The Defiant

Fed Data Shows Most Crypto Holders Stuck Around in 2022 Bear Market

10% of U.S. adults held or used crypto assets last year, down just 2 percentage points from 2021.

By: Samuel Haig Loading...

Fed Data Shows Most Crypto Holders Stuck Around in 2022 Bear Market

The majority of United States-based crypto holders who were active during the giddy highs of the 2021 bull market stuck around for the 2022 bear trend.

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2022 report said 10% of U.S. adults held or used crypto assets in 2022, down just 2 percentage points from the previous year.

2022 will be remembered for the collapse of Terra and its ecosystem, numerous multi-billion dollar CeFi insolvencies, and a harsh macroeconomic climate featuring rising interest rates.  But despite all of the recent market turmoil, the share of U.S. adults using cryptocurrency retraced only slightly year-over-year.

Meanwhile, investment fervor slowed, with 8% of users stating they purchased crypto as an investment, compared to 11% the previous year. Only 2% of adults said they used crypto for payments and purchases during both years.

Demographic Breakdown

The biggest share of crypto users were aged between 30 and 44 years old at 15%, followed by 14% of adults aged 18 to 29 who used crypto, 10% of respondents aged 45 to 59, and just 3% aged 60 years or older.

However, 18 to 29-year-olds represented the smallest band of age groups analyzed by The Fed, indicating crypto adoption still skews heavily towards younger users.

Men were twice as likely to use crypto with 14% of respondents, compared to 7% of women.

Survey respondents said they used cryptocurrency to access improved privacy of settlement speeds when transacting.

Unbanked Populations

The data also shows that those who are unbanked and in a lower income bracket rely on crypto for non-investment transactions more than those with higher income and with access to banking.

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Five percent of unbanked adults used cryptocurrency for financial transactions, compared with 3% among banked adults, the report said, and 4% percent of respondents with an annual family income below $25,000 said they used crypto for financial transactions, twice as many as any other income demographic.

“Use of cryptocurrency for financial transactions was more common among the unbanked, as well as those who used nonbank check cashing and money orders,” the report said.


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