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Why haven’t we all bought cryptocurrency yet?

Our survey finds that 92.05% of us haven't invested in cryptocurrency yet — but why not?

If cryptocurrency — or, at the very least, bitcoin — hasn’t appeared in your web searches or newsfeed recently, you may very well be living under a rock. Bitcoin’s price exploded in the last quarter of 2017. Starting that year off at a (now) modest $953.56, bitcoin reached an all-time high of $20,089.00 on December 17th, according to CoinMarketCap.

Finder recently commissioned a survey of 2,001 American adults to gain insight into what the nation thinks of cryptocurrency. Surprisingly, only 7.95% of American adults report actually purchasing a cryptocurrency.

How is it that something directly affecting not even 1 in 10 of us has made its way into everyday conversation?

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

If so many people are talking about crypto, why hasn’t everyone bought it yet?

Of those who haven’t purchased crypto, 7.76% say they have plans to purchase crypto in the future. The reason from 40.01% of those who haven’t yet purchased crypto, representing more than 90 million Americans, is because they are disinterested or they think there’s no need. This reason is followed by 35.02% who say that the risk is too high, 27.04% who find it too difficult to understand and 17.97% who say it’s a scam.

While plenty of crypto proponents might disagree, 16.12% are waiting for what they think is a bubble to burst. A further 11.40% find it too difficult to use, and 5.75% think that there are too many fees involved.

Which cryptocurrencies have people purchased?

It comes as no surprise that the most popular cryptocurrency by far is bitcoin, with an estimated 5.15% of Americans we surveyed owning an average of $3,453.89 in the coin. Runner-up is Ethereum, with an estimated 1.80% of people owning an average of $1,243.42.

CryptocurrencyProportion of people who own this currencyAverage amount people have purchased in USD
Bitcoin Cash0.90%$636.22
Stellar Lumens0.40%$151.38


Why have people selected their chosen cryptocurrency?

Of those who own cryptocurrency, more than one in two (54.09%) chose their particular coin or token because they did their own research and it came out on top. These same crypto owners are twice as likely to have completed their own research than rely on the coin’s social media sentiment or presence (27.04%). Two in five (40.25%) cryptocurrency holders appear to have factored in their coin’s presence among news reports when making their decision, and 41.51% simply followed the crowd and selected their coin because a peer made money off of it.


Men are more than twice as likely than women to hold cryptocurrency. Of those surveyed, 4.27% of women said they own cryptocurrency. Compare that with 11.86% of men who said they had holdings in crypto. The average estimated amount of bitcoin purchased by women is also considerably lower at $1,821.65, compared with men at $3,923.16.

Of those who don’t own crypto, 6.28% of women and 9.47% of men have plans to purchase it in the future. Even though men are more likely to hold crypto, they are also more cautious, with 23.98% claiming it’s a scam and 23.27% saying it’s a bubble, compared with 12.77% and 9.93% of women, respectively, who say the same. Women appear to be less interested in cryptocurrency than men are: 44.07% of women say there’s no need for crypto or they’re disinterested, compared with 35.32% of men reporting the same.

Reasons why people aren’t buying cryptocurrencyWomenMen
It’s too complicated to understand29.99%23.63%
It’s too difficult to use11.75%10.99%
It’s a scam12.77%23.98%
There are too many fees5.37%6.20%
There is no need or they are disinterested44.07%35.32%
It’s a bubble9.93%23.27%
It’s too high risk30.90%39.77%



It appears that crypto is very much a millennial’s game, with 17.21% of millennials claiming to own crypto, while only 8.75% of Gen X and 2.24% of baby boomers say the same.

Of those who haven’t purchased crypto, 11.52% of millennials, 10.30% of Gen X and 3.81% of baby boomers plan to purchase in the future.

Millennials who haven’t purchased crypto are more likely to find it too complicated to understand or too difficult to use when compared with the other two generations. The proportion of millennials who find it too complicated to understand comes in at 31.18%, compared with 26.43% of baby boomers and 25.61% of Gen X.

Meanwhile, 14.89% of millennials, 11.94% of baby boomers and 9.01% of Gen Xers say it’s too difficult to use. Our survey also finds that 45.62% of baby boomers, 35.05% of Gen X and 37.36% of millennials who have no holdings are disinterested in purchasing crypto.

Reasons why people aren’t buying cryptocurrencyMillennialGen XBaby boomer
It’s too complicated to understand31.18%25.61%26.43%
It’s too difficult to use14.89%9.01%11.94%
It’s a scam17.70%16.17%19.70%
There are too many fees7.58%5.58%5.08%
There is no need or they are disinterested37.36%35.05%45.62%
It’s a bubble16.29%17.74%14.61%
It’s too high risk33.71%32.47%37.87%


If it feels like everyone is talking crypto these days and you’re not yet on board, you’re not alone! Most of us — 92.05% in fact — haven’t yet jumped on the cryptocurrency bandwagon.

If you’re interested in cryptocurrency but find that it’s too complicated to understand, read our guide to cryptocurrency containing key terms, providers and players in the crypto world.

Richard Laycock headshot

For all media inquiries, please contact:

Richard Laycock, Insights editor and senior content marketing manager


/in/richardlaycock/ /aleksvee/

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    SamuelMarch 22, 2018

    What is the median USD value of Bitcoin purchased? Thanks

      Default Gravatar
      joelmarceloMarch 28, 2018

      Hi Samuel,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      The median is 140. Hope it helps! :)


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