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Who are the Bitcoin owners and cryptocurrency investors today?
Do you know how popular Bitcoin (BTC) is right now? Cryptocurrencies have existed in finance and technology for over a decade and are now well known to millions of people. According to the Chainalysis 2021 Global Cryptocurrency Adoption Index, global cryptocurrency adoption has grown by more than 880% over the past 12 months.
This huge number shows that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are indeed getting more and more attention in various industries today. This got us thinking: Where in the world do you think cryptocurrency investors and bitcoin owners come from? Which group of people owns the most Bitcoin? More importantly, what are the factors driving the growth of cryptocurrency adoption? Let’s dive into the demographics of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency holders.
How popular are cryptocurrencies?
First, let’s take a look at how common cryptocurrencies are today. According to data from cryptocurrency and blockchain company TripleA, the global cryptocurrency ownership rate averages 3.9%, which equates to more than 300 million cryptocurrency users. Let’s pause and imagine this huge number.
According to historical records, the maximum capacity of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, was over 50,000 spectators. That is, it would take about 6,000 Colosseums to accommodate these 300 million+ cryptocurrency users. This number is very close to the current population of the entire United States – is it crazy?
A report from the Blockchain Capital blog shows an increase in the number of U.S. adults who have heard of Bitcoin. From 77% in October 2017 to 89% in April 2019. Bitcoin awareness is also high across age groups. Awareness was highest among those aged 18 to 34, at 90%, and lowest among those over 65, at 88%.
In the United Kingdom (UK) alone, of the 52 million people included in the study this year, 78% of adults said they had heard of cryptocurrencies, according to the 2021 Crypto Asset Consumer Study published by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The Status Quo of Global Cryptocurrency Applications
Earlier, we mentioned that global cryptocurrency adoption has grown by over 880% in the past year. A recent report by Chainalysis ranked 154 countries based on specific metrics (peer-to-peer exchange volume, total cryptocurrency activity, and trading activity by non-professional users), and here are the top 20 with the most cryptocurrency-related activity country/region:
The report also noted that many emerging markets such as Kenya, Vietnam and Venezuela lead the way in terms of transaction volume on peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms.
Interestingly, the data also shows that small retail transactions (often cryptocurrencies worth less than $10,000) make up a high percentage of peer-to-peer transactions. This is because many cryptocurrency holders use cryptocurrencies on peer-to-peer platforms to pay for goods and services, send money, and make other quick and small transactions.
Who owns the most Bitcoin?
Now that we’ve seen the ubiquity of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, let’s dig a little deeper and see who among global cryptocurrency investors is involved in the most cryptocurrency-related activity.
To learn more about the numbers behind adoption rates, let’s take a look at Paxful’s 2021 numbers. On the Paxful platform, users between the ages of 25-33 dominated, accounting for 32.76% of the total traffic, followed by 18-24 years old, accounting for 32.21%. In other words, millennials and “zoomers” (born in the late 1990s to 2010s) make up more than half of Paxful’s users.
Relatively speaking, users aged 35 to 44 accounted for 16.42% of the total, followed by users aged 45 to 54, accounting for 9.21%. At this point, you will notice that the percentage of older users gradually decreases as the user ages. But interestingly, some older users still have a strong interest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. According to Paxful, 5.65% of users on the platform are between the ages of 55 and 64, and 3.75% are over the age of 65.
These figures clearly show that young people and adults are very interested in cryptocurrencies. Of course, let’s not forget that some older users also buy Bitcoin. With the increasing volume of Bitcoin transactions on peer-to-peer platforms, it is safe to say that the age groups we just mentioned have contributed significantly to the adoption of cryptocurrency globally.
Now that we’ve seen the age breakdown of cryptocurrency users on Paxful, let’s look at the gender differences. According to Paxful 2021 data, 69.53% of cryptocurrency investors or users on the platform are male and 30.47% are female. This figure shows that twice as many men as women invest in or own cryptocurrencies.
While these numbers do not represent an accurate demographic of cryptocurrency investors from around the world, they allow us to get an estimate of what Bitcoin holders are like.
What do people use cryptocurrencies for?
Let’s talk about what people do with Bitcoin and other digital currencies. The Chainalysis 2021 report says that the growth of cryptocurrency adoption varies around the world. In emerging markets facing currency devaluation, many cryptocurrency users have started buying cryptocurrencies on peer-to-peer exchanges to protect their funds from devaluation.
Some cryptocurrency owners use hard-earned cryptocurrencies for cheaper and faster borderless remittances, while others use digital currencies for business transactions. Many users of these markets are also finding ways to enjoy financial services and meet their own financial needs through the otherwise limitless potential of cryptocurrencies.
In relative terms, over the past year, crypto adoption in regions such as Western Europe, North America and East Asia has been dominated by institutional investors. The surge in Bitcoin price is one of the factors contributing to the increase in adoption in the aforementioned regions.
Will more people get into the cryptocurrency space?
In May 2021, The Ascent, a Motley Fool service, surveyed 2,000 adults in the United States about cryptocurrencies, blockchain, cryptocurrency investment vehicles, and more. Data collected shows that more than 20 percent of Americans who have never bought cryptocurrencies are likely to do so in the next year — 3 percent of those who say they are very likely to.
We mentioned before that peer-to-peer platforms are driving the adoption of cryptocurrencies in emerging markets. But the question is, what forces will drive the next wave of global adoption of digital currencies? The future trend is uncertain, let us wait and see together.