There has been a rush to download apps for investing in cryptocurrencies – Finance is pulling, especially if it is crypto. The first six months of 2021 were a record for managed savings apps. Downloads in Europe were 90.2 million, more than tripled compared to the same period last year.

The installations – highlights the report “The State of Asset Management Apps in Europe 2021 by Sensor Tower – have grown both for advisory applications (ie consultancy) and for multi-assets (which exchange different investment classes). But nothing to do with the explosion of cryptocurrency apps, which accounted for 63% of downloads (up from 28% in 2020). Of the ten most installed apps, eight (including the top four) are about digital currencies.

How the market has changed

Multi-asset trading apps, which had dominated the market with an install share close to 50%, dropped to 21% in the first half of 2021. Advice apps have also lost their share, from 21% to 13%. France, Italy and the United Kingdom show similar distributions: about two out of three downloads concern the crypto world. More cautious are Germany (one in two) and Russia (the only country among those analyzed where multi-asset apps maintain the primacy). Turkey is particularly enthusiastic (accounting for 76% of installations).

Beware of the numbers, though. The collapse of the portion of the market covered by multi-assets and advisory is not due to the decline in downloads. On the contrary: in the first half of 2021, their growth, explains the report, was “robust”, also in terms of active users. Quite simply, the wave of cryptocurrency exchange installations has been large enough to dilute the share of other apps.

An audience of new investors

Therefore, there does not seem to have been a migration of investors but rather the arrival of a new audience. It is not a problem in itself: it becomes so if this audience of neophytes proves to be poorly informed. The risk is there. According to Sensor Tower, the peak of downloads was recorded in mid-April, just in the days when the value of Bitcoin was updating its highs. In June there was an abrupt halt in installations, in line with a depreciation of the most widespread cryptocurrency. In other words: app downloads followed the trend of Bitcoins. Interest increases as the value rises.

It is true: historically, May and June are weaker months than the previous ones; and most likely – in addition to the will of the users – some countries have weighed on some platforms. However, even if it is not possible to know if the installation has translated into investment (at the maximum), the data suggest the return of a recurring (but increasingly expensive) emotional behavior in the crypto world: the so-called Fomo (Fear of missing out ), the fear of being left out and missing an opportunity. Not quite a wise investment strategy. Indeed, not really an investment strategy.

A concentrated market

Huge growth does not correspond to greater openness. Far from it. “The cryptocurrency market – says the report – it has become less competitive“. Despite the strong growth (among others) of Paribu, Coinbase, and BtcTurk, there is one dominatrix: Binance. There is a clear leader in the other categories as well: Tinkoff Investments has a 40% stake in multi-asset apps and has 42% in advisory. But Binance has done more, attracting nearly one in two installs. It excels in all the countries analyzed, except Austria (where Bitpanda has excelled) and Romania (where has prevailed).

There is therefore a large audience, largely new, who want to enter the crypto world. To do it, passes through a funnel formed by a few platforms. Beyond the accusations (to be proven) of market manipulation directed at Binance, it is a fact that a growing concentration of exchanges undermines that ideal of absolute freedom and disintermediation that Satoshi Nakamoto’s protocol aspired to.



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