It is not yet the preferred investment of the French, whose leadership is traditionally held by the Livret A, with 55 million owners, according to the Banque de France. But while they were born just over ten years ago, with the birth of bitcoin in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, they are already 8% (i.e. around 5.56 million French people in gross value) to have already invested in cryptocurrencies, according to a study published Monday and carried out by the firm KPMG on order of the Association for the development of digital assets (Adan). That is nearly one in twelve French people held cryptos in January 2022, according to Adan.
In view of the latest global data available, this share of the French is a drop in the ocean of investors who bet on the price fluctuations of these assets based on decentralized blockchain technology. At the end of the first half of 2021, 221 million people worldwide held cryptocurrencies, a number that has more than doubled compared to January (106 million), according to a study by the specialized exchange crypto.com. The market has exceeded 2,000 billion euros in capitalization in 2021.
But the interest is however palpable in France. According to the survey carried out by Ipsos for Adan in January, 30% of French people plan to acquire cryptocurrency. And for now, they are spoiled for choice. In addition to the two leading valuations (Bitcoin, Ethereum), 12,000 cryptocurrencies have been identified by the CoinGecko site. “The triptych of cryptocurrencies favored by current investors is as follows: bitcoin with 49%, ether with 29% then bitcoin cash with 82%”comments the Adan.
Before entering mass uses, notably that of payment, their main role is to embody an alternative investment, in full inflationary pressure which depreciates or makes more traditional assets more expensive.
Income (declared) below 18,000 euros
In terms of profile, this investment particularly attracts people under 35, who would be almost one in eight (12%) to own it. And men are in the majority (60%) among “crypto” buyers. Also, 4 out of 10 French people would be interested in investing in cryptos if their bank offered them, notes Adan.
People with incomes below 18,000 euros per year would also be more likely to hold cryptocurrencies (37% of investors) than those with the highest incomes. To be tempered, however, by the fact that the heritage of cryptocurrency holders is difficult to assess. These assets are indeed stored on crypto exchange platforms or on physical digital keys.
Finally, 2% of French people would have chosen to invest in a particular type of cryptocurrency: NFTs, these non-fungible tokens which make it possible to give a unique and unforgeable identity to a digital object. For the time being, they are particularly popular in the art and auction world, which sees them as an opportunity to sell new goods and new proofs of ownership. Beginning of February at Paris, an unprecedented auction of certified digital works of art took place in the interactive virtual universe of the metaverse, in addition to a real physical space.
A growing sector, an issue for the presidential election
According to interviews conducted with 29 of the most important companies in the sector in France, fundraising in the French “crypto” industry totals 1.2 billion euros in total. Here too, it is still much lower than the performance of all sectors combined by French Tech, which garnered 11.6 billion in fundraising in 2021.
The French crypto sector employed more than 1,100 people in January, 85% of them in France, with growth of nearly 60% year-on-year. In other words, in this sector of borderless exchanges linked by the blockchain and by a community, not everyone works on French territory. Jobs would reach 2,400 positions next year.
To mobilize on these national issues, Adan published at the end of January a list of recommendations concerning “crypto” for presidential candidates. Moreover, this survey, conducted in January, was presented at Bercy in the presence of the Secretary of State for Digital, Cédric O.
For his part, Pascal Gauthier, the CEO of Ledger, a French unicorn and founding member of Adan, had invited all the candidates at the end of January to visit his startup specializing in physical cryptocurrency wallets. Eric Zemmour was the first to go there on Monday.