A survey of more than 2000 Australian investors has found that cryptocurrency is a more popular investment than gold and silver — but it still has a long way to go to catch up to shares.

The poll, conducted on behalf of BTC Markets over the month of February, found that 12.6% of Aussie investors hold Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, compared to 12.1% who hold precious metals.

However, the stock market is by far the preferred in option for investors, with 63.6% holding shares directly and 28.8% investing in either exchange-traded funds or managed funds. Property is also a popular investment (25.8%), while 18.8% said they invested in “collectibles”.

Australian crypto investors heavily favor Bitcoin and Ethereum, with 83.2% holding Bitcoin and 42% holding Ethereum, followed by Ripple with 28.5%, Litecoin with 18%, and Bitcoin cash with 12%.

The research revealed that almost one-third of the cryptocurrency investors made their first investment after the COVID-19 induced market crash of March 2020. This research is backed up by another poll from October 2020, which revealed that 39% of respondents had found Bitcoin more appealing after the pandemic began.

Despite many cryptocurrencies rallying to all-time highs in recent months, 51% of Aussie investors stated they had no intention of selling their crypto soon, with 31% planning to exit after at least three years of holding. Of the 49% who are looking to sell or take profits, one in five investors intend to reinvest the capital back into crypto.

The largest demographic of Aussie crypto investors (36.3%) in the survey were aged between 25-34 with, followed by those aged between 35-44 at 30.1%. Men accounted for 63% of all crypto investors, and one in four earned an income of more than $100,000 per year.

BTC Markets CEO Caroline Bowler noted that an increasing number of older Australians are investing in crypto, with investors 60-plus doubling in number over the past couple of years to make up 10% of the client base:

“In the last 12 months, we have seen a shift from 25-45-year-old males to a much broader age group, particularly early retirees who are interested in diversifying their investment portfolio and are catching up with this fastest-growing asset class.”

The research is broadly in line with other polls, including one in December that found almost one in five Australian adults owned crypto in 2020.

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