New Data Suggests Substantial Declines in Crypto Ownership Following Collapse of Market
A new Financial Health Network survey finds remaining owners appear to hold crypto as part of a larger investment strategy; holdings are now low among Black investors.
Percentage of Consumers Holding Cryptocurrency by Race/Ethnicity
Percentage of Consumers Holding Cryptocurrency by Immigrant Status and Use of Remittances
Chicago, IL, March 21, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Chicago, IL – March 21, 2023 – The Financial Health Network, the nation’s authority on financial health, with support from Prudential Financial, today released new data analyzing the demographics of cryptocurrency ownership. After a tumultuous year in crypto, recent data suggest that cryptocurrency ownership has decreased following the collapse of the cryptocurrency market in late 2022.
Only 11% of consumers currently hold cryptocurrencies or digital assets, according to a new survey collected by the Financial Health Network as part of its FinHealth Spend study. This represents a decrease from pre-collapse estimates of cryptocurrency ownership, which were between 16% and 17%.
While studies conducted prior to the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX indicated that cryptocurrency ownership was more prevalent among Black consumers than White consumers, new data indicate that ownership among Black investors – a mere 8% – is now lower than Asian and Latino consumers and statistically similar to White consumers.
The study also found that cryptocurrency holders are younger, more frequently men, and have higher incomes relative to consumers who do not own cryptocurrency, which is consistent with findings from previous surveys on cryptocurrency ownership. Cryptocurrency holders were, on average, a full 10 years younger than consumers without cryptocurrency holdings (41 versus 51 years old). More than 1 in 5 households with annual incomes over $150,000 hold cryptocurrency, compared with only 1 in 20 households with incomes under $30,000.
“The sharp decrease in cryptocurrency ownership among Black and Latinx consumers suggests that these investors have more frequently divested from cryptocurrency holdings in the last year,” says Angela Fontes, Vice President of Policy and Research at the Financial Health Network. “Given that we know from other research that Black and Latinx consumers are also less frequently holding traditional stock investments, this may mean that these communities are disproportionately impacted by the recent crypto failings.”
Rather than being an alternative to traditional investing, current owners appear to hold cryptocurrency as part of a larger investment strategy. Cryptocurrency owners are more frequently investing in the stock market than non-owners. Eighty-six percent of cryptocurrency owners have a retirement account, compared with only 63% of non-owners, and three times as many cryptocurrency owners have taxable investment accounts than non-owners. In general, cryptocurrency owners are more frequently Financially Healthy than non-owners; 43% of cryptocurrency owners fall into the Healthy category, compared with only 34% of non-owners.
One reason consumers may remain in the cryptocurrency market despite the recent volatility is to capitalize on the ease with which cryptocurrencies cross international borders.
“In the wake of the crypto crash, instead of being a substitute for traditional investment mechanisms, cryptocurrency, and digital assets appear to be part of a larger, diversified portfolio for most owners,” Fontes notes. “However, we do see some indication that for consumers who need to easily send or spend money across borders, cryptocurrency may be a desirable alternative to traditional products.”
First- and second-generation immigrants more frequently hold cryptocurrency assets (14%) compared with non-immigrant consumers (10%). In addition, consumers who indicated they send remittances internationally more frequently hold cryptocurrency (14% versus 10%) when compared with consumers who do not send money overseas.
Data for this release come from the FinHealth Spend Survey, which is made possible through the financial support of Prudential Financial. Data were collected between January 5-30, 2023, using the Understanding America Panel. Understanding America is a probability-based panel of consumers age 18+ designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The study included responses from 5,055 consumers (margin of error +/- 1.4 pp). A comprehensive listing of all study questions, tabulations of top-level results for each question, and detailed methodology is available here.
About the Financial Health Network
The Financial Health Network is the leading authority on financial health. We are a trusted resource for business leaders, policymakers and innovators united in a mission to improve the financial health of their customers, employees, and communities. Through research, advisory services, measurement tools, and opportunities for cross-sector collaboration, we advance awareness, understanding and proven best practices in support of improved financial health for all. For more on the Financial Health Network, go to www.finhealthnetwork.org and follow us on Twitter at @FinHealthNet.
¹ Charlotte Principato, Jesse Wheeler, and Sonnet Frisbie, “The Crypto Report: Our Analysts on the State of Crypto,” Morning Consult, June 2022.
² Charisse Jones and Jessica Menton, “Black, Latino, LGBTQ investors see crypto investments like bitcoin as ‘a new path’ to wealth and equity,” USA Today, August 2021.
- Percentage of Consumers Holding Cryptocurrency by Race/Ethnicity
- Percentage of Consumers Holding Cryptocurrency by Immigrant Status and Use of Remittances
CONTACT: Michael Salmassian Financial Health Network 3128815847 [email protected]
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