In a world of economic uncertainty, savvy financial investors are looking beyond the basics of fiat currency for peace of mind. Cryptocurrency, with its flexible, decentralized model, is an appealing option for many individuals building their portfolios.
Currently, the global market for cryptocurrency, valued at $1.49 billion in 2020, is set to reach around $4.94 billion by 20231, growing at a CAGR of over 12.8%.
So, exactly how many people are interested in cryptocurrency right now, and why do people consider using crypto in the first place? Those are some of the questions we’re going to answer on this page.
This page will continue to update to reflect evolving data about cryptocurrency.
Key Cryptocurrency Statistics:
- 86% of Americans know at least a little about crypto as of September 2021.
- The average crypto investor earns around $111,000 per year.
- India is currently the biggest market for cryptocurrency, followed by the US.
- The most common reason to invest in crypto is for long-term returns.
- The best-known cryptocurrency is Bitcoin, but the most-traded cryptocurrency as of 2021 was Tether, with around $76.74 billion trading in November 2021.
- Coinbase is the most popular trading app for cryptocurrencies among consumers, but Binance is more likely to attract institutional investors.
- Around 97% of people are now confident in cryptocurrency as an investment vehicle, and 55% consider it to be a long-term wealth-building strategy.
How Many People Are Interested in Cryptocurrency?
Despite its relative infancy in the financial world, cryptocurrency is gaining a lot of attention. According to Pew Research2, a total of 86% of Americans say they know “at least a little” about cryptocurrencies. Another 24% say they’ve heard a lot about crypto as of September 2021.
A total of 9 in 10 people are familiar with crypto in America today, with 16% saying they’ve personally invested in, traded, or used crypto in some manner. Men between the ages of 18 and 29 are the most likely to say they’ve interacted with crypto.
The survey clearly shows that though knowledge of, and interest in cryptocurrency is growing in a massive scale, younger people are generally more likely to use cryptocurrencies. When looking at the racial mix of cryptocurrency users, Pew Research also discovered that Hispanic, Black and Asian adults were more likely to have used cryptocurrency than White adults.
The share of people who have heard a great deal about cryptocurrency also varies by race, household income, and ethnicity. Approximately 43% of Asian Americans say they’ve heard a lot about crypto, compared to around 29% of Hispanic adults.
What Kind of People Invest in Cryptocurrency?
Building on the findings of the Pew Research report, Gemini’s “State of Cryptocurrency”3 surveys for 2021 further highlight a rising set of trends around cryptocurrency investors. Around two-thirds of adults in the US now say they’re interested in learning more about holding cryptocurrency.
The report also found 53% of women are interested in crypto, compared to 47% of men. Plus, the average age of those interested in crypto (44 years) is slightly higher than the age of those investing in crypto (38 years).
According to the study, individuals defined as “crypto curious” don’t yet own a cryptocurrency, but are willing to either learn more or buy into the market soon. Based on the survey findings, however, Gemini notes that around 14% of the US population already has a crypto account. The number of people who plan to purchase crypto is almost double this.
The Gemini survey also highlights those who invest in crypto tend to have an income of around $111,000 per year, and around 52% live in urban or suburban areas.
Gemini’s research into the growing demand for cryptocurrency also reflects similar numbers from the global research company Piplsay4, who found 27% of Americans are now planning to invest in cryptocurrency, and 50% believe it’s safe to do so. Another 57% of Americans say brands should start accepting cryptocurrency as payment.
For global cryptocurrency adoption, this article from the World Economic Forum found that some countries are more likely to invest than others. Peru leads adoption, while Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, and Chile trail behind.
36% of these investors have an income over $100k (USD).
According to Binance6, around 22% of people use their cryptocurrency assets for staking and lending, and 63% say they only use disposable funds to buy their cryptocurrencies. Around 17 out of 20 markets represented also say they bought crypto due to distrust of the current financial system.
Why Do People Invest in Cryptocurrency?
