Cryptocurrency has garnered a spike in interest in 2021. Though there were a variety of reasons attributing to this growth, one being the pandemic causing people to become more financially aware of their money and causing them to take a larger interest in investing, another key reason for the increased popularity was the large investment in Bitcoin by Elon Musk in February. Following Musk’s $1.5billion Bitcoin purchase, its overall value shot up to $44,220.
Many think that Tesla’s investment is a “game-changer” for the Bitcoin, as it is the first major company in the automobile sector to announce its intentions to offer cryptocurrency as a future payment option.
“Tesla is hardly considered a traditional company, but when one of the largest companies in the world starts to hold Bitcoin on its balance sheet as a substitute for cash, the market takes notice,” Paul Hickey of Bespoke Investment Group wrote in a note to clients.
Hector McNeil, spokesperson for BTCetc Bitcoin Exchange Traded Crypto added: “Tesla’s purchase of Bitcoin is yet another huge endorsement for the cryptocurrency from a large corporate or institutional investor. They tend to take a much longer-term view of their investments than retail investors, and this bodes well for the future valuation of the cryptocurrency.”
Another reason cryptocurrency has seen this growth is because of its accessibility. It is no longer something unattainable – with over 361 million users, PayPal introduced a crypto wallet for its US userbase at the end of 2020. In March 2021, PayPal bolstered its cryptocurrency security with its Curv acquisition.
“The acquisition of Curv is part of our effort to invest in the talent and technology to realise our vision for a more inclusive financial system,” said Jose Fernandez da Ponte, vice president and general manager, blockchain, crypto and digital currencies, PayPal. “During our conversations with Curv’s team, we’ve been impressed by their technical talent, entrepreneurial spirit, and the thinking behind the technology they’ve built in the last few years. We’re excited to welcome the Curv team to PayPal.”
Gemini, the crypto exchange and custodian, has released a comprehensive report of the US crypto market. The data gathered from a nationally representative survey of 3,000 US adults points to a significant expansion and diversification of the nation’s crypto investors.
Some of the other trends are explained in the 2021 State of US Crypto Report. The research illustrates how attributes like gender, age, income and location are changing from the typical crypto investor. According to the report the number of cryptocurrency investors is set to double this year. In addition, older women make up the majority of the “crypto curious” — those on the brink of investing — and many of whom are nearing retirement.
The survey also revealed that there are many more people who are crypto curious — 63% of US adults — than who are completely disinterested in crypto — just 23% — indicating a promising future for crypto’s growth.
Other key findings include:
- More women than men are among those interested in getting into crypto soon, making up 53% of those crypto curious reporting interest about investing in the asset class. Looking deeper, only a quarter of these crypto-curious women are under the age of 35, and 25% are near retirement at 55 or older.
- Education is crucial in converting crypto-curious consumers to actual holders, with 39% of those who don’t hold cryptocurrency considering themselves “somewhat or very” knowledgeable about cryptocurrency, but 60% identifying as “not very” or “not at all” knowledgeable. A strong majority of US adults (77%) indicate they are open to learning more about digital assets, whether they already own cryptocurrency or not.
- The number of crypto investors is set to nearly double this year, with 13% of US adults planning to purchase crypto in the next 12 months.
- The “average” crypto investor will be changing soon due to these new entrants — the current profile is a 38-year-old male making approximately $111,000 a year.
- The next wave of crypto buyers are older and have slightly smaller yearly incomes, with an average age of 44 and average household income of $107,000 a year.
“This new research signals a valuable and welcome diversification of crypto’s investor base. A broader set of participants establishes a positive long-term evolution of the market,” said Noah Perlman, Chief Operating Officer at Gemini. “Trading platforms that prioritise security and smart regulation, while making it simple for anyone to use, make cryptocurrencies accessible and attractive. We believe digital assets are a strategic part of a well-rounded portfolio and providing crypto education will help remove barriers to entry.”
These new survey findings complement the State of UK Crypto Report released by Gemini in March 2021. The UK has more women (41.6%) than the United States (26%) reporting they already own, or owned, cryptocurrency — though the United States is catching up, as stats published by eToro showed only 15% of Bitcoin investors were women, however, this number had increased from 10% in 2020. Roughly the same proportion of total adults in the US and the UK (approximately 14%) own cryptocurrency— with rapid growth happening on both sides of the Atlantic.