Portrait of a crypto investor from Russia – KuCoin research


In August, the KuCoin exchange published the report “Inside the Cryptoverse: Users in Russia,” based on a May survey of 500 Russians aged 18 to 60 who own or have invested in cryptocurrencies over the past six months.

We reviewed the data and compared it with reports from Japan and Germany. We talk about the similarities and differences between crypto investors from different countries.

Cryptocurrency Adoption: Zoomers Are the Most Active Investors

According to KuCoin estimates, more than 15 million Russians own cryptocurrencies, that is, 18% of the adult population of the country. The same figure for Germany is 16%, and for Japan – only 5%.

About a third of Russian users have been on the market for more than three years, 64% for more than a year.

At the same time, 32% of respondents invested in cryptocurrency from 10,000 to 100,000 rubles, and 21% invested more than 500,000 rubles. 51% of Generation Z have invested over RUB 100,000 in digital assets.

“In recent years, the trend in the number of users from Russia has been in line with the overall global market, although we have seen some level of growth in trading activity in the first half of 2022,” said Anton Starchenko, head of business development at KuCoin in the CIS.

In Russia, buzzers are most actively entering the market – 29% bought cryptocurrencies less than six months ago, 44% – in the last year. In Germany, millennials lead with 50% and 58% respectively.

Portrait of a crypto investor from Russia - KuCoin research

Motives for investment: long-term savings and involvement in the future

66% of respondents see cryptocurrencies as a means of accumulating capital in the long term, among other motives – maintaining the value of assets, diversifying risks.

35% of KuCoin customers in Russia see investments as a way to become part of the future of finance. Such sentiments are somewhat higher among zoomers and millennials: younger generations are more inclined to consider digital assets an integral part of the financial system.

Portrait of a crypto investor from Russia - KuCoin research

In Germany, long-term investors are also in the lead, and the motive “for fun” is in second place (32% of respondents).

Japanese users primarily see cryptocurrencies as a technology of the future (44% of respondents) and a way of investing (40% of respondents).

Investment portfolio: Bitcoin is the undisputed leader, Ethereum is a well-deserved second place

Most Russian users invest in bitcoin (81%) and Ethereum (41%). Representatives of generation X (45-60 years old) show the greatest interest in these assets.

86% of respondents of this age own digital gold, 45% own Ethereum.

In Germany, 64% of respondents invested in the first cryptocurrency, in Japan – 70%. Ethereum is also in second place with 40% and 43% respectively.

Generations Y and Z are leading in terms of investment in relatively new market segments: DeFi, NFT and metaverses.

Portrait of a crypto investor from Russia - KuCoin research

Although Japan is the birthplace of Shiba Inu dogs, interest in memcoins in the country is minimal. Only 8% of the Japanese are interested in such assets. In Russia, this figure is 10%, in Germany – 14%.

The use of cryptocurrencies: 41% of zoomers make purchases on the Internet

Trading is the main use case for cryptocurrencies in all reports. In Russia, 45% of respondents are engaged in it, in Germany – 49%, in Japan – 33%.

At the same time, a third of users from the Russian Federation make purchases on the Internet using cryptocurrencies. 41% of them are buzzers, which indicates the growing acceptance of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment among Russian youth.

23% of respondents also make P2P transfers in cryptocurrencies, another 20% receive or pay salaries in them.

Portrait of a crypto investor from Russia - KuCoin research

17% of users from Russia pay with NFT cryptocurrencies. Among them, millennials are in the lead with a share of 23%.

Sources of information about cryptocurrencies: friends, family and Telegram

35% of Russian investors receive information about digital assets from friends and relatives, which indicates the high role of word of mouth in the industry.

Portrait of a crypto investor from Russia - KuCoin research

32% of respondents rely on the opinions of other traders, 25% communicate with like-minded people in crypto communities.

The official websites of exchanges, cryptocurrency projects and regulators are the most reliable source of information for 47% of Russian users. They are followed by cryptocurrency media, which is trusted by 42% of KuCoin customers.

Telegram is the most popular among investors: information from this social network is trusted by 30% of survey participants. The same figure for YouTube is 27%, for VK – only 11%.

For comparison, in Japan, YouTube leads (32%), followed by X (23%), and Telegram is in seventh place with 5%, behind the country’s popular messenger Line (15%) and social networks Instagram (13%), TikTok (9%) and Discord (6%).

The Future of the Crypto Market: Digitalization of the Ruble and Regulatory Uncertainty

The results of the study show that cryptocurrencies have become a long-term investment for millions of Russians. Most of them have been on the market for more than a year, which indicates user confidence in the future of the crypto industry.

“The Russian cryptocurrency market is distinguished by the uncertainty of regulation, dependence on geopolitical factors that can influence the behavior of investors, the presence of large local communities in social media. It is also worth considering the possible consequences of the introduction of the digital ruble – increased regulatory clarity and the emergence of discussions about the benefits of digital assets. Crypto exchanges will be able to integrate the digital ruble, which will lead to the emergence of new services,” comments Anton Starchenko, Head of Business Development at KuCoin in the CIS.

In the second half of 2023, the exchange plans to publish analytical reports on Turkey and South Korea.

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