In the Riksbank’s survey on payment habits in 2022, 2 per cent of respondents said they had access to cryptocurrencies, but none had paid with them in the past 30 days. According to a report by the Swedish Internet Foundation, it was almost only young men that bought or sold cryptocurrencies in 2022. It also shows that the proportion who have bought or sold cryptocurrencies has doubled since 2021.
FACT BOX - Cryptocurrencies lack the characteristics of ordinary money
So far, most cryptocurrencies have been used as speculative investments rather than as a means of payment. One reason for this is that they lack characteristics that we associate with traditional means of payment, such as being widely accepted for payments and retaining their value over time. One clear example of this is the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, which lost around 60 per cent of its value between January and December 2022. This is also why the Riksbank considers crypto-asset to be a more appropriate term than cryptocurrency, which alludes to currency, which is to say money. In this report, we have nevertheless chosen to use the more familiar term cryptocurrency. This is to prevent any misunderstandings about what we mean.