Many Australians would use cryptocurrency if it was made legal tender but most don’t understand what “crypto” means, a survey shows.
Some 42 per cent of Australians would use cryptocurrencies alongside mainstream money, according to the Saxo Markets report released on Thursday.
Bitcoin (38 per cent) and Ethereum (12 per cent) were the two most well-known cryptocurrencies in Australia, followed by Dogecoin (eight per cent).
Just five per cent had heard of current market darling Shiba Inu.
But only 11 per cent of people surveyed thought they understood what the term “crypto” means.
The rate of understanding was four times higher amongst 25- to 34-year-olds compared to those aged over 65, and more than half of the younger age group (57 per cent) wanted to use cryptocurrencies as legal tender.
Three-quarters had never heard of the Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT), which are digital versions of art, collectibles and other artefacts in both the physical and online world.
Australia’s crypto and blockchain industry has been slow to develop because of outdated laws, Saxo said.
This “reality” has sent several prominent Australian-founded digital currency exchanges elsewhere over the years.
In September, the Australian crypto exchange Independent Reserve became the first to acquire a regulatory licence in Singapore.
CoinJar moved its headquarters from Australia to the United Kingdom, received registration in the UK as a crypto exchange this year and wants Australia to introduce licensing.
As it grows in popularity, financial regulators are looking closely at the “crypto-universe” despite some scepticism about its value.
Federal Liberal MP Andrew Bragg is championing the crypto cause in parliament to make Australia more competitive, naming himself its “chief advocate”.
Australian Taxation Office data has captured a dramatic increase in cryptocurrency trading since the beginning of 2020.
Australian Associated Press