Bitcoin Adoption Statistics
Bitcoin adoption is increasing, but what are the actual figures? At the beginning of January 2017, the price of Bitcoin was $979 and by the end of the year, it had exceeded and then retraced to around $14,000 – about a 1,329% increase for the year. Price is certainly a factor that increased Bitcoin acceptance in 2017, but what other factors are driving it as the cryptocurrency continues to see a bear market trend for most of 2018?
Bitcoin Price Increase
Investors Under Age 35
Female Bitcoin Investors
While it is impossible to accurately determine the level of Bitcoin adoption worldwide, statistical experts can safely estimate there are approximately 20 million users globally. Most of these users are buy-and-hold investors seeking to capitalize on future price increases, with the number of actual day-to-day users being much smaller.
Global Bitcoin Wallets
USA Bitcoin Investors
Coinbase Exchange Users
Estimated Global Users
Payment systems like PayPal, Stripe, credit and debit cards still dominate and while popularity is increasing, the actual number of bitcoin users globally is still quite small in comparison.
The trading volumes on peer-to-peer exchanges suggest Bitcoin acceptance is more rapidly rising in economically troubled nations like Brazil, Columbia, Venezuela, and Africa. In South Africa, the number of new Bitcoin users rose by 671% in 2017 compared to 2016, and three African nations (South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria) are among the top five countries searching the keyword “bitcoin” according to Google Trends statistics.
Active Bitcoin Users
Bitcoin Adoption by Millennials
Statistics indicate that Bitcoin might not be appealing to the masses just yet, but it does show that Millennials are favoring digital currencies. Reports by Coin.dance show that most users are 25 to 34 years old, about 48.4%, followed by those age 35 to 44, about 24.9%. Further statistics dig even deeper to show that interest in Bitcoin adoption is growing by those in certain demographics.
When the risks of investing in cryptocurrencies are examined, it is not surprising that Millennials would be the first to take a chance on the potential Bitcoin offers. A few dollars invested today could result in tremendous gains in the future. Being in control of one’s money without the need for a bank account in order to access their funds is also more appealing to Millennials.
There is also the recent Student Loan Report that shows 21% of students surveyed with student loan debt admit to investing in cryptocurrency using funds borrowed for their living expenses. Those techno-savvy students who learn to trade cryptocurrency can turn quite a profit using funds for living expenses. These are funds students can use in any way they wish, so if they skimp on other things – they are free to use the extra money to buy Bitcoin or altcoins, as well as save it or invest it in other ways.
Millennials tend to be disillusioned with traditional investment options after the 2008 financial crisis when many in this age group saw their parent’s investments lose 50% or more. Their skepticism seems to outweigh the risks of investing in volatile cryptocurrency, as studies show only one in three millennials invests in the stock market. The hope that Bitcoin’s decentralized system brings is very appealing to millennials who may be facing fewer job opportunities and still living at home. A $798 bitcoin investment made in Dec 2016 could have been cashed out for $18,934 a year later.
While exponential gains of that nature may not occur again, it is certainly not impossible and it is hard to argue with an increase of that magnitude. Particularly for Millennials who have a tendency to crave instant gratification, are in debt, and short on cash – all stereotypical traits of the generation. Whether true or not, millennials are the largest group of users contributing to Bitcoin adoption, and the crypto-space is easy for this techno-savvy demographic to enter. Plus, the fact is, Bitcoin is a lot sexier to this group than traditional markets.
Studies also show that Millennials do not typically save for their future, and have nothing at all going towards retirement. So putting money into cryptocurrency, and possibly using those assets later for a 401(k) or IRA, could be a concept that helps push Bitcoin adoption.
Bitcoin Adoption by the Masses
While it is reported that only 1 in 10 of us has actually bought digital currency, almost everyone has heard of it and is now familiar with Bitcoin, at least in conversation. Men are more likely to buy cryptocurrency than women, although the number of women involved in the space is growing and more men than women feel it is a scam. 6.28% of women who do not own cryptocurrency say they have plans to buy it in the future, but generally speaking women seem to be less interested overall.
The top reasons stated for not buying cryptocurrency seem to be:
- Too complicated to understand.
- Too difficult to use.
- Is a scam.
- Too many fees.
- Complete disinterest or no need.
- It is a bubble.
- Risk is too high.
These reasons do somewhat make it clear as to why Bitcoin adoption among millennials is increasing and greater than that of Gen X and Baby Boomers. Millennials lead the pack when it comes to technology adoption measures for smartphones and social media. Baby Boomers have enthusiastically adopted a wide range of technologies in recent years but trail both Gen Xers and Millennials today.
Is it too late?
Despite losing 70% of its all-time-high, the price is still well over what it was at the start of 2017. Bitcoin adoption is currently only 0.2% and has been doubling by 100% a year. You do the math and it becomes easy to see that the opportunity and potential as a legitimate store of value going forward are enormous.