23% Of Consumers Have Held Crypto In The Past Year

With cryptocurrency values ​​highly volatile at present, its immediate future as a form of consumer payment is experiencing a moment of doubt. However, connected businesses and digital native consumers continue to trust crypto by buying it, holding it, and paying with it.

Consumer interest in crypto has blossomed during the pandemic, with PYMNTS finding that “the percentage of consumers who held crypto at any given time of year increased to 23% in 2021 from 16% in 2020.” After the crypto bloodbath of the past few weeks, confidence is wavering.

“Paying with Cryptocurrency: What Consumers and Merchants Want from Digital Currencies,” a collaboration between PYMNTS and BitPay, drew on over 2,330 consumers and investors, as well as over 200 merchants making annual online sales of at least $250 million, to understand crypto sentiment during a bearish cycle and how that might impact the near future.


Get the study: What consumers and merchants expect from digital currencies

PYMNTS found that consumers and merchants were still enthusiastic about holding and shopping with crypto despite the downturn, as seen in the following highlights from this in-depth study.

Measuring consumer usage of cryptocurrency

  • Twenty-three percent of consumers currently hold or have held cryptocurrency in the past 12 months.

The reasons why consumers buy and hold crypto differ, with PYMNTS research finding that more than half (55%) of consumers who have held crypto in the past year bought it as an investment. These are generally higher earners, as only 15% of consumers earning less than $50,000 have held crypto.

“The share of consumers holding cryptocurrency to use as payment has increased,” the study says. “Sixteen percent of consumers currently own cryptocurrency, up from 12% a year ago. Bitcoin remains the most popular digital currency and was held by 12% of consumers surveyed. Ether is the second most popular digital currency, and it was held by 6.8% of consumers surveyed.

Measuring businesses commitment to crypto

  • Forty-two percent of businesses that do not accept cryptocurrencies for purchases plan to accept them and start making payments with them within 12 months.

Eighty-five percent of businesses with over $1 billion in online revenue said they were innovating in point-of-sale (POS) systems to accept crypto payments, so the broader trend among online businesses are also adopting crypto acceptance as a method of payment.

Winning new customers is the driving factor for merchants adding crypto acceptance at the point of sale, and 32% of businesses surveyed “call it the most important factor in their decision to accept or start accepting crypto. crypto payments,” according to the study.

What Accepting Merchants Are Saying About Crypto Costs

  • Eighty-two percent of merchants said that crypto’s elimination of the middleman in processing their payments is an important reason for accepting it.

Given the current volatility and in consideration of profit margin, merchants are attracted to crypto payments to save on payment processing fees offered by this asset as a form of payment.

With eight in 10 merchants saying crypto can save on exchanges and fees associated with other payment methods – and 26% calling it the most important reason to switch to accepting crypto – the study stated that “[t]These attributes of crypto provide evidence of crypto’s appeal to many merchants,” adding the caveat that “most merchants recognize that adopting crypto as a payment method and expanding its use will require them to overcome some significant hurdles.

Get the study: What consumers and merchants expect from digital currencies

Bitpay Paying With Cryptocurrency June 2022

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23% Of Consumers Have Held Crypto In The Past Year

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