Dutch cryptocurrency investors tripled in six months

Bitcoin cryptocurrency and euros
Bitcoin and Ethereum "tokens" on a stack of euros. November 29, 2017.photo: outsiderzoneDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

The number of Dutch investing in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum more than tripled to around 580 thousand over the past six months, according to a study by Kantar TNS. "I can't remember ever seeing anything like this", researcher Reg van Steen said, RTL Nieuws reports.

In August 2017 a total of 135 thousand Dutch households owned cryptocurrency. Now it is 490 thousand. In some households, more than one person invest in cryptocurrency, bringing the researchers to a total of around 580 thousand Dutch who own cryptocurrency.

The vast majority of Dutch only started investing in cryptocurrency over the past year, when prices started skyrocketing. "We call that the band-wagon effect", Van Steen said to the broadcaster. "Your friends and neighbors do it, so you do to." 

The average cryptocurrency investor looks quite different than the average traditional investor, who invests in listed companies. "The average traditional investor is often an older man, with a higher education level and wealthy. You don't see that with crypto coin investors. They are younger, even better educated, and there are more women among them", according to Van Steen. Two out of three cryptocurrency investors have an HBO education level or higher. The average age for cryptocurrency investors is 38, compared to the 51 years average of traditional investors.

Dutch investors in cryptocurrency seem to want to start slowly - 76 percent invested less than a thousand euros in cryptocurrencies, and less than 1 percent invested more than 10 thousand euros. Cryptocurrencies therefore make up only a fraction of the Dutch population's total savings, only 0.1 percent. 

In total, people in the Netherlands invested some 900 million euros into cryptocurrencies. During the peak late last year, that investment grew to a total of around 4 billion euros. But over the past month or so, it dropped back down to roughly only half its original worth. According to Kantar, only about a quarter of cryptocurrency investors currently stand at a profit.