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Federal Reserve Says Only 7% of American Adults Own Crypto

2 mins
Updated by Harsh Notariya
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In Brief

  • Federal Reserve reports only 7% of US adults own or use crypto, down from previous years.
  • Federal Reserve's survey data contrasts with industry estimates, raising questions on crypto adoption.
  • Crypto use higher among younger males and unbanked, with international transactions being notable.
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According to the latest annual household survey by the Federal Reserve, only 7 percent of American adults currently hold or use crypto.

This marks a decrease from previous years, with a drop of 3 percentage points from 2022 and 5 percentage points from 2021.

Federal Reserve Data Indicates Only 18 Million US Citizens Own Crypto

The Federal Reserve’s findings, derived from a comprehensive study conducted in October 2023 with 11,488 US adults, suggest a declining interest in crypto as an investment and a medium for financial transactions. Amidst broader discussions about the viability and future of digital currencies, this trend indicates a cooling of enthusiasm.

Based on the US Census Bureau’s March 2023 current population survey, there are 258 million adults in the US. Hence, the calculation from this data indicates that 18 million US adults own crypto.

However, the survey’s results starkly contrast with other industry data. For example, Statista, a data analysis company, estimates that there are approximately 74.37 million crypto users in the US. This discrepancy raises questions about the actual penetration of crypto in the American market.

Read more: Who Owns the Most Bitcoin in 2024?

Crypto Users in The US
Crypto Users in The US. Source: Statista

Furthermore, prominent industry figures such as Michael Novogratz and Anthony Scaramucci have provided numbers that challenge the Federal Reserve’s estimates. They highlighted the popularity of crypto by comparing it to dog ownership in the country.

“There are 85 million people in this country that own crypto in one form or another. There are 65 million dog owners, so you have more crypto owners than you have dog owners,” Scaramucci said.

Despite these varying figures, the Federal Reserve’s report offers an in-depth look at how cryptocurrencies are utilized by those who engage with them. Significantly, only 2 percent of adults reported using crypto to make a financial transaction. Among these users, international transfers were notable, with one-fourth indicating that at least one transaction was made internationally.

The reasons for choosing cryptocurrency for transactions were diverse. Around 30 percent of users stated that their choice was driven by the recipient’s preference for crypto. Other factors included the speed of transactions and privacy concerns, while fewer cited safety or distrust in traditional banking systems as their primary motivation.

In terms of demographics, cryptocurrency use was more prevalent among younger to middle-aged adults and predominantly males, both for investment and transactional purposes.

Read more: Crypto vs. Banking: Which Is a Smarter Choice?

Additionally, the report indicated that cryptocurrency usage for transactions was higher among the unbanked. This suggests that digital assets could be playing a role in bridging financial services gaps, although overall usage remains low.

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Harsh Notariya
Harsh Notariya is a journalist and crypto expert that excels in delivering the latest Web3 and Crypto News. Previously, as a Growth Marketer at Sporty and a Community Consultant at Totality Corp, he significantly boosted community engagement and followers. Harsh also crafted engaging content for top crypto influencer Shivam Chhuneja, blending meme references for an educational yet fun experience. His versatile skills make him a notable figure in crypto journalism.