A recent survey of retail investors in Japan, the US, and Hong Kong shows that only a tiny fraction of them are currently investing in digital currencies like bitcoin, leaving tremendous potential for growth.
Monex Group’s Survey
The Monex Group is an international financial services company headquartered in Tokyo. The company released the twenty-third Monex Global Investor Survey on Thursday which includes a section on digital currency investments. The survey was conducted from May 29 to June 5 this year.
Customers of three Monex Group subsidiaries were asked; Monex Inc. in Japan, Tradestation Securities Inc. in the U.S., and Monex Boom Securities Limited in Hong Kong. There were 872 respondents in Japan, 122 in the U.S., and 300 in Hong Kong.
Despite the government recognizing bitcoin as a legal method of payment on April 1, the number of Japanese digital currency investors is still very low, the survey found. Monex wrote:
The results showed that the percentage of retail investors actually investing is still low, with only 3% of retail investors in Japan and the U.S., and only 10% of retail investors in China (Hong Kong), answering that they had already invested in virtual currency.
The survey also shows that, among Monex’s customers, those in Japan are much more familiar with digital currencies than those in the U.S. or Hong Kong. Only 2.4% of respondents in Japan admitted that they are not familiar with digital currencies, compared to over 20% in the other two countries.
Growing Number of Investors in Japan
Monex’s survey is focused on Japanese investors since most of the respondents were in Japan. Even though only 3% of Monex’s customers in Japan claim to have invested in digital currency, bitcoin trading volume in the country has been constantly growing. Record numbers of customer signups and trading volume were seen at bitcoin exchanges. Last week, Japan’s largest exchange by volume, Bitflyer, announced that “due to a rapid increase in the number of customers we serve, we are experiencing delays in our responses to customer support inquiries.”
More companies have also applied to become bitcoin exchanges with the Japanese Financial Services Agency. Some are big corporations such as GMO, which launched its bitcoin trading platform last month. The sheer number of customers swarming the platform caused the company to delay its opening and then brought the website down on the day of its launch.
Meanwhile, Japanese retail investors are fed up with low savings interest rates and pension problems, driving some to digital currencies. They are also increasingly gaining exposure to bitcoin as more merchants start accepting it. Major stores such as Bic Camera have already started accepting bitcoin for retail payments. Recently, Peach Aviation announced several bitcoin services while 1,400 hotels and inns across Japan are set to start accepting bitcoin this summer.
Do you think more retail investors will start investing in bitcoin soon? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Monex Group
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