A significant number of Canadians say they plan to buy crypto assets in the next 12 months, but among those who do own crypto assets, the majority have never discussed their purchase with a financial advisor, according to a survey conducted by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC).

The OSC says it is monitoring the rise in crypto asset ownership in Canada and around the world. To that end, it commissioned a survey of 2,360 Canadians in the spring of 2022, which found that 13 per cent currently own crypto assets or crypto funds. Just half could accurately define what a crypto asset is, the commission said in a statement announcing the October 19 publication of the survey results it received back in September.

“Most lacked a working knowledge of the practical, legal and regulatory aspects of owning them,” they add.

And while half of those surveyed do not plan to buy crypto assets in the next 12 months, 31 per cent said they do plan to buy within that time frame.

Almost three quarters of those who own crypto assets say the assets were not recommended to them by their financial advisor – most have never discussed it as an option. Word of mouth was relied on most predominantly as a source of information for 41 per cent of these investors. The report also examines advertising’s impact on crypto investors’ actions.

The survey did find that crypto owners were more likely to be investors already owning investment funds, stocks and other types of securities, as well: The survey found that 87 per cent of crypto asset owners also invested in these assets. The crypto asset owners were also more aggressive in their approach to investing and more comfortable with risk.

Interestingly, crypto asset investors had higher general financial literacy and knowledge about crypto when compared to non-crypto asset buyers. Using a series of four questions to assess financial knowledge, the survey found general financial knowledge was higher among those who owned crypto assets or crypto funds. These investors’ average score was 57 per cent compared to the average score of 48 per cent among those who did not own crypto assets.