According to Accenture Research, that number will rise to 73% by the end of 2022.
Wealthy investors in Asia are not shy or clueless about cryptocurrencies: research shows that 52% of them owned some form of digital assets in Q1 2022.
Digital assets, including cryptocurrencies, stablecoins and crypto funds, account for an average of 7% of surveyed investor portfolios, making it the fifth-largest asset class for investors in Asia, according to Accenture research published Monday.
This was more than they had allotted for FX, commodities and collectibles, and in some cases equaled or exceeded the amount invested in private/venture capital and hedge funds.
According to Accenture, the survey was conducted among more than 3,200 clients in China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. The company defines a high-net-worth investor as anyone with assets under management between $100,000 and $1 million.
Investors in Thailand and Indonesia had the largest share of digital assets in their portfolios compared to their counterparts.
While half of investors in Asia already owned digital assets in the first quarter of 2022, research from Accenture shows that another 21% are expected to invest in them by the end of 2022, meaning up to 73% of wealthy Asian investors could own digital assets . assets by the end of the year.
“Digital assets represent a rare clean white space in the industry with meaningful business opportunities.”
Wealth managers hold back
However, the company noted that wealth management firms that offer clients financial planning, taxation, investment, and estate planning advice are slow to jump on the crypto bandwagon. 67 percent of wealth management firms said they have no plans to offer products or services related to digital assets.
“For wealth management firms, digital assets are a $54 billion revenue opportunity that most ignore.”
Asset management firms have cited a lack of confidence in and understanding of digital assets, a wait-and-see attitude, and operational difficulties in launching a digital asset offering as key reasons for holding back, leading them to prioritize other initiatives instead.
Accenture said the lack of corporate involvement means investors are being forced to seek financial advice on cryptocurrencies from unreliable sources.
“This lack of engagement from companies means many clients are turning to unregulated forums, including social media, for advice on digital assets.”
Related: Social media blamed for $1 billion in crypto fraud losses in 2021
However, Accenture emphasizes the importance of wealth management firms moving forward in the digital asset space or else they risk being left behind.
“While many companies are hesitant to enter the digital assets space for various reasons, their competitors have shown that success is possible.”
Asian investors have been interested in cryptocurrencies, especially in the last year.
In April, a report by cryptocurrency exchange Gemini showed that cryptocurrency adoption has skyrocketed in 2021, particularly in countries like India and Hong Kong. About 45% of respondents in Asia Pacific bought their first cryptocurrency in 2021.