Ryze Recap 7/1: Crypto Ownership Up 73% in the UK since 2019

Plus: New CFTC guidance; Binance Acquires Bitcoin Debit Card Startup

It’s Wednesday, July 1st. We’re halfway through 2020, and we’ve got one main story for you today.

If you’re new here, Ryze Recaps is a newsletter covering the top stories that Bitcoiners need to know in 2 minutes or less.

UK Crypto-Asset Ownership Up 73% in the Last Year

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the country’s financial regulatory body, published its 2020 crypto-asset consumer research report this week. The FCA surveyed a nationally representative sample of the UK’s adult population, and the report compares the survey results to a similar survey conducted in 2019.

The highlights:

  • Demographics: Approximately 3.86% of the UK’s adult population currently owns crypto-assets. 2.6 Million people have owned Bitcoin or another crypto-asset, compared to 1.5 million last year, a 73% increase.

  • Awareness: Less than a third of the adult population has never heard of Bitcoin or crypto-assets, compared to nearly 58% last year. Surprisingly, more people were exposed to Bitcoin through traditional media (TV, radio, print, etc) than online media. Bitcoin was the most recognized crypto-asset by far (78% awareness), followed by Facebook’s Libra. Only 17% had heard of Ethereum.

  • Motivations: Only 15% of those who invested in crypto expected to “make money quickly,” indicating long-term conviction. Nearly a quarter think of crypto as part of a wider investment portfolio. 17% cited political/ideological reasons for owning crypto, including a distrust of financial institutions.

Why it matters:

  • Bitcoin and other crypto-assets are slowly but surely gaining traction in the UK. In light of this, Binance, the largest global crypto exchange, launched a UK-specific division regulated by the FCA. This move mirrors what Binance did in the US and ensures that Binance can continue serving UK customers with little regulatory pushback.

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A few more quick things:

Regulation: The CFTC provided some long-awaited clarity on what “actual delivery” means in regards to Bitcoin and other digital assets.

  • In regards to futures contracts and other derivatives, the underlying asset (in this case, Bitcoin or other crypto-assets) is sent from one party to the other when the contract expires.

  • Since 2016, exchanges and other firms have asked the CFTC to define what delivery looks like for crypto, and it finally did. This new guidance matters because companies like Bakkt are offering institutional futures products settled in Bitcoin. Derivatives volume is at an all-time-high among institutions.

M&A: Binance has acquired a majority stake in crypto debit card startup Swipe.io. Swipe lets customers spend their Bitcoin or other crypto-asset via a debit card, a feature Binance may be looking to offer to its 13.5 million users.

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That’s all for today! We’ll be back again with another Ryze Recap.

Note: We didn’t send out a newsletter yesterday. To maintain the quality of our writing, we’ll be sending out Ryze Recaps 3-4 times a week, instead of as a daily newsletter.

Written by Ryze Financial— helping you understand and invest in Bitcoin, on your own terms.