To read this content please select one of the options below:

Cryptocurrencies have arrived, but are we ready? Unveiling cryptocurrency adoption recipes through an SEM-fsQCA approach

Rohana Sham (Faculty of Business and Management, UCSI University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Eugene Cheng-Xi Aw (UCSI Graduate Business School, UCSI University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Noranita Abdamia (Faculty of Business and Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA Cawangan Johor, Kampus Segamat, Johor, Malaysia)
Stephanie Hui-Wen Chuah (School of Hospitality, Tourism and Events, Taylor’s University, Subang Jaya, Malaysia and Centre for Research and Innovation in Tourism (CRiT), Taylor’s University, Subang Jaya, Malaysia)

The Bottom Line

ISSN: 0888-045X

Article publication date: 6 June 2023

Issue publication date: 21 July 2023




The purpose of this study is to investigate consumers’ cryptocurrency adoption through the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) and complexity theory.


By using a purposive sampling method, a configurational model was developed and a questionnaire-based survey was conducted to gather responses from a Malaysian sample. A total of 223 responses were obtained. Partial least square structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) and fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) were adopted to analyze the data.


The PLS-SEM indicated that performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence and affinity for technology interaction were positive cryptocurrency adoption predictors, whereas regulation was a negative predictor. Based on the fsQCA, cryptocurrency adoption could be explained by six configurational paths, which comprised combinations of the proposed causal conditions: the UTAUT factors (performance expectancy, effort expectancy, facilitating condition and social influence), environmental factor (regulation) and individual factors (financial knowledge and affinity for technology interaction).

Research limitations/implications

This study offers contributions to the theoretical body of knowledge by articulating the relevance of extended UTAUT and extending the established UTAUT model by integrating external environment and personal factors, also showing the linear and nonlinear interplays of performance expectancy, effort expectancy, facilitating conditions, social influence, regulation, financial knowledge and affinity for technology interaction.

Practical implications

The findings facilitated practitioners’ (cryptocurrency brokers, governments and businesses) fostering of cryptocurrency adoption through the joint consideration of different factors. The factors spanned technological attributes and individual characteristics to regulation. Practitioners should acknowledge that different combinations of the aforementioned antecedents can be equally effective to increase cryptocurrency adoption. The findings suggested that these causal conditions should be considered holistically and that there is no best predictor.

Social implications

In social terms, the research is expected to contribute to the dissemination of cryptocurrencies and help governments and central banks to develop, regulate and supervise digital currencies, as well as in the implementation of a digital currency ecosystem aligned with sustainable development goals. Economically, the results might foster a high cryptocurrency adoption rate and stimulate crypto-token-based business models and investment opportunities that present new means of revenue generation at individual, organizational and national levels.


This study offers unique perspectives for the body of knowledge and practice in the cryptocurrency domain, using both symmetric and asymmetric methodologies, by delineating the configurational logic involving technological capabilities, social influences, regulation and individual characteristics in facilitating more efficacious dissemination of cryptocurrencies.



Funding: Authors’ special thanks go to the Ministry of Higher Education for the grant of Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS/1/2019/ICT04/UCSI/02/1) and UCSI University for the resources given to complete this paper.

Declarations of interest: none.


Sham, R., Aw, E.C.-X., Abdamia, N. and Chuah, S.H.-W. (2023), "Cryptocurrencies have arrived, but are we ready? Unveiling cryptocurrency adoption recipes through an SEM-fsQCA approach", The Bottom Line, Vol. 36 No. 2, pp. 209-233.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles