The Biden administration’s March 2022 executive order and nationwide recognition of digital currencies comes as U.S. consumer ownership and use of cryptocurrencies as a viable method of payment reaches unprecedented heights. Not only do 16% of US consumers – 41.2 million people – now own at least one type of cryptocurrency, but 16.1 million have used cryptocurrencies to make purchases online in the last 30 days, and 7.1 million used it to make in-store purchases. at the time.
Most consumers still view crypto primarily as a type of investment rather than a method of payment – but that is rapidly changing among a growing cohort of crypto owners. PYMNTS research shows that while about half of consumers who own cryptocurrency use it as an investment, nearly one-third of consumers who own or have owned cryptocurrency in the past 12 months say that they would switch merchants if it meant they could pay with cryptocurrency. High-income millennials primarily use cryptocurrency to buy everything from groceries and clothing to gaming and entertainment subscriptions.
These are just some of the conclusions of “United States Crypto consumer: use of cryptocurrency in online and in-store purchases», a PYMNTS and BitPay collaboration. In this report, we surveyed 2,334 current or former cryptocurrency users and non-users in the United States to learn more about growing consumer interest in cryptocurrency and plans for ownership and use. of cryptocurrency.
Other key findings from the study include:
• Twenty-three percent of consumers – 59.6 million people – have owned at least one cryptocurrency in the past year, compared to 16% – 41.5 million people – in 2021. Sixteen percent currently own cryptocurrencies, with 7% saying they have owned some in the past but not now. The share of consumers owning cryptocurrencies in 2022 increased by four percentage points compared to 2021. Last year, only 12% of survey respondents said they currently own cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency owners are more likely to be millennials and high-income consumers.
• Bitcoin enjoys a comfortable lead over all other cryptocurrencies when it comes to consumer usage and awareness. Bitcoin is an undisputed market leader in user recognition and penetration. PYMNTS research reveals that among 12 cryptocurrency market participants currently held by survey respondents, 12% of consumers hold Bitcoin, 5% have held it in the past 12 months, and 2% l have held at one time. Additionally, 74% of consumers who have never held Bitcoin have heard of it, and only 8% said they have not heard of Bitcoin. Ethereum and Dogecoin are also among the top cryptocurrencies currently held by consumers.
• High-income consumers and Millennials are most likely to consider cryptocurrency as a payment option. When asked if cryptocurrencies were a viable payment alternative, consumers were also split on whether they had a neutral or negative view of the technology. Thirty-six percent of consumers had a neutral or negative perception of cryptocurrencies as a payment alternative. Only 28% expressed a positive opinion, but this share increases among millennials and consumers earning more than $100,000. Forty-eight percent of millennials and 32% of high-income consumers viewed cryptocurrency positively as a viable form of payment.
To learn more about the growing US consumer interest in owning and using cryptocurrency, To download The report.