Growing awareness and cross-border use of cryptocurrency

In a new survey from influential blockchain organisation the Stellar DevelopmentFoundation (SDF) and UK-based crypto payments platform Wirex, results show high awareness and growing use of cryptocurrencies for cross-border payments in four key markets: United States, United Kingdom, Mexico, and Singapore.

Driving the shift towards crypto as a payment method is frustration with the existing system, with 53% of people surveyed feeling they paid too much in fees for international remittances using traditional means, and 37% not even sure what they paid in fees.

In parallel, the survey results, compiled from nearly 10,000 consumers, dispel a series of myths about cryptocurrency awareness and usage, showing awareness of cryptocurrency is higher than ever – over 80% – in all markets surveyed.

The research reveals growing use of crypto for international remittances, especially by consumers in emerging markets. Over half of respondents (52%) see crypto as a valid alternative to sending money overseas using traditional means, and 45% have already done so. The key takeaways: crypto is not just for speculation and has real utility for sending money to/from emerging markets.

Women’s attitudes toward crypto are increasingly positive. Nearly half (45%) of women surveyed, and 59% of men see crypto as a viable way of sending money overseas.

According to Denelle Dixon, SDF chief executive and executive director: “The results confirm what we have seen in terms of growing real world use cases for blockchain and cryptocurrency in emerging markets on the Stellar network. Consumers are adopting these new ways of sending money cross-border as a faster, cheaper alternative to traditional banking rails.”

While low awareness of crypto may have been a barrier in the past, the study shows nearly all respondents had at least heard of cryptocurrency. When asked why they don’t use crypto, survey participants cited fears of volatility (63%) and security risk (55%), as well as it being just too complicated to use. As a result, Wirex and SDF have initiatives to increase awareness and education of businesses and consumers about the utility of blockchain, especially for cross-border transactions.

Wirex chief executive and co-founder Pavel Matveev said: “When we published results from last year’s report, we saw a great appetite for the information, but it also raised even more questions. In this year’s report we went deeper in our research by focusing more on users’ banking and crypto habits and attitudes across a mainstream population. The rise in awareness of cryptocurrency is only the beginning. We see huge opportunities in DeFi, multi-currency users, and cross-border remittances.”

The report analysed data from nearly 10,000 participants in a late 2021 survey, including responses from general consumer audiences in four separate markets: the United States, United Kingdom, Mexico, and Singapore. Responses were analysed on dimensions of geography, employment status, gender, and age.