A recent survey in South Korea revealed a majority of its wealthier investors are not willing to make investments in virtual assets, due to concerns over experiencing losses.

Fast facts

  • KB Financial Group’s Korea Wealth Report 2021 surveyed 400 South Korean citizens with over 1 billion Korean won, or about US$847,816 in financial assets. Out of the 400 participants, 70% answered “no” to including crypto assets in their portfolios. Only 3.3% said they are willing to invest in virtual assets, while the remaining 26.8% said their decisions will depend on the circumstances.
  • The majority’s reluctance to embrace cryptocurrency investments is mainly due to the higher risk of investment losses, followed by distrust in cryptocurrency exchanges, having insufficient knowledge of cryptocurrencies, and high volatility in value.
  • The survey results appear to be counter to the popularity of crypto investments within and beyond South Korea. One candidate in the upcoming presidential election, Lee Jae-myung, designed a part of his campaign around the needs of the crypto investors in their 20s and 30s, including a proposed delay in taxing virtual assets — acknowledging an increased influence of crypto investors in the country. In Southeast Asia, funding in crypto firms in the first nine months of 2021 grew 400% compared to the whole year of 2020.
  • In the U.S., nine out of 10 adults say they have heard about cryptocurrencies while 16% said that they have invested in, traded or used a cryptocurrency, according to the Pew Research Center. It says virtual assets are especially popular among the male demographic between age 18 to 29, where 43% said they have utilized cryptocurrencies themselves.