Potentially fueling a bullish approach to bitcoin (BTC) investments, only 17.9% of surveyed individuals said that they do not expect BTC to become legal tender within three years, according to a recent report prepared by The Economist Group and commissioned by crypto platform Crypto.com.
The answers to the survey were sourced from a group of 3,000 people between January and February 2022. Some 50% of the respondents came from developed economies such as the US, the UK, France, South Korea, Australia, and Singapore, while the remainder came from developing economies, including Brazil, Turkey, Vietnam, South Africa, and the Philippines.
Replying to the statement: “I expect my country’s government or central bank to officially make Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies legal tender for transactions in my country” in the next three years — some 36.6% of those polled strongly or somewhat agreed, 43.4% neither agreed nor disagreed, while 17.9% said that they somewhat or strongly disagree with this statement.
A slightly lower share of the respondents, at 36.5%, said that they expected their countries’ governments or central banks to issue a central bank digital currency (CBDC) within the next three years. Only 18.6% doubt this will happen, and 43.4% neither agree nor disagree with such a statement.
It is noteworthy that executives (as one of the sub-groups polled) increasingly claim that “CBDCs are likely to replace physical currency in their country: almost two-thirds (65%) say this will be the case compared with about one-half (56%) last year,” according to the report.
The respondents demonstrated a similarly bullish approach to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), as some 60.1% said that they strongly or somewhat agree with the statement that they expect to buy, hold, or sell such assets in the next three years. Only 7.5% said the opposite.
“It’s natural for physical cash to be complemented by digital cash as the world is becoming more digital and it’s a natural evolution,” said Tobias Adrian, financial counselor and Director of the Monetary and Capital Markets Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), who is quoted in the report.
“It might not be used much but in principle, being possible to convert into central bank digital currency might be an important anchor for the digital economy,” according to Adrian.
Cryptoassets continue to be the most commonly used form of digital payment, as they are used by 13% of survey takers, followed by a digital currency issued by technology and financial firms at 12%, and a government-issued digital currency with a 9% share. This is largely similar to year-over-year comparisons, according to the report.
“All survey takers had made a payment for a product or service over the past 12 months using any kind of digital payment, with one-half being from developed countries and one-half representing developing countries,” the study said.
The survey found that the biggest barriers towards greater adoption are similar with regards to the different types of digital currencies available, but with small nuances. For open-source digital currencies, such as BTC, the lack of knowledge as a reason dropped from 51% to 22% year on year. The main obstacle seen now is the need for the creation of a secure form of digital personal ID, cited by 24.3% of the respondents compared with 13% last year.
For CBDCs, adoption continues to be limited by a lack of education (27%), technical literacy (27%), and unequal access (27%), among other barriers, according to the survey.