According to the Norwegian Crypto Adoption Survey 2023, conducted by K33 Research and EY, the number of Norwegian young male adults (aged 39 or younger) owning crypto in 2023 was higher than that of young male adults owning stocks.
Although there were more crypto owners than equity owners among young adults, the survey however found a more erratic ownership rate tendency among young crypto investors compared to young equity investors. Young crypto investors were more attracted by short-term returns, while stocks were more attractive to investors with a long-term saving horizon.
The 2023 survey revealed that 8% of all Norwegian adults own cryptocurrency, declining from 10% in 2022. The decline in the ownership rate was attributed to the bear market in 2022. The crypto markets have recovered slightly in 2023, with Bitcoin and Ether prices up over 60% and 50% respectively, year-to-date, though still well below their All Time Highs.
Furthermore, the survey revealed that the percentage of investors who would like to save their pension through a crypto fund declined to 4% (2023) from 5% (2022). Survey respondents however said that they would like to save their pension through a crypto fund, implying an opportunity for pension service providers to consider some crypto exposure to young adults.
The survey also revealed a widening gender gap compared to 2022, with 13% of all Norwegian males owning crypto, compared to 4% of females owning crypto. In 2022, 14% of Norwegian males owned crypto compared to 6% of Norwegian females.
On May 16, 2023, the European Union (EU) Council approved the Markets in Crypto Assets regulation (MiCA) and measures on crypto funds transfers. The MiCA regulation is expected to come into force in mid-2024.
The development of the crypto landscape in Norway is likely to be impacted by the implementation of the MiCA regulation. Norway is currently not a member state of the EU but is part of the European Economic Area (EEA). The MiCA regulation will likely be incorporated into the EEA agreement, hence bringing more legislative focus to crypto assets in Norway.
Project Icebreaker, a collaboration between the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub and the central banks of Norway, Israel, and Sweden studied the potential benefits and challenges of using retail CBDCs in international payments and the feasibility of cross-border payments between different retail CBDC systems.
According to the BIS Innovation Hub March 2023 report, Project Icebreaker showed that central banks could retain almost full autonomy in designing their domestic retail CBDC system and still enable cross-border payments.