In keeping with Irish PM announcement of his ambition to make Ireland the Tech Capital of Europe, and revelation that his is a big fan of blockchain, a recent report in the Irish Times revealed that the number of Irish citizens who own cryptocurrency – in 2018 has increased by over 300% in less than five years.
Last Wednesday while speaking at the 2018 MoneyConf in Dublin, Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced his intention of turning Ireland into the “Tech Capital of Europe”. It was an impressive speech in front of a 5,000 strong audience, many from the tech industry themselves. Here are some examples of what he said:
“I think there’s no better place to discuss issues like cybersecurity, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, AI, regulation, and future FinTech than here in Ireland.”
“Ireland is in some ways emblematic of the revolutionary changes that have taken place in the world of finance and technology. From being an inward-looking, insular place at the edge of Europe, Ireland is an increasingly multicultural, globalized a melting pot of nationalities which is proud to engage with the world.”
Ireland’s High Crypto-Literacy (Especially Millennials)
This week’s revelations in The Irish Times will therefore come as a welcome surprise to Mr. Varadkar as they show a population which is far more “Crypto-Literate” and “FinTech-savvy” than he may have been previously thought – especially those “Millennials” aged 25-34. The Irish Times revealed new research which showed that in general, Irish attitudes to cryptocurrencies are shifting “from suspicion to curiosity”, and this is backed up by some impressive stats.
The survey revealed that 120,000 people in Ireland own cryptocurrency, a 300% increase in the last four years. That figure represents 2.5% of Ireland’s 4.7 million population. The study claimed that 180,000 Irish citizens had used cryptocurrency in recent years, quadruple 2014’s figure, with Bitcoin being by far the most popular. The joint study was carried out by Amárach Research and communications agency Red Flag.
Bitcoin No.1 Crypto In Ireland
Cryptocurrency’s worldwide profile has increased dramatically in the past twelve months, and today the vast majority of Western adults who watch the news and read newspapers will be aware of digital currencies such as Bitcoin. That is certainly the case in Ireland, where 85% are aware of Bitcoin, compared to less than half of that figure in a previous Amárach study done in 2014.
The survey revealed that Irish women were only slightly less crypto savvy than Irish men, and just as comfortable using the likes of Bitcoin in transactions. Significantly, millennials aged 25-34 were three-times more likely to own cryptocurrency than the average Irish citizen.
But while the survey proved that FinTech savvy Irish millennials – both male and female – were perfectly happy to use cryptocurrency, they were much less interested in what was Under The Hood”, with almost 75% admitting they had never heard of the blockchain!