31% of young Australians have cryptocurrency despite being cautious about risks, according to an ASX survey.

A new study by the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) found that despite considering themselves more risk-averse than older investors, almost a third of young Australian investors held or traded cryptocurrencies in the past year. The study referred to investors aged 18 to 24 as “next generation investors”, with 46% of them preferring stable returns, yet 31% invested significantly in crypto. According to the study, the median holding of cryptocurrency for “next generation” investors stood at $2,700, representing a 6% weight in their total portfolio. However, it was investors aged 25 to 49, known as “wealth accumulators”, who owned the most cryptocurrency overall, accounting for 69% of the total investment in digital assets. Crypto was included as an asset class in the ASX’s Australian Investor Study for the first time, with researchers cautioning whether cryptocurrencies can become fully accepted in mainstream investing. Despite its volatility, cryptocurrency remains a popular choice among investors, revealing that 29% of all intending investors are considering some type of crypto investment within the next 12 months.

Centralized crypto exchanges were singled out as a potential “handbrake” for the growth of crypto investment in the future. The study was conducted in November 2022 and based on an in-depth online survey of a sample of 5,519 Australian adults.

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