55% of Crypto Owners Purchased It as Investment

Twenty-three percent of U.S. consumers — an estimated 60 million people — own or have owned cryptocurrency, according to “The U.S. Crypto Consumer,” a PYMNTS and BitPay collaboration based on a survey of 2,334 U.S. consumers.

Get the report: The U.S. Crypto Consumer

The survey found that 16% of consumers own cryptocurrency and another 7% owned it in the last year but not currently.

Figure 2A

The most common reason consumers own cryptocurrency is as an investment to make money, with 55% of the consumers citing that as a reason.

The second and fourth most-cited reasons also have to do with investment. The survey found that 36% of consumers who have purchased cryptocurrency say they did not want to miss out on an opportunity to invest, and 24% say they wanted it as an investment to hedge against inflation.

The third most-cited reason for purchasing cryptocurrency is that the consumers knew other people who have or had cryptocurrency. Twenty-five percent of consumers say that’s a reason they purchased crypto.

About one-fifth of the consumers who own cryptocurrency cited several reasons around using it as a form of payment — making financial transactions more private, eliminating “middlemen” from transactions, making financial transactions more efficient and making financial transactions more secure.

Figure 4A

While most consumers still see crypto chiefly as a type of investment rather than a form of payment, that is rapidly changing among a growing cohort of crypto owners.

Those crypto owners — who are primarily high-income millennials — use cryptocurrency to buy everything from groceries and clothes to gaming and entertainment subscriptions.

These shopping habits reveal how consumers’ growing interest in digital payment methods is helping make cryptocurrency an increasingly viable way to pay as the U.S. economy continues its digital transformation.

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