Are Millennials and Gen Zers (post-millennials) driving the growth in adoption of cryptocurrencies? A growing amount of recent research suggests that the overall increase in society's acceptance of the technology is exponential and is concentrated among the youngest cohort of the population.
If you’ve been to cryptocurrency conventions or meetups, you’ll be aware that this is a young people’s movement. Unlike the blockchain technology movement, which seems to attract a broader range of followers (many of whom work in the corporate sector), the advent of cryptocurrency appears to be a young person’s revolution.
Paxful, the online bitcoin marketplace, commissioned the latest survey of U.S. Millennials (aged 22 to 42) and Gen Zers (18 to 21), parsing their attitudes and experiences with cryptocurrencies.
Between August 14 and 19, 2019, members of these generations who had at least some knowledge of cryptocurrency were surveyed. The results revealed that 98.4 percent of respondents in this age group were familiar with Bitcoin, 77.4 percent with Ethereum, 71.6 percent with Litecoin and 47.6 percent with Ripple.
Perhaps even more surprising were the results of a recent investment report from U.K. law firm, Michelmores.
This report examined recent investment decisions of millennial investors in the U.K., arguably a relatively conservative group of young people. The research shows that traditional forms of investment continue to be popular with most affluent young people: They invest in shares (37 percent), pensions or annuities (37 percent) and stocks (35 percent). Nevertheless, a surprising 20 percent have also invested in cryptocurrencies.
“Near Mainstream Acceptance”
In an announcement from September 19, 2019, Paxful said its survey indicates that cryptocurrency has achieved “near mainstream acceptance” and the “shift towards peer-to-peer finance signals the continued growth of the sharing economy, which cements the increased interest in a globalized world, and financial freedom for all.”
Among the findings, the survey shows that these generations of adopters are not completely optimistic that cryptocurrency will replace traditional banking, with 43.6 percent responding that “yes, cryptocurrency is valid now” but only 26.4 percent agreeing that cryptocurrencies will be a valid alternative in the future.
While cryptocurrencies are widely accepted, the survey showed that respondents saw a lack of trust and volatility as preventing them from becoming fully mainstream.
Asked about barriers to further acceptance, the most common answer was “lack of trust” at 37.14 percent, followed by lack of interest at 28.57 percent, volatility at 25.71 percent, lack of understanding at 14.29 percent and regulation at 14.29 percent.
The data also shows that females have a greater lack of knowledge and are more distrustful of cryptocurrencies, citing regulation and volatility as their concerns more often than males did.
While most respondents said that they associate cryptocurrency with money, Millennials and Gen Z respondents also associated cryptocurrency closely with globalization (67 percent) and peer-to-peer interactions (44.2 percent).
Areas of Opportunity
The survey showed that more than half of Millennial and Gen Z respondents are interested in peer-to-peer trading, as opposed to simply owning cryptocurrency or purchasing it on exchanges.
According to Paxful, this indicates a growing interest in an interconnected, peer-to-peer society.
Perhaps surprisingly, 21 percent of respondents do not have access to traditional banking, making cryptocurrency a more likely alternative to traditional banking.
“More than half of respondents have purchased crypto in the past six months, a great sign for the continuous adoption of crypto,” according to the announcement. “With greater understanding, crypto has great promise of becoming more mainstream.”
With apparent enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies already and indication that this is only growing, Paxful’s study indicates that this technology is integral for young adults in the U.S. This is, of course, good news for a service provider such as itself.
"The results of the survey are extremely promising for the future of cryptocurrency,” said Paxful COO and co-founder Artur Schaback. “As a company, we aim to provide ways to help new users overcome the barriers to entry that are holding them back. We look forward to helping the bitcoin community grow, as we have done before, and will continue to do.”