Cryptocurrency usage has grown enormously since the start of 2021. Bitcoin surpassed $60K in mid-April, with Ethereum passing the $4K mark in mid-May. Interest was initially spurred by the involvement of corporations like Tesla, PayPal, and Twitter, then further bolstered by skyrocketing prices of memecoins like Dogecoin. After Elon Musk announced customers could no longer purchase Teslas using bitcoin because of environmental concerns, prices started to drop. Despite the dramatic price volatility, cynical SNL skits, and celebrity NFT drops, retail user participation has still continued to grow. This report, based on data collected from Coinmama’s global user base of over 2,800,000 crypto users across 188 countries, shows overarching trends in user demographics, payment preference, and device usage for the crypto economy in the spring of 2021.
- Results: Crypto remains primarily a male-dominated space; however, the proportion of women is growing, particularly in countries with emerging economies. The top three countries with the highest percentage of female users are The Philippines (37%), Trinidad and Tobago (35%), and South Africa (31%).
- What this means: It’s known that countries with struggling fiat economies attract crypto users. The urgency to find alternatives to devalued state-issued currencies is motivating more female users to participate in crypto. The exchanges, wallet providers, OTC desks, and other crypto companies that incorporate marketing to appeal to women will benefit from tapping into this fast-growing demographic.
- Results: Crypto customers still skew younger overall, but the average age of female users is a bit older than the combined average (44% of users over 65 are women compared to 16% in the 18-25 category and 18% in the 25-34 category).
- What this means: The greater percentage of older women participating relative to the same age group for men suggests that the average age at which women are being exposed to crypto is much later. There could be cultural explanations for this difference wherein young men are encouraged to take an interest in finance and technology at younger ages or that women are more likely to be exposed to crypto once established in their careers.
- Results: Mobile is increasingly popular for purchasing crypto, especially with younger age groups (Mobile: 58%; Desktop: 42%).
- What this means: Just as a greater proportion of women in emerging economies are purchasing crypto, mobile device adoption has exploded in these same regions. This mobile proliferation is what makes mass adoption of crypto a possibility—giving people access to the internet and financial services who otherwise wouldn’t be able to participate.
Last year, CoinGecko published a survey of DeFi user demographics that mirrored the dominant narrative: that crypto primarily attracts white male millennials. The survey found that only 9% of women had even heard of DeFi versus 89% of men. This report on Coinmama’s global user base suggests that the story is changing: cryptocurrency awareness and participation is expanding among women, especially in emerging economies.
There are other demographic shifts taking place as well. Though crypto continues to be primarily a young-person’s market, the percentage of older users is not insignificant. Users in the age range of 45-65+ make up 25% of the total user base. Crypto companies should by no means focus entirely on millennials and discount users of other generations.
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Coinmama’s finding that the vast majority of users prefer mobile over desktop for purchasing crypto reflects the proliferation of mobile devices happening across emerging economies. These trends bode well for the global adoption of crypto. It’s estimated that 2.71 billion people, or 35.13% of the world’s population, currently have smartphones, and as this number grows, so will crypto users.
Prediction: Major Shift in Wealth Distribution Brought About by Youth Adoption of Crypto
The largest wealth transfer in history is currently taking place between Baby Boomers and Millennials—a shift that is mirrored in the massive youth adoption of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. If the trend of growing youth interest in crypto continues, the wealth distribution across generations could look very different in 10 years’ time, with a much greater proportion of value held by the 18-34 age group compared to historical precedent.