Bitcoin, Ether or Dogecoin... Year after year, cryptocurrencies are gaining ground in the United States, the world's leading user country. From just 1% holding Bitcoin in 2015, 52 million Americans have now invested in, used or traded cryptocurrencies, according to a new Pew Research Center Survey.

The vast majority of U.S. adults (86%) have heard at least a little about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ether, and 16% say they personally have invested in, traded or otherwise used one. Men ages 18 to 29 are particularly likely to say they have used cryptocurrencies. The results of the survey show strong disparities in the use of virtual money in terms of age, gender and origin.

It is rather young people, who emerged as a new generation of investors during the Covid crisis, who trust crypto. 31% of 18–29-year-olds have already invested in a virtual currency, the study details, pointing out that they are twice as likely to be men (43%) than women (19%) of the same age. In the next age bracket, 21% of 30–49-year-olds say they have already invested in crypto. Over 50, the proportion of investors drops below 10%.

While the most affluent people are the first to invest in crypto (34%) – and are also the most informed on the subject – this does not prevent those with the lowest incomes from also investing in them (15%). Finally, Asian Americans (23%) invest in crypto first, followed by Hispanics (21%), black Americans (18%) and whites (13%).

These findings emerge as government leaders and others debate the regulation of cryptocurrency. Financial regulators have worried about policing cryptocurrencies and have raised concerns about the long-term viability of such currencies, such as Bitcoin.

China recently banned transactions using cryptocurrencies. U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell said this summer that these currencies need more regulation, and the Biden administration is trying to combat ransomware by cracking down on cryptocurrency payments. At the same time, El Salvador in September became the first country to declare Bitcoin as legal tender.

Publié le 16 novembre 2021