November 10, 2023

Coinbase Study: Young Americans Embrace Crypto as a Financial Opportunity

By Matias Hernandez

Cryptocurrencies are generally perceived as risky and unstable relative to other investment opportunities in the United States. Pew Research Center finds a majority of Americans aren’t confident in the safety and reliability of cryptocurrency. According to a new Coinbase study, a remarkable 38% of younger Americans now believe crypto and blockchain technology can provide significant economic opportunities not commonly found in the traditional finance sector. In a period of unprecedented inflation, high interest rates, and a challenging housing market, younger generations’ distrust of traditional financial institutions might be fueling their increased interest in blockchain technology. 

According to the Coinbase report, only 7% of Gen Z (18-25) and Millennials (26-40) believe the current financial system serves their needs well. About 31% of these individuals own cryptocurrency, triple that of their older counterparts. Further, one-in-four see Crypto as “the future of finance.” Coinbase found that this demographic largely perceived financial institutions as exclusionary, expensive, outdated, and not innovative or speedy–stressing the group’s desire for digital and technological adaptability. 

These changing attitudes might have a future electoral impact. The study finds that 51% of Gen Z and Millenials are considering supporting crypto-friendly candidates in the upcoming 2024 elections. As younger generations’ electoral share only increases with time, candidates and elected officials might benefit from taking these changing attitudes into account. 

Matias Hernandez is a Research Intern at the Data Catalyst Institute.

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