The number of Europeans with cryptocurrency is set to double in the near future according to research from ING Bank.

Currently, 9% of users have cryptocurrency in Europe, but ING reports that another 16% want to invest in the near future.

In addition, more than a third (35% of respondents believed that cyrptocurrency is the future of spending online and a similar number of people expect it to be the future of investing.

Cryptocurrency in Europe

66% of Europeans stated that they had heard of cryptocurrency but fewer than one-in-ten actually owned any. With 34% of Europe having not even heard of it, the growth could be exponential.

However, 49% of Europeans do not want to change the way they pay. Some people are comfortable, but a large chunk of Europe is risk-averse and sees cryptocurrency as too risky.

Jessica Exton, behavioural scientist at ING, said:“Cryptocurrency remains an abstract investment for many, but there may be more appetite for digital currencies than some might suggest. Based on our survey, ownership of cryptocurrencies could more than double in the future – although we do not know when.”

“Cryptocurrency isn’t restricted to investors in the eyes of consumers, with similar proportions agreeing that digital currencies are the future of spending online and the future of investment. Some would use digital money for everyday activities if it were more widely accepted.”

“The volatility of cryptocurrency carries with it both positives and negatives, on the plus side it can increase awareness but may also mean people view digital money as a relatively risky asset. If cryptocurrency stabilises there may be increased interest.”

Teunis Brosens, economist for global markets at ING, said: “Cryptocurrency probably has a more promising future in countries where the traditional financial system is less efficient or more expensive to use.

“Indeed we find that the Dutch, with a very efficient and cheap domestic payment system, are most sceptical about the future of digital currencies.

 “Over half of respondents see stock market investing as at least as risky as cryptocurrency. That is striking, given the extreme volatility observed in crypto-space.”