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Only 18% of Africans have owned digital assets: report

Only one in five Africans have owned digital assets, a new report has revealed. The report also revealed that high-earning millennials are the most digital currency-savvy and that newcomers like Namibia and Angola overtake traditional leaders like Kenya and South Africa.

The report by Nairobi-based Kasi Insight, which surveyed respondents in 19 countries, revealed that just 18% of Africans have owned digital assets—10% have owned digital assets in the past, and only 8% still hold these assets today.

Kasi says that digital asset adoption in Africa has waned considerably over the past year, an insight that’s consistent with global trends. The collapse of some of the world’s largest VASPs, from lenders like Celsius Network and BlockFi to exchanges like FTX and Bittrex U.S., significantly damaged the industry’s reputation.

In Africa, only 17% of adults expressed trust in digital assets, with 34% being neutral and one in two saying they distrust the assets.

“Africa appears to be wading through a less-than-committed phase in its relationship with crypto,” the report states.

Income and age play the most prominent role in digital asset investment, Kasi found. High-earning millennials are the most likely to explore digital assets, accounting for 60% of the investment. GenX and GenZ are next at 20% and 19%, respectively, with boomers only accounting for 1%.

“We found that 25% of respondents earning less than $1 800 (R36 000) own crypto, while that number more than triples, at 87%, for those making $1 801 to $4 500 (about R90 000) and more,” the report says.

The biggest surprise in the report is that traditional leaders like Kenya and South Africa are no longer the adoption hotspots they once were.

“Kenya, while often dubbed the ‘Silicon Valley of Africa,’ isn’t as prominent a participant in the African crypto market, and neither is South Africa. Instead, we’ve seen that poorer countries have higher adoption, awareness, and usage, as shown by Namibia and Angola,” the report states.

Earlier this month, the price comparison platform CoinGecko revealed that Nigeria accounted for the highest crypto interest in Africa this year, representing 67% of unique visitors from January to July.

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