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Cryptocurrencies Are Primary Investments for Many, Finds New Huobi Survey

The Leading Digital Asset Exchange Conducted a Survey to Uncover New Insights About the Average Retail Crypto Trader in Emerging Markets

Huobi Global released details from a new survey exploring the investment profiles of retail cryptocurrency traders in emerging markets. The survey results suggest that digital assets like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) have become the first point of entry to financial management for many individuals. Despite the majority of retail cryptocurrency traders having some prior exposure to financial products and services, few actively invest in traditional investment vehicles like stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

“As an exchange that serves millions of users around the world, it’s important for us to stay informed on the evolving needs and behaviors of the retail trader,” said Ciara Sun, Vice President of Global Business at Huobi Group. “With this survey, we set out to take an active pulse of users in emerging markets, which will help us design and launch better products for the broader crypto community.”

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In an opt-in online survey, Huobi polled a total of 491 active users in emerging markets across EuropeAsiaAfrica, and South America to better understand their preferences and habits related to digital assets and other financial instruments.

User surveys are conducted on a regular basis but this marks the first time Huobi has released results in an effort to bring more transparency and attention to the burgeoning crypto-first investor community. Survey findings often influence and inform Huobi’s product strategy and roadmap. Last month, Huobi launched a crypto savings product in public beta based on the results of this survey.

The survey found that:

  • Retail (crypto) traders are relatively new to investing. 78% have at least one year of general financial management or investment experience, but only 1 in 5 has five or more years of experience. Considering 73% of respondents were of prime working age (26-50 years old), age was not a major contributor to the low levels of prior investing experience.
  • Digital assets are the primary investment vehicles for retail traders. Just 1 in 3 invest in traditional stocks and only 8% hold fixed income products like bonds. While roughly a quarter of respondents have invested in other vehicles like real estate, investment funds, and forex, cryptocurrencies are the predominant asset class for this investor segment.
  • Retail traders have an appetite for more crypto investment products. While 34% prefer to trade and manage their own digital asset portfolio, many are interested in a diverse range of crypto investment vehicles, especially interest-bearing products with fixed or flexible terms.
  • Most retail traders have a modest income but invest a significant portion of their earnings. A majority (54%) report having an annual income of $10,000 USD or lower, and very few (13%) earn more than $50,000 USD per annum. Nearly half (49%) of the respondents plan to invest between 10-30% of their annual income in digital assets, and almost 1 in 4 (23%) plans to allocate more than 30% of their income to crypto.
  • Most retail crypto investments are short term—with the exception of BTC and ETH. A majority (55%) invest in digital assets with a shorter than a one-year horizon, but a small minority (13%) invest in the long term (4+ years). However, crypto traders are much more likely to hold BTC and ETH long term compared to other digital assets.

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Sun added, “These findings aren’t surprising but they do solidify our belief that digital assets will continue playing a significant role in the future borderless economy and help drive global financial inclusion. As crypto becomes more accessible, it will become a gateway to other financial products and services, helping set a path to financial wellbeing.”

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