Dutch investors’ interest in cryptocurrencies and ICOs wanes, AFM research shows

Maria Nikolova

The research shows that 61% of the surveyed consumers find that investing in cryptos has become less attractive this year.

The Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) has earlier today published the key findings of a survey about cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs). The research was conducted among investors in the Netherlands in October 2018.

The main conclusion is that the interest of Dutch consumers in cryptos is falling sharply. Price drops are the main reason for this. A similar picture emerges among participants in ICOs.

The research shows that 61% of the surveyed consumers find that investing in cryptos has become less attractive this year.

In January 2018, there were 580,000 crypto owners in the Netherlands. This number dropped to 480,000 in October. The investigation also shows that crypto owners mainly invest in an effort to make a profit or gamble. Cryptos are hardly considered as a means of payment.

Investors also find ICOs less attractive. They mention the high risk of fraud among factors for the waning interest. These investors estimate the chance of deposit losses when investing in ICOs is higher now than earlier this year.

The survey also revealed that 80% of crypto owners are familiar with the warnings from the AFM about the risks associated with this type of investment. The proportion of crypto owners who became more critical or reticent rose from 25% to 36%.

The AFM continues to warn against cryptos and ICOs because of the risks of deception, fraud and manipulation. Currently, the AFM is preparing a joint recommendation with the Dutch Central Bank about an appropriate response to the emergence of cryptos and ICOs. This advice is expected to be presented in early 2019.

Let’s recall that, early this year, the Dutch Financial Stability Committee (FSC), which consists of representatives of the Dutch central bank DNB, the financial markets regulator AFM and the Ministry of Finance, said that cryptocurrencies themselves do not pose risks to the financial stability of the Netherlands.

However, the Committee warned consumers and financial companies explicitly about the risks of cryptos and ICOs, as investors are not protected by regulation when they hold or trade cryptocurrencies. In addition, financial institutions face integrity risks because the identity of buyers and sellers can not be known or is insufficiently known.

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