Cryptocurrency institutional investors overwhelmingly keep their wealth on exchanges despite the inherent security risks, new data claims.
Compiled by cryptocurrency exchange Binance on Nov. 22, a survey asked 76 institutional investors who used its platform about their trading habits.
The survey was part of Binance’s Institutional Market Insights research, which is now in its second edition.
Among the most surprising results was that 92% of participants chose to keep their crypto — Bitcoin (BTC), stablecoins and others — with trusted third parties, and not under their own control.
The figure dwarfs much safer alternatives such as hardware wallets and other cold wallets.
“Exchanges remain as the most popular choice for cryptoasset storage amongst our institutional and VIP clients at 92.1%,” Binance summarized. Researchers added:
“When moving to self-storage, cold wallets are the second most favored choice, given their improved safety and control. Third-party custody services were the least popular option at 2.6%.”
The 76 investors cannot be said to have significant exposure in terms of capital — over 50% had total crypto holdings of under 10 units of a coin. 10 BTC currently equals around $72,000.
Investors face significantly increased risk of loss and theft of coins if they remain in wallets to which they do not control the private keys.
Exchanges, including Binance, continue to see hacks this year, while regulatory scrutiny can also see funds locked up without notice until an account owner provides personal identity data.
Efforts to make investors aware of the need to control their money are mounting. On Jan. 3, the second annual Proof of Keys event will challenge all Bitcoin holders to remove their funds from third-party wallets.
The brainchild of advocate Trace Mayer, preparations for the move, which coincides with the anniversary of the Bitcoin genesis block, are already a common sight on social media.