the 2020 market conditions increased their likelihood of investing in digital assets, crypto markets are likely to continue their rapid expansion in the coming years, they said.
Conducted between December 2020 and April 2021, the survey is based on 1,100 blind online and phone interviews of professionals representing a variety of high-net-worth individuals and institutional investor representatives from the US, Europe, and Asia.
In Europe, the investors surveyed who have an allocation to digital assets expanded from 45% in 2020 to 56% this year, marking an 11 percentage point increase.
For the second consecutive year, European investors covered by the survey demonstrated a greater propensity for digital assets than their US counterparts.
That said, digital asset investments in the US “also saw continued acceleration in growth, with a six-percentage point increase from the 2020 survey to 33%. Asia has the highest adoption rate, with 71% of investors surveyed currently invested in digital assets,” according to Fidelity Digital Assets.
Some 18% of US respondents said they bought or invested in digital assets through an investment product this year, compared with 8% in 2020.
“This uptick in adoption via investment products is likely supported by an increase in the number of public trust-structured investment products now available in the US, in addition to an array of private fund offerings issued by managers throughout the past year,” the report said.
European investors are showing an increasing preference for buying digital assets directly, with 41% of those surveyed investing in this manner, compared with 29% in 2020, while allocations to investment products also expanded year-on-year from 14% to 29%.
In Asia 52% of the surveyed investors shared they had bought digital assets directly, while 39% expressed their allocation via an investment product, according to Fidelity Digital Assets.
Investors in “the US appeared to lag behind Europe and Asia in direct investments, with only 21% of investors surveyed owning bitcoin in a portfolio, versus 46% and 45% in Europe and Asia, respectively.”
“We believe this ongoing trend may be in part due to a greater number of regulated investment products that offer digital asset access in European markets, which offer a familiar structure to retail investors and may help build trust with institutions. Additionally, European investors have historically
been more likely to hold alternative assets in their portfolios than U.S. investors, who have seen plenty of upside investing primarily in stocks and bonds over the last decade,” according to Fidelity.
Bitcoin (BTC) remains the main cryptocurrency of choice across the three regions, as it is held by 21% of surveyed investors in the US, 46% in Europe, and 45% in Asia.
Ethereum (ETH) is ranked second, with 10% in the US, 27% in Europe, and 22% in Asia, and litecoin (LTC) third, attracting 6% of surveyed investors in the US, 15% in Europe, and 14% in Asia, the company said.
It is noteworthy that US investor ownership of bitcoin was up modestly from last year, by 2 percentage points.
“In Europe, bitcoin and ethereum were the most significant drivers of increased adoption. Bitcoin adoption increased 13- percentage points from 33% in the 2020 survey, while ethereum adoption more than doubled from 13%,” according to the survey.