In the fall of 2021, a survey of 11,000 Americans was conducted in the US about their use of crypto. They could choose several statements as to how they used crypto. 11% confirmed they bought or held crypto-related assets as an investment instrument, while 2% used crypto for purchases and other payments. Another 1 percent used digital assets to send money to friends or family.
The survey about cryptocurrency showed that this asset class was considered an investment tool mainly by high-income adults in the US. Opponents of crypto immediately pointed out that this contradicts the way some proponents believe that crypto can become a means of payment that will contribute greatly to financial inclusion.
The interest in investing makes sense, as the global market cap of digital coins as a whole rose by over 86 percent (from $335 billion to $2.54 trillion) during the survey period, according to CoinMarketCap.
Only 46% of the respondents who identified as cryptocurrency investors, earned $100,000 or more, and 29% earned less than $50,000. Almost all of them (ninety-nine percent) had a bank account. Eighty-nine percent of working investors had some retirement savings.
In contrast, the 2 percent who used crypto for financial transactions were more likely to be unbanked, have lower incomes and have no credit cards. Almost 6 in 10 earned had a low income of less than $50,000, and 13% did not have a bank account – compared to 6% of adults who did not use cryptocurrency. Over a quarter of transactional crypto owners did not have a credit card, compared to 17% of non-crypto users.
Cryptocurrency exchange Gemini conducted its own survey about cryptocurrency from November 2021 to February 2022. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies reached a peak in popularity in November and according to the survey, as many as 20% of American adults reported owning virtual assets.
However, the results of both surveys, as well as the industry’s largest geographic survey by Chainalysis, show that digital money in developed countries is largely unused for payments.
In that survey, the US ranked eighth in overall cryptocurrency adoption, ranking third in overall crypto activity and also fourth in activity among nonprofessional individual crypto users. Yet, the US ranked 109th in peer-to-peer exchange volume.