A survey conducted in Canada’s Ontario province has sought to shed light on cryptocurrency investing habits in the region as well as the views of financial consumers and their understanding of the nascent technology.
The study, which was compiled by the Ontario Securities Commission’s Investor Office, revealed that at the moment 5% of Ontarians, or around half a million residence of the province, hold crypto assets. Currently, the population of Ontario is estimated to be more than 14 million (over 38% of Canada’s population). At the same time, there is another 4% of the Ontario population that used to own crypto assets, though that was no longer the case at the time of the survey.
Per the survey, which was conducted in Canada’s most populous province in March this year, millennial males aged between 18 and 34 were the demographic most likely to own cryptocurrencies, with 14% of them owning a crypto asset.
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Treading With Caution
Most of the Ontarians who invested in crypto assets largely spent small amounts to purchase cryptocurrencies. About 50% spent less than $1,000 on buying cryptocurrencies, while 90% spent under $10,000. On the other hand around, 9% of the crypto asset investors, which was almost 50,000 people in the province, spent above $9,999 buying cryptocurrencies. The relatively small sums being spent were attributed to caution.
“The results of this survey indicate that the vast majority of Ontarians are approaching cryptoassets with caution. Only a small percentage own cryptoassets, and those who do own them tend not to spend substantial sums of money acquiring them,” concluded the survey.
A large percentage of the investments were made using cash savings. Some also borrowed money or used credit cards, and it is estimated that over two-thirds of them have fully repaid the loans.
About 170,000 participated in ICOs
The survey also revealed that around 1.5% of Ontarians have taken part in an initial coin offerings (ICOs), translating to around 170,000 people. The mediums or channels which were used to approach these ICO investors included email, online ads, friends and family, as well as social media.
To acquire crypto assets, various techniques were used by Ontarians. About 46% of the respondents indicated that they had acquired their crypto holdings from trading platforms while 28% had mined them. Around 19% acquired the crypto assets from a cryptocurrency ATM, while 18% received them at no cost through airdrops, for instance. Another 18% got the crypto asset as a payment for goods or services, while 16% acquired them through an initial coin offering.
Interestingly, Ontarians used trading platforms based in the United States more than those headquartered in their home country, with 48% of the province’s residents patronizing U.S. platforms. Around 32% of Ontarians used trading platforms based in Canada, with platforms in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong nearly as popular.
Bitcoin Almost ‘Synonymous’ With Cryptocurrency
The survey also found that while Ontarians were familiar with cryptocurrencies, they were not in a position to explain the nascent technology in detail to others. The cryptocurrency that Ontarians had most heard about was bitcoin, with 81% saying they were aware of it. Bitcoin cash came in a distant second with 25% awareness. The population that was aware of Litecoin was 13%, while Ethereum — despite being the second-largest cryptocurrency — enjoyed just an 11% awareness level.
The Ontario Securities Commission’s report comes in the wake of the province’s neighbor, Quebec, recently hiking electricity prices for cryptocurrency miners after a surge in demand. As CCN had reported last month, cryptocurrency miners were flocking to Canada’s second-most populous province due to its cheap hydro-electric power. This had raised concerns that the province would be unable to meet peak demand, especially during the winter season.
Images from Shutterstock.