INdustrycTceh INsight Logo

Most young crypto traders don’t realize it’s not regulated

Most young crypto traders don't realize it's not regulated

October 21, 2021: According to the U.K, most cryptocurrency investors under the age of 40 don’t realize it isn’t a regulated product. Financial Conduct Authority.

Cryptocurrencies are not regulated in the U.K., meaning consumer protection laws do not protect people if their funds are lost for any reason, for instance, in a hack on an exchange.

According to research published by the FCA, most people investing in crypto aren’t aware of this, with 69% incorrectly believing it is regulated.

Three-quarters of younger investors are driven by “competition” with friends and family when investing in a cryptocurrency or high-risk products like foreign exchange or crowdfunding, a survey from the financial services watchdog found.

Although 68% of respondents compared investing in such assets to gambling, the FCA said. The regulator said that findings were the result of surveys with 1,000 respondents aged 18-40 who invested in one or more high-risk investment products.

According to the FCA, more than half of respondents said they were incentivized to make a high-risk investment after hearing about it on the news or social media.

Bitcoin is near an all-time high after topping $60,000 in the previous week. The world’s most significant digital currency has been known to be incredibly volatile, dropping from more than $64,000 in April to below $30,000 in July. It’s still doubled in price this year.

Despite the description of bitcoin from its proponents as a long-term means of accumulating wealth, the FCA found that only 21% of under the 40s in the U.K. said they considered holding their most recent investment for more than a year.

“We see more people chasing high returns. But high returns mean that higher risks,” said Sarah Pritchard, executive director of markets at the FCA.

“We want to give consumers the confidence to invest and help them to do so safely, understanding the level of risk involved.”

The regulator said that it’d enlisted the help of Olympic BMX gold medalist Charlotte Worthington for a campaign warning about the dangers of investing in high-risk assets.

This year comes after the FCA warned that a “new, younger, more diverse group of consumers” was getting involved in higher-risk investments, citing the rise of online trading apps as one potential cause.

This year, amateur investors piled into the stock market using platforms like Robinhood and Reddit, leading to volatile trading in so-called “meme stocks” like GameStop and AMC.

Most young crypto traders don’t realize it’s not regulated