Only 3% of retail investors in Japan, US invest in virtual currencies, Monex survey shows

Maria Nikolova

In the face of the frenzy surrounding virtual currencies these days, the percentage of retail investors actually investing in bitcoin and its likes is still low, according to the Twenty-Third Monex Global Investor Survey.

Virtual currencies have been making headlines lately and their growing popularity has been one of the reasons for the topic being included in the Twenty-Third Monex Global Investor Survey, which was carried out among Japanese, US and Hong Kong clients of Monex Group, Inc. (TYO:8698) from May 29 to June 5, 2017.

The company asked retail investors about virtual currencies such as bitcoins. The results showed that the percentage of retail investors who actually invest in such currencies is rather low. Only 3% of retail investors in Japan and the United States said they had already invested in virtual currency. The percentage is a bit higher at 10% among retail investors in China (Hong Kong).

Moreover, about 20% of retail investors in the United States and China (Hong Kong) answered that they were not familiar with virtual currency. Most retail investors in Japan, however, are familiar with virtual currency although the majority of them have not made any investment in such type of assets.

In the face of the survey results just reported by Monex, other Japanese companies, such as GMO Internet Inc. (TYO:9449) have been pushing increasingly into the area of crypto currencies, explaining that bitcoin trading volumes are growing and that regulation is mild enough to foster the development of such businesses. On May 31, 2017, GMO officially launched its crypto-currency exchange business Coin. The company plans the addition of Ethereum to its offering soon.

The bitcoin price volatility has been a hot topic recently. Many, however, have questioned what is underneath the surge in the prices. Paul Orford has recently drawn an interesting parallel between the present bitcoin craze and the “Tulip Mania” of the 17th century.

The most recent Monex survey also showed increased interest in technology, which was top ranked on the list of the most attractive sectors in all three regions. This interest, according to Monex, is largely based on media coverage about advancements in artificial intelligence (AI).

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