The number of coins in circulation is expected to reach 21 million in the end, which is to be around 2140.