Opportunities or risks? Experts are divided on crypto currencies

A new survey by RUSI and ACAMS shows the extent to which opinions differ between cryptographic professionals and members of financial institutions and governments.

A British think tank has conducted an industry-wide survey on the risks of crypto currencies. A total of 566 experts from the traditional financial and crypto ecosystem were surveyed. These include financial regulators and financial intelligence agencies. As expected, opinions vary widely depending on the industry sector. Of those surveyed, 32 percent are from North America, 23 percent from Europe and 22 percent from Asia. 49 per cent are employees of financial institutions, 24 per cent are government employees and 10 per cent are directly involved in the crypto industry.

Less than half of the respondents (45 per cent) therefore agree that crypto-currencies should be considered legal tender. However, three quarters (76 per cent) of those employed in the crypto industry agree with this view. The difference is even greater when it comes to financial inclusion. 89 per cent from the crypto-economy agree here, while among financial institutions (42 per cent) and governments (47 per cent) again less than half agree.

The survey results regarding the use of crypto currencies are also enlightening. All respondents think that crypto-currency is mainly used for investments. But among those who do not work in the crypto-currency industry, the suspicion that crypto-currency is mainly used for illegal purposes is much stronger. This opinion is held by 35 percent of the employees of financial institutions. Of those working in the crypto industry, only a tiny two percent believe this.

Crypto currencies: Opportunities and risks

When asked whether they see the use of crypto currencies as a risk or an opportunity, the crypto currency industry continues to see the crypto currency on the rise compared to other sectors. More than three-quarters (80%) of the crypto-currency industry respondents view the use of crypto-currency as an opportunity. Only one-fifth of respondents from other sectors (19% for financial institutions, 23% for governments and 20% for the private sector) agree. Even more alarmingly, these sectors predominantly view the crypto-currency as a risk. This is the view of 63 per cent of those surveyed in financial institutions and 56 per cent of those surveyed in governments. There is broad agreement among respondents about the risk of financial crime. 58 % think that the crypto industry is the one that knows best how to assess the risks. Politicians (11 per cent) and the part of the public that does not have crypto-currencies (5 per cent) come off much worse.

The survey was commissioned by the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI) together with ACAMS, a leading provider of workforce solutions headquartered in the United States.