About 55% of Gen Z and millennials believe that digital assets and blockchains are the future — and that includes those who don't even own cryptocurrencies right now.
Listen to the CoinMarketRecap podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts
Two-thirds of Americans believe that the global financial system needs an overhaul, amid fears that it is unfairly skewed toward the interests of the most powerful.
But despite optimism that digital assets could be the answer, the Coinbase poll revealed that this doesn't necessarily translate into the ownership of cryptocurrencies.
Just 20% of Americans — the equivalent of 50 million people if the results are extrapolated — own crypto right now. And while you could argue that this is healthy progress, this figure has been largely unchanged since the dizzying heights of the bull run in late 2021 and early 2022.
All of this would suggest that many consumers have been scared away by the dramatic decline in Bitcoin's value since it hit an all-time high of $68,700 — with the high-profile collapses of many crypto lenders, as well as FTX, leaving many of them out of pocket.
With inflation running at elevated levels and home ownership out of reach for many consumers, it's perhaps unsurprising that younger Americans and people of color are most likely to be crypto investors.
Elsewhere in the Coinbase poll of 2,000 people, which was performed by Morning Consult, it was revealed that cryptocurrency tends to be a bipartisan issue. Some 18% of Republicans are investors, rising slightly to 22% of Democrats and Independents. This could be of interest to politicians over in Washington, D.C., who are still wrangling with how best to regulate it.
And 76% of those who own cryptocurrencies believe that digital assets and blockchain technology are the future. While this figure is pretty unsurprising, it is interesting that about 55% of Gen Z and millennials agree with this statement — and that figure includes those who haven't dabbled in crypto. Chewing over the findings, Coinbase said:
"We get it. The majority of financial systems were built over 100 years ago when computers and the internet did not exist. The technology is inefficient and all over the world people are paying the price with their time, money, and opportunities. While we know that many in the existing financial system are working on updating the system, significant challenges remain and we believe crypto will be an important part of the solution."
Coinbase went on to set out some of the tangible benefits that crypto has already delivered — unlocking faster cross-border payments at a lower cost, and delivering financial inclusion to those who may be unbanked or underbanked. This chimes with what crypto executives have said to U.S. politicians in past hearings: we're not trying to replace the dollar, we're trying to broaden access to it through assets like stablecoins.
All of this comes as the exchange prepares to launch a public education campaign that aims to reach Americans "from all walks of life, and all around the country, about the role that crypto can play in supporting a broader effort to make the financial system more open, fairer, and faster for everyone."
The company says this will be accompanied by a national advertising campaign — building on the momentum it gained at last year's Super Bowl, when a 60-second QR code bouncing around the screen brought millions of Americans to its site.