The rate of cryptocurrency adoption is higher in South Africa than in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany – if the results of a survey conducted by consumer website Finder.com are accurate.
Finder’s Cryptocurrency Adoption Index measures the growth of cryptocurrencies through an ongoing survey of internet users in 27 countries.
According to the most recent survey, conducted among 2 003 internet users in this country in December, 11.3% of South Africans own crypto, compared to the global average of 15.5%.
Crypto ownership in South Africa increased by 1 percentage point compared to October 2021. This placed South Africa among the countries with the lowest growth rates in crypto ownership between the two surveys. The global growth average was 4.3 percentage points.
South Africans are sceptical
In November 2021, Finder asked internet users in 23 countries whether they had heard of cryptocurrencies and whether they thought crypto was a good investment. About two-thirds (64%) of internet users surveyed said they were aware of cryptocurrencies.
However, a high awareness of cryptocurrency in a country doesn’t necessarily translate into a high proportion of the public wanting to invest their capital in crypto. Less than half (43%) of those surveyed thought crypto was a sensible investment.
In South Africa, 66% of those surveyed said they had heard of cryptocurrencies, but only 47% thought they were a good investment.
Positive sentiment towards cryptocurrency investment was highest in Nigeria (81%), followed by the Philippines (71%), Indonesia (68%), India (64%) and Malaysia (61%).
Sentiment towards investing in crypto was lowest in the UK (17%). Respondents in Sweden Japan, Norway and Germany all responded with a crypto-positivity rating of 25% or under.
Link between corruption and positive sentiment
The survey found a strong correlation between perceptions of how corrupt a country is and positivity towards crypto investing. Finder compared each country’s crypto-positivity rating with its score on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index. A low score in the index indicates a high rate of perceived corruption in the economy.
Nine of the top 10 most crypto-positive countries had a Corruption Perceptions Index score below the global average of 45. Malaysia was the only country that ranked in the top 10 for positivity but doesn’t rank highly in the Corruption Perceptions Index.
South Africa has a Corruption Perceptions Index score of 44 and a crypto-positivity rating of 47%.
Bitcoin most popular coin in SA
Of the people in South Africa who said they own some form of cryptocurrency, 56% of crypto owners own Bitcoin. The global average is 39.1%.
The second most popular coin among South African crypto owners is Ethereum at 31.5% (global average: 24.4%), with Ripple in third place at 25.8% (global average: 16.8%), DOGE in fourth, at 15.6% (18.5%), Solana at 12.3% (15.5%).
In keeping with the global trend, crypto ownership rates in South Africa are heavily skewed towards the young. Those aged 18 to 34 dominate crypto ownership, at 48.7%, while 35-to-54-year-olds are the next most likely group to say they own crypto, at 32%. Those aged 55 or older come in last with 19.3%.