Among Affluent Asian Investors, 52% Hold Crypto, Survey Finds

Wealthy Asian investors allocated 7% of their portfolio to digital assets, more than forex, commodities or collectibles, Accenture found


Source: Shutterstock


key takeaways

  • 52% of affluent Asians held crypto in Q1 2022, but 67% of wealth managers have no plans to offer related services, an Accenture survey found
  • Investors in Indonesia and Thailand had the largest percentage of digital asset allocation compared to peers

As investors grapple with seismic economic shifts such as soaring inflation and rising cost of living, more are turning to investments aiming to insulate their wealth. According to new research by Accenture, 52% of well-to-do Asian investors held digital assets — including cryptocurrencies, tokenized assets and crypto funds — in the first quarter of 2022.

The study found digital assets make up 7% of these investors’ portfolios, making it the fifth-largest asset class in Asia. That means it receives a greater share of investments than foreign currencies, commodities or collectibles in the region.

Equities, fixed income, cash and real estate have a more hefty weighting compared to digital assets in their portfolios, the research showed.

A further 21% are expected to enter the asset class by the end of 2022, suggesting that as much as 73% of affluent Asian investors would hold digital assets by then. 

Asia Affluent Investor Survey, Q1 2022; Source: Accenture

Accenture said about 3,200 consumers responded to the survey, having investable assets ranging from at least $100,000 to over $5 million. They were from mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Investors in Indonesia and Thailand had the largest allocation to digital assets compared to their peers as of the first quarter of 2022.

Although the key statistic suggests a large chunk of Asian investors want services related to digital assets, the study found that 67% of wealth management firms aren’t planning to dive into it just yet.

Wealth managers remain cautious

Hesitancy due to unclear regulation is among the factors holding back wealth managers. They prefer to either maintain a wait-and-see approach, not fully believing in the potential of the asset class, or they anticipate complexities due to varying regulatory and operating models. 

“We would need to be able to provide an informed view on key crypto coins, which requires specialized research capabilities,” said Sacha Walker, head of strategy and business operations for the Asia-Pacific region at Julius Baer. 

“In addition, we are currently exploring a compliant offering for suitable clients. This entails educating and training both relationship managers and clients on the risks, suitability and mechanics of digital assets.”

A downside to wealth management firms not offering digital asset services is it forces clients to seek advisory information online, which could provide far less reliable, according to Accenture.

The firm estimates that digital assets are a $54 billion market opportunity in Asia, of which $40 billion stem from transaction fees. The rest is split between advisory and custody fees.

A similar survey conducted by Gemini earlier this year shows about 40% of crypto owners around the world first bought digital assets in 2021. It found crypto ownership was the highest in Brazil and Indonesia.

Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.


Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

MON - WED, MARCH 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience:  Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats  Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts   Grow your network […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Frax report cover.jpg


Frax saw continued development in its frxETH liquid staking derivative and Fraxlend money market throughout 2023. Frax V3 introduces an RWA strategy to drive utility to the protocol's cornerstone product, the FRAX stablecoin.


MicroStrategy discloses the purchase of 16,000 bitcoin throughout November


Digital asset firms face potential new regulatory landscape under Treasury’s proposed authority expansion


Uniswap Labs will be providing trading APIs to Talos investors through Fireblocks


DYDX supply will climb by up to 80% after the Friday unlock, but a couple factors make a massive sell-off appear unlikely


Switzerland-based Pando Asset, which has crypto products trading on the SIX Swiss Exchange, now looks to the US


Binance does not hold the required licenses to advertise and serve customers in the Philippines, the country’s securities regulator said