The findings from the global Web3 perception survey showed that 99% of Nigerians are more aware of Web3 and crypto concepts than people in major Western economies
ConsenSys and YouGov released the results of the global Web3 perception survey, conducted between April 26th – May 18th, 2023, and featuring respondents from 15 countries. It revealed that 99% of Nigerians and 98% of South Africans are crypto- and Web3-savvy, while in developed Western economies only one-fourth of the population understood the crypto-related concepts.
To be more precise, 99% of respondents in Nigeria indicated their awareness of cryptocurrencies. Besides, 70% of respondents clearly understood the fundamentals of blockchain technology, while 90% confidently expressed plans to invest in cryptocurrencies over the next 12 months. More than half of respondents believe crypto is the future of money, and 48% view it as an enabler of digital ownership in the future. At the same time, concerns of speculation or crypto scams are relatively low in Nigeria, at 9% and 6% respectively.
The public sentiment stands in contrast to the official approach to crypto. In May 2023, the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it was considering allowing licensed digital exchanges to list tokens backed by certain assets. However, the regulator clarified it didn’t concern cryptocurrencies.
In South Africa, there is also tremendous support for cryptocurrencies, as 98% of its population is aware of them and 80% are ready to invest. Most South Africans believe in some form of crypto regulation. However, the answers were almost evenly split between wanting heavy regulation and a more pro-investment approach.
The study sought to provide both global and local insights into the perception of cryptocurrencies and the broader Web3 ecosystem. The key takeaway is that emerging economies look at alternative financial instruments, such as crypto or DeFi, with keener interest. One of the possible explanations is the deficiencies of traditional banking systems in such regions and the need to boost financial inclusion. For instance, 65% of respondents in Nigeria mentioned crypto potential as a safeguard against financial decline and hyperinflation.
Meanwhile, in the US, only 50% of respondents claimed to understand what cryptocurrencies are. Another 42% have heard of crypto but lacked a clear understanding of the concept. Nevertheless, half of the surveyed Americans have previously owned or currently own cryptocurrencies, and 43% plan to invest in crypto within the next year.
In Germany, almost 90% of people have heard of cryptocurrencies, but only 40% understand the principles of crypto functioning. In this European country, the investors are not too keen to test the novel financial instrument. Only 14% of Germans have previously owned and 16% currently own cryptocurrencies.
In the UK, many respondents held negative associations with cryptocurrency, while the majority also felt that heavy regulation was necessary, perhaps, similar to MiCA, the ‘exhaustive’ regulatory framework for the crypto industry within the EU.