A recent survey conducted by the newspaper Segye Ilbo, in collaboration with the research firm Embrain, has shed light on the South Korean population’s perception of cryptocurrencies. The survey found that a staggering 80% of citizens consider crypto investments to be a form of “gambling.” This perception is primarily driven by the lack of real-world assets backing most tokens, as indicated by 53.2% of respondents. Additionally, concerns over rug-pulls, token price manipulation, weak regulation by financial authorities, and fears of hacking-related risks were also expressed by participants.
Despite the widespread interest and investment in cryptocurrencies, the survey revealed a notable lack of understanding regarding blockchain technology. Only around 6% of respondents who had invested in crypto claimed to have a solid understanding of blockchain technology. In contrast, over half of the investors admitted to having only “some understanding” of the underlying technology, while more than 3% acknowledged buying crypto without any knowledge of blockchain technology. This knowledge gap raises concerns about the long-term sustainability and informed decision-making surrounding crypto investments.
Lack of Confidence in Public Officials’ Crypto Investments
The survey findings indicate a significant lack of trust and confidence in public officials investing in cryptocurrencies. A staggering 76% of respondents deemed it “inappropriate” for public officials to engage in crypto investments. This sentiment likely stems from the ongoing Coin Gate scandal, which has tarnished the reputation of the crypto industry. The involvement of public officials in crypto investments further exacerbates concerns about potential conflicts of interest and the integrity of the financial system.
Male Dominance and Short-Term Profit Motives
In South Korea, the crypto sector remains dominated by men, particularly those in their 20s and 30s. More than half of the men interviewed in this age group reported actively trading cryptocurrencies. While some individuals purchased crypto as part of their long-term investment portfolio, a majority (60%) admitted to buying coins “for fun” or with the intention of making short-term profits. This trend reflects the speculative nature of the crypto market, where quick gains are prioritized over long-term value creation.
The survey also sought participants’ predictions for the Bitcoin market in 2024. While most respondents anticipated stagnant prices, 21.3% expressed optimism and expected an increase. These predictions highlight the uncertain and volatile nature of cryptocurrency markets, where price fluctuations are common and difficult to accurately predict.
The South Korean survey offers valuable insights into the perception, concerns, and behavior of citizens regarding cryptocurrency investments. The overwhelming association of crypto investments with gambling reflects the need for increased transparency, regulation, and investor education. Moreover, the limited understanding of blockchain technology raises questions about the sustainability and long-term value of cryptocurrency investments. The lack of confidence in public officials’ involvement in crypto further highlights the need for ethical and accountable practices within the sector. As the crypto industry continues to evolve, addressing these concerns and building trust among the general public will be crucial for its widespread adoption and success.