A new year will hopefully mean new investors coming to the market and continued development of the crypto utility space. Storage of and transacting with digital assets is advancing at an exponential rate and tech-driven consumers are spurring the development further and faster.
Despite 2022 not being as rewarding for investors as previous years, there are some points to look at that show that even though crypto prices aren’t peaking, the interest in cryptocurrency is, indicating we’re entering a potential period for crypto to bloom.
How Many People Own Crypto?
According to a study conducted in July by a crypto company, the number of global crypto users more than doubled in six months from 100 million in January 2021 to 221 million in June. Albeit this was some time ago, macroeconomic factors are now an even more significant influence and possible motivating factor for how many people invest in crypto.
Another Singapore-based blockchain firm recorded data that indicates as of 2022, the global crypto ownership rate is around 4.2%, with over 320 million crypto users worldwide. It reported that the United States was at the top of the list with 46 million crypto users, followed by India, Pakistan, and Nigeria.
Other market research suggests that as much as 10.2% of global internet users aged 16 to 64 own crypto, with ownership spread out towards nations experiencing high inflation or fluctuation in the value of their national fiat currency. Studies of this nature don’t include China, the most populous nation, as they are not transparent with their information, meaning the number of people who own crypto could be a lot higher than recorded.
An investment strategy team from a leading global financial firm, Wells Fargo, said it did not subscribe to the idea that it was “too late to invest” in crypto, given that the space is “relatively young” by comparison to other asset classes and their timeline of development.
See the chart below comparing internet usage measured against its release date compared to crypto usage measured against its release date.
Global Adoption Rate
Earlier this year, Chainalysis ranked 146 countries in five categories in its 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index. It found that Vietnam led the pack for overall adoption rates, followed by the Philippines, India, Ukraine, and the United States.
It can be observed that there are multiple third-world countries in the lists of crypto ownership and adoption stats, this is because the people of these nations are victims of relentless corruption and inflation, where something like a loaf of bread can double in cost from morning to evening (seen in El Salvador).
Another example of a need for decentralized control of finances can be seen when Lebanon closed its banks for three days last year, following a wave of delays and hold-ups caused by angry depositors who were unable to access or deposit funds. It is detrimental for the hand-to-mouth demographic to not be able to access their funds when they need them, hence their interest and movement towards cryptocurrencies and DeFi.
Storage of assets aside, crypto owners want to spend their crypto daily, in the shops and at restaurants. Merchants across the globe are gearing towards putting infrastructure in place to facilitate crypto payments and tech-driven consumers are even keener to be paying with crypto. A large amount of mainstream tech consumers said they’d switch to a merchant who offers crypto payment facilities.
Despite markets being down, there is still a significant uptick in interest in cryptocurrencies. While 2022 was a bad year for crypto prices, the adoption that came from it was impressive, to say the least. While more merchants are incorporating crypto payments into their payment options, the crypto payment app sector is showing parallel growth, indicating that users are becoming more comfortable with paying for goods with crypto.
As we observe how many people invest in crypto and how many people own crypto we can conclude that the crypto space is only growing, and with more education and more regulation, these digital assets will continue to integrate into the greater financial landscape.