Over Half of Surveyed Singapore Users Own Cryptocurrency

Over Half of Surveyed Singapore Users Own Cryptocurrency

by February 29, 2024

In recent years, the landscape of cryptocurrency and digital assets has experienced significant shifts, and Singapore, a nation known for its forward-thinking approach to fintech and digital innovation, is no exception. Interestingly, Singapore’s consumer cryptocurrency ownership is high among those surveyed in new findings, and staking has emerged as the most popular use case, preceding others such as trading cryptocurrencies and holding cryptocurrencies for the long term.

Despite challenges such as global economic uncertainties, regulatory adjustments, rising incidents of crypto-related criminal activity, and market volatility, the interest and adoption of cryptocurrencies among Singaporeans remain high. This article delves into the current state of cryptocurrency in Singapore, leveraging comprehensive data and insights to understand the trends, perceptions, and future directions in this dynamic sector.

Singapore Cryptocurrency Consumer Adoption and Perception

A recent research collaboration between Seedly and Coinbase, known as The Pulse of Crypto Singapore Report, provides a revealing look into how adults in Singapore perceive and engage with the cryptocurrency space. Based on a survey of 2,006 Singapore-based adults, a striking 57% reported owning cryptocurrency, signaling a robust consumer adoption rate.

Cryptocurrency Adoption Tide Rises in Singapore, Staking is Most Popular Use Case

Source: The Pulse of Crypto Singapore Report

This figure not only represents a significant uptick from previous reports, such as the 38% ownership rate identified by the C|T Group in March 2023, but it also underscores a robust and growing acceptance of cryptocurrency as a viable alternative investment among the financially savvy in Singapore.

Despite the government’s stringent measures to regulate the crypto space, including the comprehensive Payment Services Act (PS Act), the interest in cryptocurrencies has not waned. Rather, the introduction of new rules in 2023, aimed at curbing the promotion of Digital Payment Token (DPT) services and tightening licensing requirements, seems to have underscored the importance of a regulated and secure environment for digital asset exchanges and service providers.

If anything, the survey’s insights reveal a strong inclination towards cryptocurrencies amongst users despite the stringent regulatory environment shaped by the Singaporean government. Measures such as the PS Act have broadened the regulatory scope to encompass digital assets and cryptocurrencies, aiming to foster a secure and orderly market.

Preferences and Priorities Among Singapore Cryptocurrency Users

Singapore’s crypto enthusiasts prioritise several key factors when engaging with digital asset exchanges. According to the findings from Seedly and Coinbase, the security of assets stands as the paramount concern, with 75% of finance-forward individuals highlighting its importance. This is closely followed by the ease of use and the regulatory standing of the platforms, reflecting a discerning approach to selecting cryptocurrency exchanges.

The aspirations driving individuals towards cryptocurrency are multifaceted, with 60% of respondents seeking short-term profits and an equal percentage eyeing long-term capital appreciation. Additionally, the diversification of investment portfolios emerges as a significant motive, illustrating the strategic approach adopted by investors in navigating the crypto space.

The survey also highlights the primary benefits sought by crypto enthusiasts, including short-term profit, capital appreciation, and portfolio diversification. Of note, two-thirds (67%) of respondents expressed an interest in trading cryptocurrencies, with a nearly half showing a keen interest in Decentralised Finance (DeFi) and stablecoins.

This interest could be rising following Singapore’s moves to establish a stablecoins regulatory framework and the approval of the first MAS-regulated, Singapore Dollar- and US Dollar-backed stablecoins from StraitsX and Paxos Digital Singapore.

Paxos also supports Chainlink’s PayPal USD (PYUSD) stablecoin issued by Paxos under PayPal’s banner. Chainlink‘s security features play a pivotal role in PYUSD’s adoption, with its technology known to safeguard leading DeFi protocols.

The Rise of Staking and Investment Strategies

Among the various cryptocurrency use cases, staking has emerged as a particularly popular strategy in Singapore. This approach is appealing due to its potential for higher returns compared to traditional financial instruments.

The report indicates that cryptocurrency staking can offer annual percentage yields (APY) between 5% to 10%, a compelling alternative to the highest realistic interest rates for savings accounts and fixed deposits. According to recent Seedly articles on the comparison, “it was found that the highest realistic interest rate for bank accounts was 3.85% p.a. after fulfilling certain conditions while the highest fixed deposit rate for November 2023 was 3.68% p.a. with a US$20,000 minimum deposit and assuming that the customer is a privilege banking customer.”

Nevertheless, it’s crucial for investors to recognise the increased risks associated with staking, given cryptocurrency staking is not SDIC-insured in Singapore unlike savings accounts and fixed deposits, and moreover carries a much higher risk than placing money in a bank or fixed deposit.

Cryptocurrency Adoption Tide Rises in Singapore, Staking is Most Popular Use

Source: The Pulse of Crypto Singapore Report

Regulatory Evolution and Market Dynamics

Singapore’s proactive stance on cryptocurrency regulation has been a key factor in shaping the market. The introduction of the PS Act starting in 2020 and subsequent regulations in 2023 from Singapore’s chief regulator the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) reflect a rather stringent commitment to safeguarding investors while promoting innovation. These measures have not dampened enthusiasm for digital assets — rather, they have underscored the desire for a regulated, secure, and efficient market.

The market’s resilience is evident in the rebounding global crypto market capitalisation, which saw a 79% increase from US$795 billion at the start of 2023 to US$1.61 trillion by December 2023. While still below the all-time high of US$3 trillion in November 2021, this recovery signals a positive momentum and a rekindled interest in digital currencies.

Educational Outreach and Future Outlook

The sentiment towards cryptocurrency in Singapore is predominantly optimistic, with a considerable portion of the population viewing digital assets as the future of finance. The Pulse of Crypto Singapore Report speculates that this optimism is likely fueled by the vibrant Web3 ecosystem in Singapore, which continues to attract builders, investors, and users alike.

Compounding interest in Singapore is the government’s exploration of a wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) to settle retail payments, further validating the potential of digital currencies in transforming the financial landscape from the top-down — from governmental regulatory authorities right down to retail users.

The Seedly and Coinbase study found that effective education and information dissemination play critical roles in fostering a deeper understanding of cryptocurrency in financially-savvy markets like Singapore. The majority of survey respondents rely on personal networks and specialised publications for insights into the crypto world. Social media platforms also serve as vital channels for information, highlighting the need for accurate and accessible crypto education.

Source: The Pulse of Crypto Singapore Report

However, concerns regarding the high risk associated with cryptocurrency, a lack of regulatory oversight, and gaps in understanding remain barriers to wider adoption. Still, a notable 62% of non-crypto users indicated they would be more inclined to invest in digital assets if there were better investor protections, suggesting that regulatory enhancements could significantly impact market participation.

Singapore’s journey through the evolving landscape of cryptocurrency showcases a balanced approach to innovation, regulation, and consumer engagement. The data-driven insights from The Pulse of Crypto Singapore report illuminate the preferences, practices, and perspectives of Singaporean investors, revealing a community that is both cautious and enthusiastic about the potential of digital assets.

As the fintech ecosystem continues to mature, Singapore’s commitment to creating a secure, regulated, and dynamic market for cryptocurrencies positions it as a global leader in the digital finance revolution.


Featured image credit: Edited from Freepik