ALMOST one in five people now own cryptocurrency in this country, with huge levels of interest in acquiring a digital currency.
Some 58pc of Irish people who do not own cryptocurrency are interested in learning more or are likely to acquire it in the next 12 months.
This is according to a survey commissioned by crypto trading platform Gemini, which recently secured an e-money licence from the Irish Central Bank.
The company was founded by the billionaire Winklevoss brothers, who successfully sued Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, claiming he stole the idea for the social networking site from them.
Getting an Irish licence allows Gemini to issue electronic money which it currently does in the UK though an authorisation from there.
Gemini’s survey found that 58pc of Irish respondents, who do not currently own cryptocurrency, are interested in learning more or are likely to acquire it in the next 12 months.
The huge enthusiasm for crypto currency comes despite the Financial Services Ombudsman office saying last month that there has been an upsurge in complaints to it about cryptocurrency scams.
The ombudsman’s office said it has seen “a noticeable increase” in the number of complaints from people who thought they were investing in crypto assets but ended up losing all their money.
And the Central Bank recently warned that crypto-assets are “highly risky and speculative” and the subject of misleading advertisements and influence campaigns on social media.
Gemini said its ‘2022 Global State of Crypto’ report found that people in this country are more “crypto curious” than those in Germany or the UK.
And the majority of those interested in crypto in this country are women.
The survey found that 18pc of Irish respondents currently own or have previously owned cryptocurrency.
This is in line with levels of ownership in other developed countries, such as the UK, Germany, Australia and the US.
The survey found Irish crypto buyers are holding their cryptocurrency for long-term gains, and 39pc are actively trading their crypto.
More than a third of owners are aged between 25 and 34 years old, higher than other age groups.
Some four out of 10 current buyers of digital currencies are women, with six out of 10 male.
Gemini is a platform that offers individuals and institutions tools to buy, sell, and store crypto like bitcoin and ether.
It was founded in 2014 in the US by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.
The company recently secured an electronic money institution (EMI) licence from the Central Bank of Ireland, the first such licence granted by the Central Bank since 2020.
Gemini’s head of Ireland and Europe Gillian Lynch said the survey reveals that Irish people have a strong appetite for crypto.
She said this was to be expected given Ireland’s international reputation as a hub for financial services and emerging technologies.
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss are best known for suing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg over claims he stole the idea for the social networking site from them when they were undergraduates.
The twins were ultimately awarded a $65m settlement in cash and Facebook shares after a series of lawsuits.
The identical twins founded Gemini in 2014.
It allows retail investors to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies as well as create and invest in non-fungible tokens (NFTS).