Cryptocurrencies are gradually becoming a viable alternative for savers in Switzerland, according to a new poll. The Alpine nation’s crypto-friendly business climate and increasing regulatory clarity makes them a relatively easy addition to investors’ portfolios.
Many Swiss people can afford and regularly do put some money aside but bank accounts are no longer offering inflation protection.
For a few years now, cryptocurrencies have been gaining ground in Switzerland. The Crypto Valley in the canton of Zug has already attracted over 800 companies creating more than 4,000 jobs. The expansion of the blockchain sector facilitated by accommodating regulations has created conditions for Swiss banks to work with fintech companies and offer new crypto-related products and services to their clients. The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority approved two crypto banks in August.
Zurich-based Migros Bank has become the latest traditional financial institution to include cryptocurrencies in its scope of interests. It recently published a report on the savings behavior of various age groups that demonstrated the growing popularity of decentralized digital assets. The gathered data shows that it’s not at all unusual anymore for people to store value in cryptocurrency investments.
The survey conducted by market research institute Intervista on behalf of Migros reveals that 7% of the respondents in two age groups, 18 to 29 and 30 to 55 years old, now own cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, 13% of the younger participants believe that digital coins will become even more important for them, or state their intentions to invest in crypto in the future, compared to 7% in the second group.
Older investors are more pessimistic and remain wary of the new investment class, as Swissinfo reported this week, with only a fraction of those aged over 55 years (0.5%) expecting cryptocurrencies to appreciate and grow significantly in the long run. Yet, even in that age group, one in every 100 savers currently owns digital money.
90% of Swiss People Save Regularly, Most Put Aside up to 1,000 Francs a Month
Intervista carried out the poll online with over 1,500 respondents aged 18 and over from the German and French speaking regions of Switzerland as well as the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino. The researchers established that Swiss people from all ages are good savers. For example, over 90% in the 18 to 55-year bracket and 80% of those over 55 years regularly put money aside. That’s 88% of the adult Swiss population. 67% of the young, 52% among 30 to 55-year-olds and 61% among people over 55 save up to 1,000 Swiss francs per month.
The majority of 18 to 29-years-olds still chose to use their savings accounts even for long-term purposes and a third of them keep over 70% of their funds in this type of account, despite no longer being offered protection against inflation. The policy rate set by the Swiss National Bank has been in negative territory for years and it’s currently at -0.75%. The young cite two major reasons for not switching to financial market investments – that they are not familiar with them (52%) and that there’s a limited amount of wealth they can set aside (48%).
Savings interest adjusted for inflation. Source: Intervista
Many of the young Swiss are afraid of making a wrong move with alternative investments. The lack of knowledge is considered to be the greatest risk by the surveyed 18 to 29-year-olds. At the same time, these respondents are quite open to closing the knowledge gap, the authors of the study point out. 41% of them are interested to learn more about financial and investment matters compared to 37% in the 30 to 55 years segment and 32% among older participants. Curiosity is what led many to discover Bitcoin, too, and that opens another opportunity for cryptocurrencies to attract more investors, especially among young people in Switzerland.