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Federal Survey Reveals 18 Million Americans Engaged with Cryptocurrency in 2023

ByDayne Lee

May 26, 2024
Federal Survey Reveals 18 Million Americans Engaged with Cryptocurrency in 2023

Federal Survey Reveals 18 Million Americans Engaged with Cryptocurrency in 2023

The latest findings from the Federal Reserve’s annual Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking (SHED) indicate a notable shift in cryptocurrency engagement among U.S. adults. In 2023, approximately 18 million individuals reported owning or using cryptocurrency, marking a decline from previous years.

  • Usage Rates: In October 2023, only 7% of surveyed U.S. adults reported using cryptocurrency, a decrease from 10% in 2022 and 12% in 2021.
  • Payment Methods: Just 1% of adults used cryptocurrency as a payment method or for sending money, which is half the percentage reported in 2022.
  • Investment Interest: 7% of participants purchased or held cryptocurrency as an investment, reflecting sustained interest despite the overall decline in usage.

The Federal Reserve’s results contrast sharply with claims made by Coinbase, which has long stated in its lobbying efforts that 52 million Americans own cryptocurrency. Coinbase has not provided a response or clarification on how it derived this figure.

Demographic Insights

The SHED survey provided detailed insights into the demographic characteristics of cryptocurrency users:

  • Income Levels: Individuals with annual incomes over $100,000 were more likely to use cryptocurrency for any purpose.
  • Age Groups: Millennials (ages 30 to 44) constituted the largest demographic of crypto users, closely followed by Generation Z adults (ages 18 to 29).
  • Gender Disparity: Men were three times more likely to engage with cryptocurrency compared to women.
  • Ethnic Distribution: Black and Hispanic adults were the most frequent users of cryptocurrency for financial transactions, whereas Asian adults predominantly used crypto as an investment. White adults were the least likely to use cryptocurrency for any purpose.

For the small fraction that utilized cryptocurrency for transactions, nearly 30% indicated that their choice was driven by the recipient’s preference for crypto payments. Notably, a distrust in traditional banking institutions was the least cited reason for choosing cryptocurrency as a payment method.

Methodology of the Survey

The survey was conducted in October 2023 and involved 11,488 U.S. adults aged 18 and older. To ensure representativeness, the Federal Reserve weighted the sample against the U.S. Census Bureau’s March 2023 current population survey, which estimates there are 258 million adults in the U.S.

Year% of U.S. Adults Using Crypto% Using Crypto for Payments% Holding Crypto as Investment
202112%Data not specifiedData not specified
202210%2%Data not specified

The Federal Reserve’s 2023 survey highlights a pivotal moment for cryptocurrency in the U.S. As the market navigates through fluctuations in user engagement and regulatory challenges, understanding demographic trends and reasons for cryptocurrency adoption will be crucial for shaping future strategies in this rapidly evolving sector.

Featured image credit: Mohamed Hassan via Pxhere

Dayne Lee

With a foundation in financial day trading, I transitioned to my current role as an editor, where I prioritize accuracy and reader engagement in our content. I excel in collaborating with writers to ensure top-quality news coverage. This shift from finance to journalism has been both challenging and rewarding, driving my commitment to editorial excellence.

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