Historically, as interest in Bitcoin has been high, as measured by the volume of Google searches, so too has the price of Bitcoin risen. Although part of this growth was short-lived, driven by new investors FOMO’ing into the market to make a quick buck, many investors ended up staying, and educating themselves on the industry, making this interest-driven growth good both in the short term and the long term. Now Dutch banking company, ING has released a consumer economic report on cryptocurrencies, and they are predicting that interest in cryptocurrency investing will more than double.
As reported in The Independent, fewer than 10% of Europeans hold some form of cryptocurrency, but this is expected to rise to 16% in the future, based on a survey of 15,000 people across 13 countries, regarding Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple, with 15% of survey respondents stating that they would be open to receiving their salaries in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. As crypto prices are still somewhat volatile, this may be an indicator that people have a positive outlook on either the growth or stability of coin prices.
The survey was released following this weekend’s lows, so it is possible that respondents may have provided different answers. However, The Independent reports that analysts are blaming most of the price drops on recent hacks on the various digital asset exchanges, as well as regulatory changes and crackdowns. Though Bitcoin dipped below $6,000, it has recovered from its lowest point, and we may see another bull run following this latest bounce.
If the ING report is right about people’s interest levels, and if the correlations continue along the same trend, between interest and price action, then we may see a nice recovery soon, based on interest levels more than doubling.
Of the survey respondents, over one third said that they believed cryptocurrencies represented the future of ecommerce, meaning that people expect to start using digital currencies to make payments online, rather than credit cards. Indeed, this would save online merchants the high credit card processing fees associated with traditional transactions. Respondents also agree that cryptocurrencies are the future of investing. According to Jessica Exton, a behavioral scientist at ING, “Cryptocurrency remains an abstract investment for many, but there may be more appetite for digital currencies than some might suggest.”
The very fact that ING has conducted such an extensive survey is a strong indicator that the banking giant is considering big moves in the space. This could mean developing in-house blockchain and payment systems, as other banks have done, or it could mean offering new investment products, such as cryptocurrency investment funds or derivatives. Whatever the case, it’s clear that more banks are getting into crypto, now that we’re beginning to see a bit of regulatory clarity and price stability.
As Teunis Brosens, an economist of global markets at ING states, countries with less efficient financial systems could do well with cryptocurrencies. We see this today, in Venezuela where hyperinflation of their fiat currency has driven many Venezuelans to transfer their savings to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.