New research from Wirex and the Stellar Development Foundation suggests that non-user-friendly international transactions could drive people towards digital currencies.
A growing need for cross-border payments and a dissatisfaction with mainstream options are likely to encourage cryptocurrency adoption.
User surveys conducted by the two companies led to some somewhat surprising revelations. For example, the largest group of respondents claiming to hold cryptocurrencies was between 45 and 54.
Stellar: Shortcomings in International Payments Provide Opportunity for Crypto
A report published on Jan. 21 by the Stellar Development Fund and Wirex suggests that cryptocurrency awareness and adoption is growing. ‘The Future of Money: Cryptocurrency Adoption in 2021‘ surveyed 3,834 Stellar and Wirex users from 89 countries.
CEO of Wirex, Pavel Matveev, commented on the research:
“… it’s exciting to be involved in some brand-new research into cryptocurrency use and adoption, which will help us to better understand consumer pain points with payments and ascertain what users want from a digital economy.”
The research suggests that international payments are becoming more common. Three-quarters of the respondents said that they had previously sent money abroad.
Of those previously making international payments, 56.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24. The report’s authors reason that younger respondents possess greater ‘digital prowess’ and were, therefore, more likely to have bought a product from overseas or received payment for freelance work.
Despite adjusting to the process, most respondents claimed that they paid too much in international transaction fees. Around half of the respondents stated that they considered fees of 1% to be excessive. Understandably, the number increased for high percentage fees.
This, according to the authors, suggests a pain point that crypto could alleviate. Supporting this notion are the 74.1% of respondents who deem cryptocurrency payments a viable alternative to traditional means.
Interestingly, the research also suggests that there is less of an age barrier to adopting blockchain payment solutions than some might presume.
What’s a Stablecoin?
Another interesting revelation involved stablecoins. Despite growing awareness of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, knowledge of stablecoins remains low. A massive 75% of all respondents had never even heard the term.
Younger respondents were more clued up than their older counterparts here. Around 34% of 25-34-year-olds knew what a stablecoin was versus 17.9% of those over 65.
Preaching to the Converted?
The authors acknowledge shortcomings with the survey, however. Chief among them is that the respondent’s emails were from the databases of the Stellar Development Foundation and Wirex.
The respondents are, therefore, much more likely to possess some knowledge of cryptocurrencies already. Additionally, those using a service like Wirex might do so precisely because it offers international payments.
Perhaps most representative of the report’s shortcomings is that 86.1% of respondents said they feel safe using cryptocurrency, and 82.8% already owned digital assets. Clearly, this isn’t a reflection of adoption across the general public.
Addressing these shortcomings, the authors reasoned that it’s not a great leap to assume that views on international payment methods and fees are representative of those less familiar with blockchain payment methods.
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