Spendable cryptocurrency is still an emerging concept, but that isn’t dampening interest in this asset class as consumers — overwhelmingly millennials for now — have been buying crypto for the value it could gain and its utility as a payments option.
Despite wild gyrations that have moved in sync with the general markets recently, crypto continues to generate interest in corridors of power from Wall Street to Washington — and everywhere in between. And 2022 may well be a year of dynamism and possibly breakthrough use cases as consumers get more acquainted with it.
“The U.S. Crypto Consumer: Cryptocurrency Use in Online and in-Store Purchases,” a PYMNTS and BitPay collaboration, surveyed over 2,330 current or former cryptocurrency users in the U.S., as well as cryptocurrency nonusers. Here’s a look at what millennial cohorts have in mind.
Crypto Is Youthful
The study found that crypto buying hasn’t been limited to the wealthy; it was held by 20% of high-income consumers, 18% of middle-income consumers and 10% of lower-income consumers — high-earning millennial and bridge millennial cohorts do account for most of the action.
The study stated that “millennials and bridge millennials are the most likely generations to own cryptocurrency, with 28% and 29% currently in possession of at least one type of cryptocurrency, respectively.”
Over half of all consumers who bought crypto (55%) did so for the investment potential. That was also the main motivator for the 36.1% of bridge millennials and 34.1% of millennials who purchased cryptocurrencies.
“Baby boomers and seniors and Generation X consumers who own cryptocurrency are just slightly more likely to purchase cryptocurrency as an investment than bridge millennials, millennials and Generation Z consumers,” the study stated.
The Merchant Angle
PYMNTS’ research showed that younger high-earning consumers were more apt to attach a high value to spendable crypto, and for that reason it impacts their perception of merchants.
Per the study, “millennials and high-income consumers owning cryptocurrency are also the most likely to switch to merchants that accept it as payment. More than one-quarter of high-income consumers say they are ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ likely to switch merchants, compared to 18% of middle-income consumers and 14% of lower-income consumers. At 32%, millennials are the most likely to say they are ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ likely to switch.”
“Eighteen percent of millennials say they ‘definitely’ prefer merchants that accept cryptocurrencies,” the study added.
This mostly aligns with sentiments about crypto as a payments instrument.
Of respondents, “[j]ust 28% expressed a positive view, but this share increases among millennials and consumers earning more than $100,000. Forty-eight percent of millennials and 32% of high-income consumers positively viewed cryptocurrency as a viable payment method.”
Get the study: Cryptocurrency Use in Online and in-Store Purchases
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