According to the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), despite the raised interest in virtual currencies during the last months, most of the investors do not have the necessary knowledge about them. The OSC performed a study with 2500 individual residents of Ontario, that revealed that the vast majority of Ontarians approach to cryptocurrencies with caution.
At the same time, the study showed that only a small percentage of Ontarians own virtual currencies and tend not to spend important sums of money in the crypto market. This is very important because the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other regulatory agencies around the world, are trying to discourage people to get involved in cryptos.
The OSC decided to conduct the study in order to understand how Ontarians interact with virtual currencies. Some days ago, ING published a similar study in which they showed an increased interest in Europeans for buying cryptocurrencies. The study has also provided information about the United States and Australia.
Apparently, around 500,000 individuals have been investing in cryptocurrencies. That means that less than 4% of the total population of Ontario owns at least a digital asset, which is already ‘sufficient to concern the OSC as a securities regulatory authority.’
42% of those 500,000 said that they bought cryptocurrencies for speculative purposes with the intention to make a profit by holding their coins in the future and selling them for a higher price. Moreover, half of them said that they entered the market because they are excited about the technology behind them, the blockchain.
But it is important to mark that the majority of the people that head about Bitcoin were not able to answer basic questions about the technology that this cryptocurrency ses. Only 30% of the respondents answered correctly four or more of the six statements. Just 3% of them was able to answer them all correctly.
The results raise concerns among authorities because investors do not have a deep knowledge about the assets that they are investing in. In the future, some of these individuals may lose important sums of money.
In addition to it, many Ontarians do not know the current regulatory status of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), noting that most ICOs are subject to securities regulation in the state. 10% of the surveyed participants explained that they have been invited to take part of an ICO. 67% said that did not know which government agency is in charge of regulating ICOs.
1.5% of the respondents confessed that they bought digital assets though a token sale.
The Canadian government has been trying to have a good balance between regulation and cryptocurrencies trying not to kill the technology development but avoiding problems around them.