(Bloomberg) — The interest and demand for bitcoin has skyrocketed in 2021 despite the turmoil of digital assets. More than half of existing investors have received investments in the past 12 months, according to crypto firm Grayscale Investments LLC.
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In a survey of 1,000 people, nearly a quarter said they already own Bitcoin, and 55% said they started investing this year.
The findings underscore the explosive growth of cryptocurrencies this year as investors shift funds towards a volatile asset class amid the growing popularity of additional products, such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The value of Bitcoin has increased by nearly 70% in 2021 after the recent sell-off, while some other coins, such as Ether, have seen their value rise fivefold.
“It is becoming increasingly difficult for investors to ignore bitcoin as its price continues to rise,” the study said.
Nearly 80% of those surveyed in the US said they would be more inclined to invest money in an asset class if there was a fund traded on a Bitcoin exchange, and regulators have not yet approved the product. Respondents ranged in age from 25 to 64 years and had primary or joint responsibility for making household financial decisions. All respondents participated in some form of personal investment, with at least $10,000 in family investable assets and at least $50,000 in family income.
Grayscale, which conducted the survey in mid-August, recently submitted a request to convert $35 billion from the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC tape) into a physical backed ETF. But so far, only US regulators have allowed the launch of a bitcoin futures-based fund.
According to Grayscale’s survey, investor preferences for how to buy cryptocurrencies are changing. In 2020, more than three-quarters of them said they would rather buy Bitcoin via an exchange, while nearly 60% now say they prefer trading through a crypto app like eToro or Coinbase. Just over a third said they would prefer the exchange now.
The digital asset manager said that investors are increasingly treating Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, as a store of value and many are choosing to hold their investment.
(Adds information about respondents to the survey in the sixth paragraph.)
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