In brief

  • Bitcoin has grown in popularity among US investors since 2018.
  • Young male investors are driving the surge.

A poll by American analytics company Gallup has found that since 2018, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have gained momentum with US investors, particularly young men. 

Gallup’s Investor Optimism poll defines US investors as “adults with $10,000 or more invested in stocks, bonds or mutual funds”. This year’s poll, conducted between June 22 and June 29, has found that 6% of 1,037 respondents own Bitcoin​​—a 4% increase from 2018. 

Of all the survey’s respondents, 13% of investors under the age of fifty hold Bitcoin. Among the senior investors that number is just 3%. A similar disparity exists across genders, with 11% of male respondents holding Bitcoin compared to just 3% female. 

Since the last poll in 2018, the number of respondents over fifty years old who said they had no interest in buying Bitcoin was 80%. Small inroads have been made, but at 70% in 2021, nocoiners still hold the dominant position among the over fifties. 

Similarly, Bitcoin still hasn’t gained enough ground to shake the skepticism of the majority of respondents. Out of everybody surveyed, 55% of male investors have no interest in ever buying Bitcoin, compared with 61% of women. 

On the other hand, Bitcoin skeptics are now the minority among young US investors. In 2018, 56% of investors aged eighteen to forty-nine had no interest in Bitcoin. That figure dropped off sharply to 38% this year.

Perceptions of Bitcoin

There’s been a general growth in awareness about cryptocurrencies in the last three years. In 2018’s survey, investors that were familiar with crypto were a minority. Back then, 48% of young investors and 38% of male investors knew about crypto. This year, 62% of young investors and 55% of male investors have some knowledge of crypto.

Little has changed regarding crypto awareness among senior and female investors though. Bitcoin familiarity in both groups has barely budged since 2018 and is currently at 24% for both. 

The survey also found that investors’ fears about Bitcoin’s risk have dropped off 15%, from 75% in 2018 to 60% this year. 

The majority of respondents in most subsets consider Bitcoin to be very risky. The only subgroup that bucks this trend is the young, where only 47% of investors aged 18-49 consider it very risky.