How Many People Own Cryptocurrency?

Have you ever wondered how many people own cryptocurrency today?

The cryptocurrency industry exploded in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic as more people were flush with cash and had time to study this corner of the financial market. Since then, users have rushed into a broad array of cryptocurrencies, be it Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Dogecoin.

After a few years of people signing up for exchanges, opening wallets, and buying and selling cryptos, how many people own cryptocurrency?

Let’s dive into some of the numbers to determine what the current crypto sector looks like today.

How Many People Own Cryptocurrency?

As of November 2022, approximately 85 million people have created Bitcoin wallets. However, since people can have more than one wallet address, it is difficult to calculate the actual number. Nearly 250,000 transactions of Bitcoin are conducted daily, and there are approximately one million daily active addresses. In 2022 alone, close to one billion people across the globe have used cryptocurrencies, with an estimated 22 percent of the adult population in America owning a slice of bitcoin.

Indeed, the global crypto exchange Coinbase has more than 100 million verified users in the U.S., Canada, and many places worldwide. Again, it should be noted that most of these users hold bitcoin.

Now, what about the demographics of crypto users?

A large majority of crypto users and owners are millennials. Nearly 57 percent of all cryptocurrency owners in the U.S. are millennials, and more than one-quarter (29 percent) of millennial American parents also own cryptocurrency. Gen Z represents less than a fifth (13 percent) of all cryptocurrency owners, while Generation X holds 20 percent.

In addition, high-income earners represent most of the ownership demographic, with those making $100,000 or more comprising roughly 25 percent of cryptocurrency ownership. Approximately 15 percent of the general public owns cryptocurrencies. Nearly 70 percent of cryptocurrency owners are men.

Canada’s Role in the Global Crypto Market

According to figures released by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) in October 2022, 13 percent of Canadians own crypto assets or crypto funds. This is a significant increase from just five percent in 2018. The median holding of Bitcoin among Canadians is around $500. The usage of cryptocurrencies is expected to increase even more by 2024.

Moreover, here is a look at the typical Canadian crypto holder: 67 percent are male, 59 per cent are between the ages of 24 and 44, and 67 per cent of the crypto owners are employed full-time with a higher income range of $100,000 or more. 

In Canada, 31.68 percent of these owners are millennials, with nearly a fifth being men. Since 2019, ownership has grown among people ages 35 and up. Twenty-five of the most actively traded exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on the Toronto Stock Exchange are cryptocurrency funds. Among the top 50 Canadian cities, there are more than 1,000 crypto ATMs. While this may be much less than the U.S., which has ten times this number but keeping in mind the population of Canada, this figure is not bad. Toronto remains one of the largest crypto centres in the world, with 370 Bitcoin ATMs.

Four percent of the population that owns cryptocurrency in Canada uses Bitcoin, while fewer than one percent own Ethereum. More than 100 businesses in Vancouver now accept crypto as a payment method, making it the most crypto-friendly city in Canada, followed by Toronto with 72 businesses, Ottawa with 32 crypto-friendly companies, and Edmonton with 23.

It is important to note that crypto is still not a legal currency in Canada. The Canadian income tax law recognizes cryptocurrencies as commodities. Therefore, people who use cryptos to buy goods and services are performing barter. At the same time, business income from cryptocurrencies is taxable. So, someone who invests $10,000 in crypto and earns $15,000 must pay tax on the additional $5000.

In Canada, the leading cryptocurrency is Bitcoin, followed by Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin. Approximately half of the cryptocurrency owners use cryptocurrency exchanges to buy crypto, while four percent use a website, and nine percent depend on a mobile app. Nineteen percent mined their own bitcoins, and nine percent obtained bitcoins through ATMs. Fourteen percent got them from friends, and nine percent used other channels. 

Ultimately, Canadians have access to a variety of options to obtain cryptocurrencies.

Looking Ahead

The first cryptocurrency was launched in 2009, and today, there are over 19,000 different cryptocurrencies, with Bitcoin, Ethereum and Tether in the top three. The total value of all existing cryptocurrencies is approximately $919 billion, out of which $389 billion is allocated to Bitcoin.

It is projected that by 2025, the global blockchain market will grow by USD 39 billion. While 59 million Americans own some form of cryptocurrency, Vietnam is ranked at the top of the crypto adoption index, followed by India and Pakistan. According to data from the United Nations on the top 20 economies that owned digital currencies in 2021, Ukraine was at the top of the list, with 12.7 percent of its population owning cryptocurrencies. India ranked seventh, with over 7 percent of Indians owning cryptocurrency. Other high-adopter markets included Kenya and Nigeria; the report found.

Overall, crypto markets remain small compared to other financial markets on a global scale, but they are proliferating rapidly and will continue to grow. However, the market would be perceived as less risky if international efforts to regulate cryptocurrencies also improved. Cryptocurrency is becoming more integrated into the traditional financial system, but risks and shocks in crypto markets can impact its broader adoption.