There are various reasons why someone might choose to invest in cryptocurrency. Uncertainty in the current financial market is a common push. According to a survey commissioned by the digital asset platform, Bakkt7 found almost 50% of US customers invested in crypto in 2021.
While 48% of consumers invested in crypto, around 32% said they were interested in buying cryptocurrency in the next 6 months.
For the people in this survey, the number one reason to purchase cryptocurrency was as a long-term investment (58%), while 42% said they planned on selling their coins when they could make a profit. Another 24% revealed they wanted to use crypto for online purchases, while 12% wanted to use it for in-person purchases.
The most appealing aspect of cryptocurrency for these respondents was the long-term return on investment, (28%), but lack of fees, easy access, and lack of centralized control was all factors too.
Businesses are also seeing a rapid increase in crypto opportunities. Around 40% of customers paying with crypto in an online store are new consumers, and the number of transactions paid with crypto is growing by 12.5% per year. Merchants who accept crypto payments are also achieving an average ROI of around 327%.5
When asked what about cryptocurrency worried them the most, 31% of people cited fear of hacking or fraud, 27% said “lack of knowledge” about the system, and 22% spoke about lack of regulation and laws. Another 20% also said they were worried about volatility.4
What are the Biggest Cryptocurrencies?
For most consumers, Bitcoin is the best-known cryptocurrency. Between the years 2020 and 2021, the price of Bitcoin increased by more than 540,000%, reaching an annual growth rate of 274% in 2020. The market is further predicted to grow with a CAGR of 56.4% up to 2025.5
Gemini’s research3 found that among adults with a knowledge of crypto in the US, 95% were most familiar with Bitcoin. The research also revealed that 84% of people currently own Bitcoin, and 87% have owned this coin in the past.
Statista’s research into trading volume for various coins found that Tether is actually the highest-traded cryptocurrency in 2021. Around $76.74 billion of Tether coins have been traded as of November 2021, compared to only $30.72 Bitcoin.8
Statista notes this is an interesting outcome, as Bitcoin’s popularity has been surging in recent years. In February 20219, for instance, Bitcoin achieved a record-breaking month, with a price jump of more than 50%. In February, Bitcoin hit a $1 trillion market cap and smashed the $58,000 level.
Interestingly, the number of cryptocurrency options is growing too. Although many people have only heard of a handful of digital coins, there were more than 6,000 options as of 2021.10
How are People Trading Cryptocurrency?
As interest in cryptocurrency continues to grow, the number of applications and tools available for accessing funds is evolving too. According to the Business of Apps11, Finance was the largest crypto exchange on the market in 2020, but this changed in 2021 when Coinbase took over.
Coinbase was also found to be ahead by a total number of users, and the most popular platform in the US. However, Binance had the most institutional investors, and these individuals had more assets than the average user on Coinbase.
Though Coinbase has gained significant popularity, Binance is far ahead in peak 24-hour trading volumes and annual cryptocurrency volume too.
When it comes to estimating how many cryptocurrency wallets are currently active, it’s difficult to make accurate estimations. According to Buy Bitcoin Worldwide, there can only be a maximum of 64 million active wallets since there are only 64 million UTXO’s.12 However, one wallet can hold a number of UTXOs.
Currently, Coinbase claims to have around 73 million registered users across 100 countries, and $255 billion in assets on the platform, with a quarterly trading volume of around $327 billion.
Cryptocurrency Statistics 2023
According to Binance6, there’s been a fundamental change in consumer attitudes toward cryptocurrencies in recent years. Around 97% of people say they’re confident in cryptocurrency today, and 52% say they no longer see crypto investing as a hobby. 55% actually look at crypto as a long-term investment strategy, responding to a distrust of the current financial system.
In an increasingly complex financial environment, cryptocurrency offers an alternative to the fiat currency system today’s consumers just don’t feel comfortable with. With more companies now offering to accept cryptocurrencies as payment, it’s likely we’ll see the number of people investing in these assets continuing to grow.
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