Crypto Market Plunges $55 Billion, Number of Australians Holding Crypto Triples since January

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The number of Australians holding cryptocurrency has nearly tripled since January 2018, despite the market suffering from heavy crashes and dipping almost $55 billion at the beginning of September, news.com.au reported on September 6, 2018.

Australians Leaders in Crypto Adoption

According to the recent report, Australia has seen a threefold increase in the number of its citizens who own cryptocurrency. This increase doesn’t seem to be affected by the recent dip in crypto value, with the market crashing from its peak at the height of crypto-mania in December 2017.

Citing a survey of 2,000 people by Finder-backed brokerage firm HiveEx, news.com.au reported that around 13.5 percent of them owned crypto in August, compared to just five percent when the same study was conducted in January.

The HiveEx study showed that around 50 percent of those who owned cryptocurrency did so as an investment, while 26 percent said they were using it to save for retirement. The study also showed that 34 percent of the 2,000 surveyed bought cryptocurrencies because of FOMO, seeing how coins have started to take Australia over by storm.

Almost 80 percent of the study’s respondents said that they would regularly use cryptocurrencies for their day-to-day purchase if they were as easy to use as Australian dollars. However, despite the increase in people’s’ hope for mainstream adoption, many are still wary of this relatively new phenomenon.

Those who didn’t own any digital currencies, which still make up the majority of the country’s population, mostly doubt the coin’s legitimacy. Of those who don’t hold any digital currencies, 65 percent said it was because they didn’t understand or it was too difficult to use. More than one out of every five respondents said that they thought most digital currencies were spam, while the same number said they thought it was a bubble that’s bound to burst.

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Market dip Doesn’t Reflect Demand for Crypto

Fred Schebesta, the co-founder of Founder and HiveEx, doesn’t agree with the negative sentiment towards crypto. Schebesta told news.com.au that the interest now was actually “so much higher” than during bitcoin’s manic rise in 2017, which pushed the digital currency from under $1,000 to touch $20,000 and the entire cryptocurrency market over $800 billion.

“At its core, you’ve got to remember, just because the price of bitcoin has gone down and people feel angry, that doesn’t reduce the interest,” he said.

As more and more people get into cryptocurrency, institutional banks are bound to follow suit. The price of bitcoin plunged by nearly $1,000 during the first week of September to around $6,400 following reports from Business Insider that Goldman Sachs was backing away from plans to launch a cryptocurrency trading desk.

ThinkMarkets chief market analyst Naeem Aslam said in a note that if Goldman Sachs stopped exploring the option of the crypto desk, it could trigger a shift in the market which would only benefit large banks. In the end, Goldman CFO Martin Chavez ousted these claims as “fake news” and reported the development of other novel institutional products for the space.

According to data from CoinMarketCap, the 13 percent decline in the price of bitcoin dragged down the rest of the crypto market, with the total market capitalization of more than 1,900 digital currencies falling by about $40 billion.