US Study: Number of Crypto Owners Now Outstrips Savings Account Holders

Study

A new study finds that 24% of Americans own cryptocurrencies; that’s more than Americans who keep a savings account—just slightly more, but more. The study also found that millennials are the biggest crypto fans, with younger, higher-earning men in the majority.

For the first time in the US, the number of crypto owners outnumbers savings account holders, a new study shows. Cryptocurrency ownership has skyrocketed since last July, citing low prices at the time and widespread media coverage as the main reasons.

The study, titled “The State of Consumer Banking and Payments,” was conducted by Morning Consult, a global business intelligence firm.

Regarding cryptocurrencies, the company noted that adoption has skyrocketed as the asset class has become mainstream.

The number of Americans owning cryptocurrencies was 24% as of December last year, according to the study. With a US population of 332 million, that means the number of crypto owners in the US is 79 million.

There are different estimates about the number of worldwide owners. The Wall Street Journal puts the number at 114 million, which would mean that American investors account for 70% of all Bitcoin owners worldwide. A study by Crypto.com puts the number at 106 million worldwide, which would mean Americans account for an even higher percentage.

Morning Consult’s study follows on from previous studies that found that the number of Americans investing in cryptocurrencies has steadily increased in recent years.

In November, a study conducted by the  Pew Research Center , a Washington think tank, found that 16% of Americans have invested in, traded in, or owned cryptocurrencies. This would bring the number of crypto owners to 53 million. The study also found that 86% of respondents have at least heard of cryptocurrencies, showing just how widespread awareness of the asset class’s existence has become. As recently as 2015, only 1% had reported investing in cryptocurrency, while only 48% had even heard of cryptocurrency.

Are the numbers correct?

As more and more studies show the meteoric rise in crypto ownership numbers, there are concerns as to whether the numbers are accurate.

Among those questioning the numbers is Shaktikanta Das, head of India’s central bank. He told the media:

“I’m not claiming I have 100% information. Because it is an unregulated sector, we do not receive complete information. But whatever information and feedback we have, with a reasonable degree of confidence I think the number of participants in the crypto market seems a bit excessive.”

Away from the crypto doubters, an examination of the data reveals other trends that the polls may not have accounted for. For one, most crypto owners have multiple wallet addresses. Some wallets even generate a new address every time a user makes a transaction.

And then there is the concentration of crypto ownership. A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research from October 2021 shows that the top 10,000 investors own about a third of the cryptocurrencies in circulation. For some altcoins, this concentration is even much higher. For example , in 2021 a single account controlled about 28% of the DOGE supply.

Concentration is such a big issue that even the “DoGFather” himself, Elon Musk, voiced his concern.

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