Do you know how popular Bitcoin (BTC) is today? After over a decade of existence in the finance and technology world, cryptocurrencies have become more widely known by millions of people. In case you haven’t heard, the Chainalysis 2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index stated that worldwide crypto adoption reached a skyrocketing growth rate of over 880% in the past 12 months. 

That huge number indicates that Bitcoin and other cryptos are indeed gaining increased attention in different industries today. This brings us to our next exciting point: which parts of the world do you think crypto investors and Bitcoin owners come from? Which segment owns the most Bitcoin? More importantly, what possible factors drove the increase in crypto adoption? Let’s dive into the demographics of Bitcoin and crypto holders.

How popular is crypto?

First, let’s take a look at how common cryptocurrencies are today. As per cryptocurrency and blockchain company, TripleA, the global crypto ownership rate is at an average of 3.9%, which is equivalent to over 300 million crypto users. Let’s pause for a bit and try to visualize that huge number.

As per historical narratives, the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, can hold over 50,000 spectators or people at its maximum capacity. This means you’ll need around 6,000 Colosseums to fit more than 300 million crypto users. And in case you didn’t know, this number is also very close to the current population of the entire United States—insane, isn’t it?

Over 300+ Million Crypto Users Worldwide
Cryptocurrency Across the World

A report from the Blockchain Capital Blog showed that there has been an increase in the number of American adults who have heard of Bitcoin. From 77% in October 2017, the number grew to 89% in April 2019. Bitcoin awareness is also high across all age groups. Individuals aged 18 to 34 have the highest awareness rate at 90%, while those above 65 years old have the lowest at 88%.

According to the Cryptoasset Consumer Research 2021 published by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), in the United Kingdom (UK) alone, 78% of adults among the 52 million people included in this year’s study said they’ve heard of cryptocurrency. 

The current state of cryptocurrency adoption in the world

Earlier, we’ve mentioned that the global crypto adoption rate has reached over 880% growth for the past year. According to a recent report from Chainalysis, out of 154 countries ranked according to specific metrics (peer-to-peer exchange trade volume, total crypto activity, and trading activity of non-professional users), these are the top 20 countries where cryptocurrency-related activities were most high:

Top 20 Countries with the highest crypto-related activities

The 2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index (Preview)

The report also stated that many emerging markets, including Kenya, Vietnam, and Venezuela, lead in terms of huge transaction volumes on peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms. 

Interestingly, the data also showed that small retail transactions—often under 10,000 USD worth of crypto—are more significant in P2P exchanges. This is because many crypto holders use their coins on P2P platforms to pay for goods and services, make remittances, and carry out other quick and small transactions.

Cryptocurrency platform's share of transfers by size

Cryptocurrency Across the World

Who owns the most Bitcoin?

Now that we understand how common Bitcoin and other cryptos are, let’s dig a little deeper and discover who among the global crypto investors engage in crypto-related activities the most.

To further understand the numbers behind the adoption rate, let’s take a look at the 2021 data from Paxful. On the Paxful platform, users between the ages of 25 and 33 were the most dominant accounting for 32.76% of the total traffic, followed by 18 to 24 with 32.21%. In other words, millennials and the so-called “zoomers” make up more than half the Paxful users.

On the other hand, users aged 35 to 44 represent 16.42% of the population, followed by folks aged 45 to 54 with 9.21%. By now, you’ll notice that the percentage of users is gradually decreasing as we get to the users of the golden age. Interestingly, some men and women in this age group are still fascinated by Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. According to the Paxful data, 5.65% of the users on the platform are between the ages of 55 and 64 and 3.75% are over 65 years old.

Crypto users by age and gender

These numbers clearly show that young people and adults are the ones who are very much interested in cryptocurrencies. Of course, let’s not forget a few of the golden folks who buy Bitcoin too. As the Bitcoin transaction volume on P2P platforms increases over time, it’s safe to say that the age groups we’ve mentioned have a significant contribution to worldwide crypto adoption. 

Now that we’ve seen the number of crypto users on Paxful by age, let’s take a look at how the numbers diverge in terms of gender. As per the 2021 Paxful data, 69.53% of crypto investors or users on the platform are males, leaving 30.47% to females. The numbers here show that twice as many men as women invest in or own cryptocurrencies

Although these figures do not represent the exact demographics of crypto investors from around the world, they will give you the best estimate of who the Bitcoin owners are.

What do people use cryptocurrencies for?

Let’s talk about the things people use Bitcoin and other digital currencies for. Chainalysis’ 2021 report stated that the increased crypto adoption differs around the world. Many crypto users in emerging markets that face currency devaluation have started to buy cryptocurrencies on P2P exchanges to protect their money from losing its value

Some crypto owners use their hard-earned coins to make cheaper, faster, and borderless money transfers, while others use their digital currencies to carry out business transactions. Many people from these markets also found ways to access financial services and meet their financial needs through other limitless potentials of cryptocurrencies.

On the other hand, over the last year, crypto adoption in regions like Western Europe, North America, and Eastern Asia has been dominated by institutional investments. The dramatic increase in Bitcoin’s price is among the factors considered in the rise of the adoption rate in the said regions.

Will more individuals hop into the crypto world?

In May 2021, The Ascent, a Motley Fool service, surveyed 2,000 adults in America about cryptocurrency, blockchain, crypto investment tools, and more. The data collected showed that over 20% of Americans who have never bought crypto are likely to buy in the following year—3% of which say they’re very much possible to buy. 

We’ve mentioned earlier that P2P platforms are driving crypto adoption in emerging markets. But the question is, what will drive the next wave of worldwide adoption of digital currencies? Right now, we don’t know what tomorrow will bring—we’ll just have to wait and see. 

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