Despite the struggles the crypto industry faced in 2022 and the fact that Bitcoin (BTC) remains more than 65% below its all-time high of $68,789, there is reason to be optimistic about the future of crypto, according to the results of a recent survey conducted by Morning Consult.
The Coinbase-commissioned study found that 80% of American adults are frustrated by the inequality in the financial system and think it favors those with “powerful interests,” with 67% of respondents agreeing that the financial system needs major changes or a complete overhaul while only 4% say that no changes are needed.
The online survey found that the top word associations with the global financial system are “expensive” (34%), “unfair” (30%), and “confusing” (30%).
As perceptions of inequality rise, interest in engaging with the crypto ecosystem and crypto ownership is holding steady, with 20% of U.S. adults currently holding at least one digital asset.
“Additionally, nearly a third of Americans plan to buy, sell, or trade cryptocurrency in the next year, indicating the demand for crypto remains strong,” the report said. “Crypto owners in particular remain committed to crypto investments and have a very favorable view of the financial asset.”
The survey found that engagement isn’t limited to any specific cohort but instead “cuts across socioeconomic groups.” Views of the future investment potential of crypto are consistent across income groups, and 29% said they planned to buy or trade crypto in the next 12 months. “This translates to an estimate of approximately 52.3 million American adults owning crypto, with 75.5 million adults expected to trade crypto at least once in the coming year.”
The majority of current crypto holders also continue to hold a favorable view of the asset class (60% positive), with 84% indicating that they are likely to buy crypto over the next 12 months.
Younger Americans were found to be most likely to favor cryptocurrency and view it as a worthwhile asset for the future. Members of the GenZ cohort (defined as U.S. adults aged 18-25) had the highest level of current crypto ownership at 36%, followed by Millennials with 30%. These two groups were also more likely to indicate plans to make future crypto purchases.
A majority of Gen Z adults (54%) and Millennials (55%) agree that cryptocurrency and blockchain are the future, and 27% of Gen Z adults and 21% of Millennials considered creating an account on a cryptocurrency exchange in the past 12 months.
Overall, crypto investors and younger cohorts of Americans still believe that the best days for the crypto industry are still ahead (65%), that cryptocurrency is a worthy investment for the future (69%), and that it will be broadly beneficial for society (63%) and address inequality in the financial system (52%).
Communities of color were found to be more likely to engage with the crypto industry, with black and Hispanic adults most likely to own cryptocurrency, the report said. “There are few indicators to show these groups will trend away from owning the asset, as most are planning to continue trading crypto in the next year.”
Black and Hispanic adults were also found to be significantly more likely than white adults to have a favorable impression of cryptocurrency and are more optimistic that “Cryptocurrency and blockchain are the future” than any other cohort.
Cryptos appear to be the one area where Democrats, Republicans, and Independents can agree, as the survey found “limited partisan differences relative to views on the future of crypto.” A similar portion of both political groups (22%,18%, and 22%, respectively) currently own crypto and have plans to continue trading in the next year (32%, 28%, 28%).
As for what respondents identified as the most important thing when it comes to investing in crypto, 67% of Americans feel that it is important to have a trusted, secure platform in order to access the crypto market. “How Americans view the reliability of exchanges largely informs their aspirations of cryptocurrency ownership: if Americans feel exchanges are secure, then they are more likely to invest in crypto in the future,” the report said.
Among those who agreed that crypto exchanges are secure platforms, 70% said crypto and blockchain are the future and 61% indicated that they expect to buy or trade crypto in the next 12 months.