We suspected that the universe of cryptocurrencies is developing at high speed, but a study by the Association for the Development of Digital Assets (ADAN) and the firm KPMG confirms the democratization of the sector in France with very telling figures. Returned this Monday to Bercy in the presence of the Secretary of State in charge of the Digital Transition, Cédric O, or the LREM deputy from Paris (“pro crypto”) Pierre Pierson, this report learns that the French would already be more likely to invest in cryptocurrencies than in live actions! Or at least, these two asset classes are evenly matched.
Based on a study carried out last December by the polling institute Ipsos with a representative panel of 2,003 adults, 8% of French people have already invested in crypto assets, whether cryptocurrencies or NFTs. In its savings observatory, the AMF estimated that the proportion of French people with own shares is slightly lower: 6.7% according to the SoFia survey carried out by the Kantar institute during the month of March 2021. adding the shares held via funds, we arrive at an equivalent proportion close to 8%.
30% of French people plan to own one
This figure is all the more interesting to underline that the adoption of cryptos is progressing very quickly: 30% of French people plan to hold them (Ipsos study). Among the 8% of crypto holders, almost two thirds (61%) launched less than 3 years ago, especially in 2019 after the crash of 2018, and during the confinement of 2020. Three quarters dedicate less to it 10% of their savings. In the detail of the French portfolio, bitcoin comes unsurprisingly in first place (49%) ahead of ethereum (29%). There is an overrepresentation of men among investors.
In terms of age, there is a very marked generational trend: 46% of crypto holders and 29% of those who intend to do so are individuals under 35, while this age group only represents 25%. Population. Counterintuitively, the lowest incomes are more likely to hold cryptos than the highest incomes, but this trend is above all due to the relative youth of crypto holders.
As for the planetary scale, the KPMG report shows that the global number of crypto users could quickly exceed the one billion mark when it is already estimated at around 300 million.
Two major obstacles
Regarding the obstacles to be removed to promote the development of the French crypto industry, the study highlights two major obstacles. The first relates to the negative image conveyed in public debate. Companies unanimously note that public decision-makers have a bad opinion on cryptos, often linked to a fragmented knowledge of the subject. This study also shows that more than half of French people think that cryptos are tools favored by criminals to carry out illicit activities.
The second major obstacle is the difficulty for crypto companies, whether PSAN approved or not, to have access to deposit and payment services that allow them to carry out their activity under conventional conditions. The French crypto sector still faces reluctance from the banking sphere, but Cédric O believes that competition should solve this problem in the sense that the arrival of neobanks in this fast-growing sector will push traditional banks to comply.
And the tax?
On the other hand, we can regret that the subject of the taxation of cryptos was hardly addressed during the debates around the restitution of this report. The complexity of the taxation of capital gains on cryptos and especially of their method of declaration is however a major obstacle to the adoption of cryptos by the general public. Pierre Person and ADAN were precisely at the origin of several amendments on the taxation of cryptocurrencies which were examined last October by the National Assembly within the framework of the finance bill for 2022 but nothing concrete had achieved in terms of simplification.
One of the pitfalls comes from the fact that cryptocurrencies are taxed as financial assets and not as money, which poses difficulties in declaring any capital gains when you want to make purchases in cryptos and therefore use them as a currency. However, this service is developing rapidly with payment cards backed by crypto accounts offered by certain platforms. The only tax solution today is to move your capital gains to stablecoins because the capital gains are only taxable when converted into “fiat” currency. But in this case, the real economy is not benefiting from the financial fallout from the crypto industry…