The hint of a possible recession is causing Brits to question traditional banks and consider the future of digital assets, the survey says

November 19, 2020 — Global peer-to-peer cryptocurrency marketplace, Paxful, released today the results of a survey conducted with OnePoll on the state of the financial climate in the United Kingdom. Sentiments include notions about traditional banking systems, financial reactions to Brexit, and the global COVID-19 crisis, highlighting the general feeling the British public has towards digital currencies. 1000 adults were surveyed, both males (44%) and females (55%), between the ages of 18-56.

Britain’s economy is currently in a shaky situation; with Brexit talks at height of the COVID-19 pandemic and furlough scheme costing the government a tremendous £14bn a month, it is only natural the public would show concerns with the central banking system and its reliability. Paxful’s survey divulges insight into how digital currencies could represent a viable future asset option for the British people amid economic uncertainty. 

In 2019, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) stated that 73% of UK consumers did not know what cryptocurrency was. Further, it found that only 3% of those surveyed had ever bought cryptocurrencies. In contrast, Paxful’s survey reveals 20% of adults in the UK own crypto in 2020. This highlights a 17% YOY increase in crypto purchases in the UK, marking a major shift in both the learning curve and the desire of the British people to participate in the digital asset revolution.

As of March 2018, the British pound plunged to its lowest level against the US dollar in 35 years, a reflection of the UK’s economic instability post Brexit. Paxful’s survey indicated that during this time 14% of UK adults surveyed invested in digital currency. 

Sterling continued to suffer during COVID-19 urging more Brits to rethink digital assets.  Paxful indicates that 10% of UK adults surveyed invested in crypto as a safe haven following Brexit and COVID-19 events. Over 51% of adults have curious and/or neutral sentiments about cryptocurrency while 23% feel positive and 8% feel very positive, implying a promising future for crypto adoption in the UK.

“Being in the UK right now, I must say London has the most vibrant crypto community and the deepest fintech talent pool – a hotbed of innovation from every possible angle. With the amount of talent and tech-savvy people here, I am confident a steep rise in crypto adoption and use is imminent, and the UK is ready for it,” says Ray Youssef, CEO, and co-founder of Paxful.

When confronting sentiments towards the United Kingdom’s banking systems Paxful’s findings are again solidified. Paxful’s survey found that 42% of adults do not trust the UK banking system to work in the interest of society. 49% of adults surveyed do not believe the UK banks faced severe enough penalties for their part in the 2008 financial crisis and 31% of adults believe UK banks are playing a similar role in the current recession.

It is clear that a large portion of the British population has wavering trust in their traditional banking system, especially in times of crisis. This, economic uncertainty and growing mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies, has resulted in, according to the Paxful survey, 23% of United Kingdom residents being open to purchasing cryptos if widespread use was possible and 20% willing to use cryptocurrency if it was integrated into real-life everyday technology such as smartphone applications, instead of using traditional banking apps.