Yesterday, Independent Reserve Singapore, a popular cryptocurrency exchange in APAC countries, reported the results of its annual Independent Research Cryptocurrency Index (IRCI) survey of Singapore residents conducted in February.
According to the exchange's official website, the IRCI is "an annual cross-sectional survey of everyday residents of Singapore conducted by Toluna, an independent consumer insights provider." 1,500 people participated in the survey, which was designed to represent Singaporeans as a whole nation. The areas of its focus are cryptocurrency awareness, adoption, trust, and confidence, while the index itself is a rating out of 100. This was the third survey conducted by Independent Reserve.
This year, Singaporeans scored the IRCI index of 55, compared to 61 in 2022 and 63 in 2021
Lasanka Perera, CEO of Independent Reserve Singapore, believes a lower index is the result of the turbulent and challenging 2022 and start of 2023.
"Price volatility across all major markets, including cryptocurrencies, has been fueled by global market uncertainty, higher interest rates, and geopolitical tensions in Ukraine. The collapse of Terra (Luna) and FTX further eroded confidence and trust in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry," Perera explained in the survey report. He also mentioned an imminent global financial crisis and excessive efforts of central banks to inject more liquidity in a bid to avoid the need to pause withdrawals as key factors affecting the attitude of Singapore residents toward crypto assets.
"As the financial crisis continues to unfold, many may re-evaluate their dependence on traditional financial institutions to safeguard their money and turn to alternative assets such as Bitcoin to hedge against bank defaults and currency debasement," Perera believes that despite all the challenges, cryptocurrencies can still benefit from a weak market.
The IRCI survey found that overall awareness of cryptocurrencies among Singaporeans is high. Although the number has only increased by 1% compared to last year, when 90% of respondents were aware of cryptocurrencies, it is still a positive trend. Surprisingly, while only 9% of respondents still have not heard of cryptocurrencies, 13% of survey participants do not know anything about Bitcoin.
Still, Bitcoin remains the most well-known in Singapore. It is followed by Ether, known to 51% of respondents, Dogecoin (35%), USD Tether (27%), USD Coin (25%), Ripple (23%), Solana (20%) and Cardano (18%).
Just as the Independent Reserve CEO predicts, Bitcoin is growing in popularity among Singaporean investors, 60% of whom chose this cryptocurrency for their portfolio in 2023, compared to 54% in 2022. USD Tether and USD Coin attracted slightly more interest from investors this year than a year ago, while Cardano's ADA, which was not on the list of investor preferences in 2022, is also slowly gaining traction. Ether, on the other hand, lost its position by 2%.
At the same time, the number of respondents who think Bitcoin is a scam increased from 9% to 11% this year.
The survey also asked respondents to make their own Bitcoin price predictions for 2030. While the majority of respondents (40%) expect this cryptocurrency to stay below $50,000 and 30% believe it may even reach $100,000, 17% think it will lose its value entirely.
The survey also provided demographic trends. For instance, it was found that most cryptocurrency holders in Singapore are between 26 and 35 years old (67% in 2023), while the number of people between 46 and 55 years old buying cryptocurrency has increased by 25% to 55% in one year. At the same time, the number of crypto owners in the age groups above 55, between 36 and 45, and between 18 and 25 decreased this year.
One of the most curious facts about Singaporeans in the context of cryptocurrency investment is the growing number of female investors, who outnumbered males in 2023. This year, 48% of female respondents owned cryptocurrencies, while there were 9% fewer male crypto owners. The growing interest of women in investing was reported by financial services firm Fidelity Investments in 2021 when it conducted a survey that found a 50% increase in the number of active female investors compared to 2018 when only 17% of female respondents were engaged in investing.
"Compared with their male counterparts, female crypto investors are very bullish on the asset class. 24% of female investors have allocated more than 20% of their portfolio to crypto. Furthermore, over the next 12 months, 48% plan to further invest in their existing crypto portfolio, and 43% said they intend to diversify into other tokens, DeFi, or NFT projects," the IRCI report states.