39% of Australian millennials believe that cryptocurrencies are a ‘good alternative to having an investment property’, according to a new survey

Here's why young Australians are leaving legacy institutions, banks, and even fintechs to work at crypto startups.
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  • A new survey from cryptocurrency exchange Kraken suggests four million Australians intend to dive into the cryptocurrency market in 2021.
  • Increasingly millennials see crypto as a valid investment opportunity as they are priced out of Australia’s skyrocketing property market, it suggests.
  • “As [housing] affordability continues to be an issue, we’re seeing more young people look for other options to grow wealth,” Kraken Australia managing director Jonathon Miller said.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

More than a third of millennials view crypto assets as an increasingly valid alternative to an elusive investment property, a new survey finds.

Commissioned by cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, it found that around four million Aussies say they are likely to purchase digital currencies in the next 12 months.

The survey, which was conducted by global researcher YouGov, found 21% of Australians are readying to purchase digital tokens if they hadn’t already, including 34% of millennials and 32% of Gen Z.

The results, within the context of an increasingly unaffordable Australian property market, highlight millennials’ willingness to risk the volatility of the crypto market for short-term gains.

Jonathan Miller, managing director at Kraken Australia, told the Australian Financial Review he believes the survey’s findings show millennials looking at investments outside the property market.

“As [housing] affordability continues to be an issue, we’re seeing more young people look for other options to grow wealth,” Miller said.

The survey also reflected global trends around the overrepresentation of men in the space, with 27% of men saying they planned to buy crypto in the next year, compared to 14% of women.

It also suggested those who had dabbled in the past planned to dive back in, with 40% of investors who had sold off their crypto assets saying they were likely to buy back into the market.

The survey also delved into the growing number of Australians who own crypto, finding that one in five Australians have owned cryptocurrency at some point.

On average, Australian crypto owners have 12.5% of their total assets invested in cryptocurrencies, with one in 10 investors holding more than 25% of their assets in digital currencies.

The findings fall in line with similar data released by other financial organisations with a stake in the space. Financial comparisons company Finder said its independent survey suggested that a quarter of Australians now invest in cryptocurrency, and one of Australia’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, BTC Markets, has said more Australians invest in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin than precious metals like gold and silver.

The exchange also reported it onboarded one-sixth of its yearly customers in just six days in January 2021 as demand swelled.

It’s also led to increased scrutiny by the ATO, which has indicated it would be paying particular attention to crypto profits this tax season as a result of the rush of new investors in the space since the start of 2021.

“Prices [of some cyptocurrencies] have rocketed and we have seen a lot more people investing in them, particularly in the past 12 to 18 months,” ATO assistant commissioner Tim Loh said in late May.

Millennials priced out of the property market see crypto as a valid alternative

Significantly, a quarter of the Australians surveyed agreed with the proposition that cryptocurrencies are a “good alternative to having an investment property”.

This sentiment was highest among millennials at 39%, followed by 31% of Gen Z.

The finding comes as rising real estate prices show no sign of slowing, blocking many would-be first home buyers from entering the market.

National home values climbed another 2.2% in May, according to CoreLogic, and values in the country’s capital cities leaping 9.4% over the past year.

One in five of the respondents said they view crypto holdings as “useful in saving for a home or investment property deposit”, suggesting they potentially think purchasing crypto is an “easier” way to save than a traditional savings account.

A significant number of Australians also said they would be willing to dip into their super to get into the crypto market. One in five respondents said they would use some of their superannuation balance to invest in cryptocurrencies if allowed, and 35% of millennials said they hope to use their retirement savings to buy digital assets.