Financial market experts remain overall rather cautious in their prognoses regarding the medium-term use of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin in everyday monetary transactions in Germany. According to the experts, we are more likely to see cryptocurrencies used as a method of payment for digital products in the medium term than for the purchase of everyday physical goods. In addition, the majority of the experts agree that financial innovations such as crypto assets/coins/tokens should be regulated according to pre-existing legislation. This is the result of this month’s special question in the June 2018 ZEW Financial Market Survey conducted by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim.

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are viewed as still too technically complex for everyday use compared to conventional payment methods.
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are viewed as still too technically complex for everyday use compared to conventional payment methods.

According to the results of the survey, the likelihood that it will be possible to pay for digital products such as music with cryptocurrency in Germany by the end of 2020 currently stands at 23 per cent. In comparison, the prognoses for other industrialised countries such as Japan (34 per cent) and the US (35 per cent) were somewhat more optimistic. When it comes to everyday physical consumer goods such as coffee to go or capital goods such as cars, the surveyed experts were even more cautious in their predictions.

While the likelihood of being able to pay for a to-go cup of coffee with cryptocurrency in Germany by the end of 2020, according to the survey participants, was just 13 per cent, the likelihood for Japan and the US was 23 per cent. In the case of car purchases, the probability was even lower; the likelihood for Germany was six per cent, compared to 13 per cent for Japan and 15 per cent for the US.

“Still too technically complex for everyday use”

“One explanation for our findings could be the expectation that conventional payment methods already largely satisfy the requirements of market participants, while cryptocurrencies – even by the end of 2020 – are seen as still being too technically complex for everyday use or involving excessively high transaction costs,” explains ZEW researcher Dr. Dominik Rehse. “The results also reveal that the experts expect the adoption of new financial technologies to be more tentative in Germany than in other countries.”

In terms of the regulatory issues associated with financial innovations such as crypto assets/coins/tokens, around 74 per cent of the surveyed experts were in favour of regulation in line with relevant pre-existing legislation in Germany, with nine per cent even calling for a blanket ban on the use of blockchain technology.

For the ZEW Financial Market Survey, up to 300 experts from banks, insurance companies and the finance departments of selected large companies are surveyed on a monthly basis regarding their assessment and expectations of important international financial market data.

For further information please contact:

Dr. Dominik Rehse, Phone +49 (0)621/1235- 378, E-mail dominik.rehse@zew.de

Date

14.06.2018

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