Almost a third of hedge funds - 29% - that have not yet invested in digital assets said they wanted to or plan to invest in the future, according to a new survey from consulting firm PwC.

The survey was conducted in Q1 2022 with the participation of 77 specialist crypto hedge fund managers along with Elwood Asset Management (now part of CoinShares).

According to the survey results shared in PwC's 2022 Global Crypto Hedge Funds report, the rate of hedge funds that want to invest in the crypto market in the future has increased from 26% last year to 29% this year. According to the survey, the majority of funds interested in the crypto market said they are currently in “advanced planning” for investment.

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At the same time, according to the survey, 41% of hedge funds that have not invested in cryptocurrencies are unlikely to invest in the next three years, while 31% said they are "interested" in digital assets but expect the market to mature a bit more.

The PwC report said the main reason non-investing funds are staying away from cryptocurrencies is "uncertainty about regulations and taxation." Two other big reasons are "customer backlash" and "reputational risk," according to funds that are skeptical of crypto.

Meanwhile, a third of hedge funds surveyed have already invested in digital assets, according to the report. In a survey last year, only one-fifth of funds said they had invested in crypto.

Among funds that have already invested, an average of 4% of assets under management are invested in crypto, compared to 3% a year ago. Still, funds with more than $5 billion in assets under management had smaller crypto investments, all investing less than 1% of their assets in crypto, according to the survey.

When asked which digital assets they invest in, two-thirds of respondents said one of their investments was Bitcoin or ethereum (ETH), while only 29% mentioned other cryptocurrencies listed on centralized exchanges. At the same time, 19% of hedge funds active in the crypto market said they have invested in non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

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Two-thirds of funds that have already invested in the crypto market said they want to increase their investment this year. In the survey conducted last year, this rate was 86%.

57% of funds looking to invest more in digital assets currently invest less than 1% of their assets under management. According to the survey, one-third of respondents looking to invest more have invested between 2% and 5% of their assets under management in cryptocurrencies.