Crypto ownership in Canada slips in 2023, but average value of holdings rises

Only 34% of Canadians still believe that crypto “will play a key role in the future,” but the number of those able to give a basic definition of digital currencies has risen slightly.

The number of crypto hodlers in Canada dropped slightly in 2023, but the average value of their holdings rose significantly. However, 77% of respondents regret investing in crypto assets, according to a survey published by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC).

The OSC published its “Crypto Assets Survey 2023” on Nov. 29, conducted in partnership with Ipsos at the end of May. The survey interviewed 2,360 Canadians selected to reflect an accurate proportion of the country’s population by gender, age and region.

The survey results reflect a general pessimism toward crypto in the country’s population, which could be due to the period when the research was done. While the number of Canadians able to give a basic definition of crypto rose from 51% in 2022 to 54% in 2023, only 34% now believe that crypto “will play a key role in the future,” compared with 49% in 2022.

Related: Digital Canadian dollar fails to impress despite high awareness

Fewer Canadians own crypto assets than a year ago, dropping from 13% in 2022 to 10% in 2023. These are most likely to be males aged 25–44 with a higher education diploma and a full-time job.

Despite the pessimism, 39% of respondents claimed their crypto portfolio is profitable, which is only slightly less than in 2022 (46%). And the average value of crypto portfolios rose dramatically from $52,975 in 2022 to $82,998 in 2023.

The most common reason for buying crypto remains consistent. In 2022 and 2023, respondents said crypto was a “speculative investment.” According to the survey, those who bought crypto as a “long-term investment” dropped from 29% to 20%.

The results of the Canadian survey match those of similar research conducted in France. Research by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development showed that 9.4% of the French population holds crypto assets, which is only marginally lower than those holding real estate funds, which is the most popular type of investment asset.

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