Four out of five Americans are familiar with at least one type of cryptocurrency

Jamie BallardFreelance Data Journalist
September 24, 2019, 5:15 PM GMT+0

It’s been nearly 10 years since cryptocurrency was first created and while it’s still somewhat of a mystery for many people, new research from YouGov finds that most Americans today are familiar with at least one type of cryptocurrency. 

About eight in 10 (81%) Americans are familiar with at least one type of cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is by far the most well-known, with three-quarters (75%) of US adults saying they’ve heard of it. Far fewer are familiar with the separate cryptocurrency known as Bitcoin Cash (24%), or with Ethereum (17%).

Who’s buying cryptocurrency? Millennials, mostly. 

Among all US adults who are familiar with at least one kind of cryptocurrency, 18% say they’ve purchased cryptocurrency in the last year.  But among millennials familiar with cryptocurrency, this number nearly doubles: 35 percent have bought at least one type of cryptocurrency within the past year.

Millennials are more hopeful about cryptocurrency in general than their Gen X and Baby Boomer counterparts. 

More than one-third (35%) of Millennials familiar with cryptocurrency say they believe it is a good investment. Only 21 percent of Gen X’ers and 10 percent of Baby Boomers with the same familiarity level say the same. On the other end of the spectrum, 44 percent of Baby Boomers believe cryptocurrency is a somewhat or very bad investment. 

Similarly, Millennials are more likely than older generations to believe cryptocurrencies will become widely accepted as a means of transactions for legal purchases within 10 years. 

Four in 10 (40%) Americans familiar with at least one form of cryptocurrency believe cryptocurrencies will become very or somewhat widely accepted for legal transactions before 2030. A majority (55%) of Millennials believe this, along with 41 percent of Gen X’ers and 29 percent of Baby Boomers.

But even as most Americans believe cryptocurrency will become more widely accepted, there are still some reservations about it. 

A majority (56%) of those familiar with cryptocurrency say they are not at all interested in the idea of the United States converting to primarily using cryptocurrency instead of US dollars.

Even Millennials, who tend to be more familiar with and confident about cryptocurrencies, tend to say they would be not at all interested (39%) in converting primarily to using cryptocurrency. Another 19% say they would be “not very interested.” 

See full results from this survey here

Methodology: Total unweighted sample size was 1,262 US adults, including 1,035 who are familiar with at least one type of cryptocurrency. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (ages 18+).

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Image: Getty

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