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What do Crypto-asset Owners Know About Their Investments?

document with heading that reads "cryptocurrency" indicating information about cryto-assets
Learn about consumer understanding of crypto-assets

Crypto-assets have been highly publicized in recent years. Even with this attention, recent research shows crypto-assets still remain mysterious to consumers in Canada and abroad.

In this article, we have compiled and highlighted key information from two separate studies which examine public understanding of crypto-assets. We also provide some educational resources to help you learn more about Crypto Assets.

Studies Reveal Mistakes and Traits Common Amongst Crypto-Investors

Studies in Canada and the UK have suggested that many consumers don’t understand, or overestimate their understanding of what they are purchasing when they invest in crypto-assets.

Common Crypto-Investor Misconceptions and Mistakes

  • Some consumers expressed interest in purchasing a whole coin – not realizing they could purchase part of one.
  • Some consumers seemed to believe that they were purchasing tangible assets.
  • Many consumers didn’t appear to have any strategy to sell their assets.
  • Some investors purchased their investments without conducting any due diligence.

Common Traits amongst Crypto-Investor

  • A majority of consumers didn’t know what crypto-assets were or were unable to define the term.
  • In both studies, the most aware demographic, and most likely owners of crypto-assets, were men between the ages of 18-44.
  • Crypto-asset owners seemed to be looking for ways to get-rich-quick – citing friends, acquaintances, and social media influencers as key investment decision motivators.
  • The majority of crypto-asset owners said they used disposable income to invest.
  • Some consumers are appear to be aware of the potential risks associated with crypto-asset investments and express that the risk is part of the attraction.


Studies Highlight Consumer Experiences with Crypto-Assets

Consumers in one of the studies who acquired crypto-assets using a crypto-asset trading platform, reported experiencing issues using these platforms, including:

  • A halt in trading;
  • Problems withdrawing money from their account;
  • Problems transferring money into their trading platform account; and
  • Not understanding the fees they are being charged.


Learn More about Crypto-Assets

Crypto assets include cryptocurrencies, blockchain companies, cryptocurrency funds, and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and Initial Token Offerings (ITOs).  To learn more, watch our What are Crypto Assets video –  it explains four basic types of crypto assets.

Watch our blog for a Guide to Crypto Assets that will be published in mid-May.


Report a Concern

If you have any concerns about a person or company offering an investment opportunity, please contact BCSC Contact Centre at 604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393 or through e-mail at [email protected]. You can also file a complaint or submit a tip anonymously using the BCSC’s online complaint form.

InvestRight.org is the BC Securities Commission’s investor education website. Subscribe to receive email updates from BCSC InvestRight.

Suggested Reading

More Resources

Crypto Quiz

Test Your Crypto Asset Knowledge.

This quiz is designed to introduce you to the basics of crypto assets. It is not intended to provide investment or financial advice, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for such advice.

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain are the same thing.