The bankruptcy of the FTX platform and the collapse in the price of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin or ethereum also cause a generation gap in Spain. Young people have been the first to connect with the cryptocurrency phenomenon, with special mention for those born after the eighties, known as millennials, and now they are suffering the blow with greater intensity. The CNMV and the Bank of Spain have defined the age groups and are now taking the opportunity to repeat the warnings about the risks of investing in securities without any support.

The opacity of cryptocurrencies forces banking authorities to use surveys to find out what is behind the phenomenon. Funcas, ING or Statista have already resorted to this formula, but it has been since the summer when the CNMV and the Bank of Spain have taken it seriously to examine the new investor profile. All the studies, including the most official ones, agree on one thing: cryptocurrencies are for young people.

CNMV calculations show that almost 80% of cryptocurrency investors are under 44 years of age. In its third quarter bulletin, it estimates that 35.7% are between 35 and 44 years old, 27.7% between 25 and 34 years old, and 9.3% between 16 and 24 years old. The star age range is that of the millennials, born between 1980 and 1995, who have more purchasing power than the youngest and high exposure to social networks, to which the supervisors also allude.

The CNMV study was carried out by the company Análisis de Investigación among 1,500 people, in addition to another 300 investors in crypto assets. It also concludes that 66% of the buyers of these products are men and that university studies and high income stand out. 43% say they have this training and 41% claim to earn more than 3,000 euros per month.

Two CNMV technicians, David de Miguel Rato and María José Palomar Bueno, have published an article this month in which they include more clues, such as that the prototype of a young owner of crypto assets resides in large population centers and has no other motivation than that of investing Data from searches on the internet and on social networks place the explosion of interest in these products in 2021, which was precisely when bitcoin exceeded $60,000. It is now trading below 17,000.

Social networks are also a constant in these profiles. About 75% use them on a regular basis, a percentage not different from that of the age group. The CNMV has been controlling the messages of influencers about these investments for nearly two years and at the end of last year it gave a warning to Andrés Iniesta for not warning of the risks. In the US, the market supervisor, the SEC, has imposed a million-dollar fine on Kim Kardashian for promoting ethereum, whose value has gone from about $4,300 in 2021 to less than $1,300 now.

In the previous Financial Stability Report, that of the spring, the Bank of Spain devoted an extensive chapter to crypto assets in which it drew up an investor profile based on data from the firm Finder. The institution calculates, unlike the CNMV, that the age group between 18 and 24 years is the one with the highest percentage of adoption and puts the entire volume of transactions of this type in Spain at 60,000 million, compared to 840,000. million in Europe. The figure is very high because it includes all the purchase and sale movements.

The Bank of Spain assumes that between 5% and 12% of Spaniards have crypto assets and that 6.8% of the population has ever invested in them. This behavior, he says, is accentuated among men, since 10.6% declare having made purchases of this type, compared to 3.1% among women, and among those under 34 years of age. 13.2% of people between the ages of 16 and 24 have invested in crypto assets, in addition to 13.6% of those between the ages of 25 and 34.

On Friday, the Bank of Spain warned of the risks of these virtual currencies, as the ECB and several European supervisors such as the EBA, ESMA and EIOPA have already done. Also remember that there is a danger of being stolen. Of course, it distinguishes between cryptos backed by physical assets, less volatile (stablecoins), and those that are not backed, such as bitcoin or ethereum.