Today, crypto platform Gemini released its 2022 Global State of Crypto report, finding that 2021 was a transformative year for crypto, with nearly half of all current crypto owners in the United States (44%), Latin America (46%), and Asia Pacific (45%) first buying crypto in 2021. The report also surfaced that concerns around inflation were a primary driver of adoption, the crypto gender gap may be narrowing in the coming year, and that globally education remains the greatest barrier to investing in crypto.
Additionally, developing countries Brazil and Indonesia led the way in crypto adoption with more than two in five (41%) respondents in each country reporting owning crypto, compared to just 17% across developed countries and regions including the U.S. (20%), Europe (17%), and Australia (18%). Venture capital (VC) investment also appeared to drive adoption, with high rates of adoption in Singapore (30%) and Israel (28%), which also saw the highest per capita venture capital funding globally in 2021.
Other key findings include:
- 2021 Was Crypto’s Breakout Year: Forty-one percent of crypto owners surveyed globally purchased crypto for the first time in 2021. More than half of crypto owners in Brazil (51%), Hong Kong (51%), and India (54%) got started in 2021. Globally, 41% of respondents said they are crypto-curious. The crypto-curious are defined as consumers who do not currently own crypto, but are either interested in learning more or say they are likely to acquire cryptocurrency in the next year.
- The Crypto Gender Gap May Be Narrowing: Among the crypto curious who plan to purchase crypto for the first time in the next year, 47% were women globally. Among crypto owners, women in developing nations led the way with women representing at least half of crypto owners in Israel (51%), Indonesia (51%), and Nigeria (50%). Conversely, in developed countries and regions only a third (33%) of current crypto owners are women, including in the United States (32%), Europe (33%), and Australia (27%).
- Inflation a Primary Driver for Crypto Adoption: Respondents in countries that have experienced 50% or more devaluation of their currency against the USD over the last 10 years were more than 5 times as likely to say they plan to purchase crypto in the coming year**, including South Africa (32%), Mexico (32%), India (40%), and Brazil (45%). In Brazil, where the local currency has been devalued by more than 200% against the USD, 41% of respondents own crypto. In the U.S., two in five (40%) crypto owners see crypto as a hedge against inflation.
- Crypto Regulation A Top Concern Globally: Regulation is a concern globally. Among non-owners, 39% in Asia Pacific, 37% in Latin America, and 36% in Europe say there is legal uncertainty around cryptocurrency. In addition, for 30% of respondents in the Middle East, 24% in Asia Pacific, and 23% in Latin America, the tax complexities of owning cryptocurrency have kept them from investing in crypto.
- Education is the Greatest Barrier to Ownership: Globally, respondents were nearly twice as likely to say that more educational resources on cryptocurrency would help them get started with crypto (40%), compared to recommendations from friends (22%). More than half of respondents in Latin America (51%) and Africa (56%) said that educational resources would make them more comfortable purchasing cryptocurrency. Forty-four percent in Asia Pacific and 42% of those in the United States said the same.
“Crypto adoption reached a true tipping point last year, becoming an established economic driver and a valued investment across the globe,” said Noah Perlman, Chief Operating Officer at Gemini. “We expect to see the influx of crypto investors continue into this year with concerns about inflation in the U.S. and globally driving interest. Education also remains a global barrier to adoption, and providing investors additional resources is key to bringing new users into the crypto ecosystem, especially women who make up a majority of the crypto-curious audience.”
The survey was conducted online between November 23, 2021 and February 4, 2022 on behalf of Gemini by Data Driven Consulting Group. The total sample has been balanced and is generally representative of the adult population in each country ages 18 to 75 with household incomes of $14,000 USD or more.