Even though Bitcoin (BTC), the first digital currency in the world, exists only since 2009, its adoption rate exploded during the mid and late 2010s with millions of people worldwide using the cryptocurrency for various purposes. But BTC wasn’t so popular right from the start. The worth of Bitcoin wasn’t anywhere near its all-time high of over 60,000 USD during early 2021. In fact, the price of Bitcoin was only a few dollars during its early years, before it exploded first to several hundred and then several thousand USD per coin.
It also took quite a while before Bitcoin gained popularity among brokers, entrepreneurs, developer teams, fintech companies, startups, and investors. The main factor that contributed to the increasing interest in BTC was the underlying blockchain network. The Bitcoin blockchain is secure, reliable, and it allows people to transfer funds anywhere in the world in a matter of minutes. This is something that was never seen before, as bank transfers take hours or internationally, days to complete.
The Bitcoin blockchain quickly inspired numerous developer teams to create their own cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), and other altcoins. Bitcoin, however, remained the undisputed leader of the crypto market.
Let’s take a look at the available information that can show us how many people actually own and use Bitcoin.
How the Blockchain Makes Bitcoin Desirable
The main source of value for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin is the adoption rate and popularity of the currency. Basically, the more people trust BTC as a digital currency and use it, the higher the value of the coin. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile and their prices constantly fluctuate, influenced by various real world economic events, financial turmoil, and legal regulators. Still, the leading factor of value is the popularity of a certain cryptocurrency.
Popularity and a high adoption rate are exclusively achieved by the quality of the currency’s blockchain and services. Bitcoin excels in this field because the Bitcoin network provides top-of-the-line transaction services in a matter of minutes. Thanks to its safety and reliability, more and more companies such as PayPal or Venmo are adopting BTC as a currency that can be used to carry out financial transactions.
Anyone can freely monitor all transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain because it is a distributed, public ledger of transactions that can be accessed using a blockchain explorer website such as Blockchain.com, where you can see each and every transfer on the network, as well as the Bitcoin addresses that conduct the transfers. The frequency of transactions shows that the BTC network is constantly active.
What Does the Blockchain Reveal About BTC Owners?
You can also monitor transactions using Bitinfocharts, but you won’t find the exact number of people that actually own BTC.
It is common practice for people to own multiple Bitcoin wallets and use various wallet addresses when conducting transactions, so the total number of wallets that contain Bitcoin also isn’t a clear representation of the number of people who own coins. One million BTC addresses doesn’t simply equal the same number of users. Monitoring the biggest cryptocurrency exchange platforms such as Coinbase, Kraken, Gemini, and Binance also can’t really provide valid information about the exact number of BTC owners, but it can show the extent to which a cryptocurrency is popular. Still, don’t forget that people usually have multiple accounts on different exchanges.
Monitoring The BTC Market
Using data from the BTC blockchain can’t reveal an exact number of BTC users, so the next step in researching how many people actually own some of the coin is by monitoring the market. The basic metrics that show how popular Bitcoin is are located on market monitoring platforms such as CoinMarketCap. Here, you can monitor the market cap and trading volume of Bitcoin and thousands of other cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrency researchers usually use a variety of data sources in order to present a raw assessment of how popular a certain digital currency is. In the case of Bitcoin, they combine the data from the traffic intensity of the BTC blockchain along with market monitoring platforms and also pull information from the regular annual reports of the biggest cryptocurrency exchange platforms. These reports are a valuable source of information. They are published regularly by major exchange platforms and show how many accounts on these platforms are using a certain cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin Research Results
The Gemini cryptocurrency exchange platform published an in-depth analysis of the trends regarding cryptocurrency in the US in 2021. This analysis has revealed a lot of interesting data that can shed some light on the general trends and attitudes of users toward cryptos and especially towards Bitcoin since it is the number-one digital asset in the world. It is very rare that a crypto enthusiast avoids Bitcoin, which means it is fairly accurate to take the results of general crypto research as highly relevant for BTC-related habits.
More and More People Are Using Cryptos Such as Bitcoin
It is estimated that the number of people that use cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, has surpassed 100 million users worldwide, which is a really huge number given that unlike fiat money, which is regulated by governments and local financial institutions, BTC isn’t dependent on central banks. This shows a growing trend of trust by people all over the world when it comes to cryptocurrency.
Fiat money is still the dominant type of financial asset on a global scale, but this huge, decentralized cryptocurrency ecosystem, centered around digital assets that don’t exist beyond the blockchain, is a clear sign that digital currencies like BTC have joined mainstream daily finance. Buying products, services, or storing value in Bitcoin is becoming more popular and it is estimated that around 46 million Americans hold Bitcoin and other cryptos. This is 17% of the total adult population of the US, making it an issue that the financial industry simply can’t ignore.
It’s an interesting fact that one in six Australians own some cryptocurrency, which is also approximately 17% of the Australian population – so the numbers are similar to those in the USA.
People Are Interested in Learning About Crypto
More and more people are interested in learning about cryptocurrencies. The Gemini crypto report shows that the current average age of individuals that own cryptocurrency in the US is 38, while the average crypto-curious individual is 44 years old. This shows a clear trend that Bitcoin is no longer a futuristic asset belonging exclusively to young adults. In Australia, on the other hand, a third of all crypto holders (31%) are from Generation Z.
A survey conducted by the New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) shows that as much as 75% of respondents wanted to learn more about Bitcoin.
A vast majority of crypto-curious people say that they wish to achieve a deeper understanding of how cryptocurrencies work before deciding to invest money in digital assets and buying Bitcoin or other cryptos. More than one third (39%) of people that don’t yet own cryptos but are highly interested in cryptocurrency say that they have some knowledge about how cryptocurrencies work and they express the will to grow their knowledge in the near future, which indicates that they plan on becoming future crypto investors.
BTC Is the Most Popular Crypto
According to the Gemini research, the average US adult that has some knowledge about cryptocurrency literally treats Bitcoin as a synonym for crypto. As much as 95% of crypto owners and crypto-curious individuals have some basic knowledge about Bitcoin. Other popular altcoins such as Ethereum or Bitcoin Cash follow in popularity with a 38% basic knowledge of ETH and 24% for BCH.
In Australia, most crypto holders hold Bitcoin (9%), which is followed by Ethereum (8%), Dogecoin (5%), and Bitcoin Cash (4%).
What People Mostly Own BTC?
To conclude, it’s impossible to specify an exact number of Bitcoin owners that would be precise, but the general data is pretty much enough to get a good picture of the size of the crypto market.
The Gemini report shows that a majority of crypto owners are typically young, white, upper-middle class males with 111,000 USD yearly paychecks (on average). When broken down into the two main age categories that own cryptos, 39% of crypto owners are aged 25-34, while another 35% are 35-44 years old. This results in the average crypto investor being 38 years old.
A staggering 74% of crypto owners are male, while female investors make only 26%, but the situation with crypto-curious individuals is much different. About 53%, or more than half, of crypto-curious people in the US, are female.
In total, only 26% of crypto investors in the US are from rural areas, while 52% are from cities and suburbs.
A Few Ending Words…
As you can see, it’s quite difficult to exactly determine how many people own Bitcoin, but the statistics from research and analyses are a good pathway to understanding the increasing popularity of Bitcoin.
The global financial system is definitely moving towards decentralized services and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are a major player in decentralized finance. This means that the future of Bitcoin is looking pretty bright in terms of its adoption rate, which is constantly increasing. The fact that the number of people that are crypto-curious is rising and that these people are not only young adults but also professionals with careers in various industries means that we will surely see a jump in Bitcoin users across the globe.