The number of investors venturing into the cryptoasset market has jumped sharply over the past year, according to new research from the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The regulator said that it now estimates that 2.6 million investors in the U.K. have bought cryptoassets at some point, up significantly from the estimated 1.5 million that had purchased crypto according to research from the FCA last year.
“This FCA report reveals the increasing popularity of cryptoassets among the UK consumer population and underlines the importance of our work to gain a deeper understanding of this market and how people interact with these assets,” said Sheldon Mills, interim executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA.
The vast majority (83%) of investors purchased their crypto on offshore exchanges, and more than a third said that they were influenced by advertising in buying crypto, the FCA reported.
The online survey that forms the basis of the FCA’s research also found that a majority of cryptoasset owners “are generally knowledgeable about the product, are aware of the lack of regulatory protection and understand the risk of price volatility.”
“Cryptoassets present risks and opportunities for consumers and we hope these insights will help inform the policy debate in the UK and internationally as the use of these assets continue to grow,” Mills added.
In its latest budget, the British government said that it intends to consult on regulating the promotion of certain cryptoassets.
The FCA noted that a policy statement is due later this year on possibly banning the sale of certain cryptoasset derivatives to retail investors.
In Canada, regulators are also developing a framework for overseeing crypto trading platforms.