Fed survey: 12% of US adults held crypto in 2021

What 

The annual “Economic Well-Being of US Households” survey by the Federal Reserve showed that 12% of households in the US held or used crypto in the prior year

Why 

The majority of those who held cryptocurrency as an investment were disproportionately high-income, had a traditional banking relationship, and had other retirement savings

What next 

This is the first time data from the crypto sector was included in the survey, showing that governments are taking note of increased cryptocurrency adoption 

The story 

“To better understand consumer experiences with emerging products, cryptocurrencies were included on the survey for the first time,” the Fed said. The latest survey showed a general increase in the financial health of families in the US, while also noting that 12% of adults in the US invested in or used cryptocurrency in the same period. 

“While most adults did not use cryptocurrencies in the prior year, cryptocurrency use as an investment was far more common than for transactions or purchases,” the Fed explained. The report also showed that while transactional use of cryptocurrencies was low, those using cryptocurrencies for purchases rather than as investments frequently lacked traditional bank and credit card accounts. Three percent of adults used cryptocurrency for purchases or money transfers. Among these transactional users of cryptocurrencies, 13% did not have a bank account.

Nearly a quarter of those with less than a high school degree and 20% of those with income less than $25,000 were underbanked, making them more likely to turn to alternative financial services and cryptocurrencies for transaction purposes.

The report also noted that 46% of adults using cryptocurrencies only for investment had an income of $100,000 or more, while 29% had an income under $50,000. Notably, 99% of those investing in cryptocurrency, but not using it for transactions, had a bank account, and 89% of non-retired cryptocurrency investors had at least some retirement savings.

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