Unsettled crypto market divides Austrian investors

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On the one hand, investors who are already investing in digital assets remain calm and see a high profit potential in the risky nature of crypto investments. On the other hand, people without crypto experience prefer to stay away from it in the future. In particular, allegations of fraud and cyber threats, but also the poor climate balance, damage the image of crypto assets. The Deloitte Crypto Survey comes to these conclusions.

With the recent crash of the crypto exchange FTX, cryptos have once again made negative headlines. But what about the market in Austria? As part of the Deloitte Crypto Survey in October 2022, around 190 people from the business community across the country, mainly at management level, were asked for their assessment of the topic. According to the study, Bitcoin and Co. established itself in Austria in spite of all prophecies of doom. “Crypto investing has long had the image of short-term hype. Although 32 percent of respondents still see it that way, for the majority of 57 percent, crypto assets are a serious form of investment,” explains Maurizia Anderle-Hauke, Counsel and Head of Banking & Finance Regulatory at Deloitte Legal.

Crypto fans continue to invest

More than half of the survey participants are currently addicted to crypto assets. Negative headlines and price drops don’t stop this: Over 90 percent of current investors want to continue investing in digital assets in the future. In contrast, the people who have not yet made any crypto investments are very skeptical. Here, 73 percent consider their entry into the crypto market unlikely in the next five years.

“The crypto market is currently in a state of upheaval. Investors are divided on whether this roller coaster ride is worthwhile. Crypto investing seems to follow the motto ‘all or nothing’ – either you believe in the added value of digital assets or you jump you never up,” adds Johanna Rizzi, tax advisor at Deloitte Austria.

Lack of sustainability damages image

The many challenges associated with crypto investments are to blame for the fear of contact. According to the investors surveyed, allegations of fraud (49 percent) and cyber threats (41 percent) are perceived as problematic. The sustainability factor also plays a big role. “The high energy consumption in the production of crypto assets – keyword mining – is a problem for 33 percent of those questioned. Especially against the background of the global climate and energy crisis, this aspect does not play into the image of crypto assets”, confirms Johanna Rizzi.

The advantage lies in the risk

Three-quarters of respondents see a significantly higher investment risk in crypto-investments compared to more classic forms of investment such as securities or real estate. But it is precisely in this risky nature that the appeal of crypto investments lies. According to the Deloitte study, the capital gains made possible by the increased risk speak especially for an investment in crypto assets: 78 percent of the study participants mention the attractive return as the main motivation, the speculative type of investment is decisive for 48 percent. .

In order to create a better basis for confidence in the market, half of the investors surveyed are in favor of tighter regulation. “The global crypto market will be much more regulated in the future. The FTX crash shows once again the need for such regulations,” emphasizes lawyer Maurizia Anderle-Hauke. “Planned and reliable action on the part of the regulatory authorities is essential for success – because despite of all risk appetite, investors need a solid basis for decision-making.”

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