According to a recent survey by the Irish Banking and Payments Federation (BPFI), crypto investments in the country are becoming increasingly popular with younger Irish citizens. The BPFI is the main representative body for the banking and financial services sector in Ireland.
Reportedly, these citizens prefer to rely on online sources for consultation, more than fund managers. Data suggests that roughly 16% of Irish adults aged 18-34 invest in cryptocurrencies, compared to only 3% of citizens aged 55 and over.
Further, the report stated that young crypto investors chose to depend on informal investment channels, while older citizens chose to be more cautious rely on investment managers and banks. As a part of its duty, BPFI suggests investors balance digital information sources with advice from banks or brokers to mitigate risks.
Additionally, older people prefer to invest in bonds and investment funds, while stocks and shares are universally popular trends. Recently, the World Economic Forum revealed a study on preferred investment choices across different geographical locations. In European countries, the preference for stocks and bonds over crypto is a common trend.
Sources reveal that European fund managers have been more hesitant to include crypto in portfolios than their U.S. rivals. According to Société Générale, a French bank, European investment managers dipping into crypto need formal procedures and communication guidelines to define interactions between regulated players making a hefty task.
In particular, the rising cases of scams and fraud via intermediaries have also seen people shying away from making investments via them. Last year, authorities arrested an elderly Irish woman for providing unauthorized financial advice violating the Investment Intermediary Act of 1995. According to the law, entities do not have the power to offer advice on crypto investments in Ireland without approval from the Central Bank.
Notably, in Ireland, the central bank has chosen to maintain a cautious approach to crypto regulation. In a recent blog, central bank governor Gabriel Makhlouf made a distinction between “backed” and “unbacked” cryptocurrencies, acknowledging the potential of the former under MiCA, the EU’s new regulatory framework.
He opined that “unbacked” cryptocurrencies require a significantly more careful approach, likening purchasing them to buying a lottery ticket. He further described Bitcoin as a “Ponzi scheme” rather than an investment. However, he conceded that crypto is not “going away” and urged European Union policy action to protect consumers.
The European nations are all geared up as they prepare to implement MiCA in their respective jurisdictions. MiCA is being seen as a very positive regulatory advancement in favor of cryptocurrencies and some even expect other nations to follow. However, some entities have expressed their opinions as to how they feel MiCA might prove insufficient in regulating a much more volatile crypto sector.