U.K. regulator the Financial Conduct Authority estimates 2.3 million adults now hold cryptoassets, up from 1.9 million last year.
As well as ownership of crypto, awareness has also grown, the FCA’s consumer research shows. Some 78% of adults have now heard of cryptoassets – the regulator’s preferred term – up from 73%.
In terms of the reputation, 38% of crypto users see it as a gamble, down from 47% last year, while increasing numbers see the assets as either a complement or an alternative to mainstream investments, the FCA said.
However, the overall level of understanding is declining. According to the FCA’s sample of 2,568 online respondents, only 71% correctly identified the definition of cryptocurrency from a list of statements.
“The research highlights increased interest in cryptoassets among U.K. customers,” FCA Executive Director Sheldon Mills said in a statement. “If consumers invest in these types of products, they should be prepared to lose all their money.”