Cryptocurrency statistics: Who’s buying it in the UK?

We look at the volatile growth of cryptocurrency and the stats surrounding it.

Updated . What changed?

Fact checked
Picture not described

Back in December 2017 Bitcoin fever was at its peak. Do you remember? Every man and his dog was talking about cryptocurrencies, telling you to buy, sell or hold. New cryptos with weird and wonderful names were coming out every week.

While things have calmed down since then, there’s still a lot of buzz around cryptocurrencies. What do we really know about them and which is the best trading app in the UK? We explored the latest statistics to see who is jumping on the cryptocurrency bandwagon.

Quick overview

  • 97% of Brits haven’t bought cryptocurrency
  • 31% of Brits aren’t buying crypto because they believe it’s too high of a risk
  • Of the 3% of Brits who have bought cryptocurrency, 79% have bought Bitcoin
  • There’s a post every three seconds on social media about Bitcoin alone
  • Bitcoin has the biggest market cap in 2020 at £165 billion and is the priciest currency (£8,940.16)
  • From the top 10 cryptocurrencies, Chainlink has seen the biggest rise in price, from £1.86 to £13.14 and overall market cap (+605%)
  • Contrastingly, Litecoin saw the biggest fall in price and overall market cap (-30%)

Who is buying cryptocurrency?

Finder conducted a survey of 2,000 Brits to find out who is buying cryptocurrency. Just 2.85% of Brits are buying cryptocurrencies in the UK, which amounts to over 1.1 million people who have invested. Who are they and what are they buying?

  • Of those who have holdings in cryptocurrency, 79% have bought Bitcoin
  • 5% of millennials have invested
  • 3% of gen X have bought into crypto
  • Just 2% of baby boomers have jumped onto the crypto bandwagon
  • Men are more likely to have bought crypto than women, sitting at 4% compared to 2% for women

For more insights see the full results of the survey.

Market capitalisation (market cap)

Market capitalisation is effectively a way of measuring the relative size of a cryptocurrency, it is calculated by multiplying the price of a coin and its circulating supply. So what are the top 10 cryptocurrencies?

Bitcoin is unsurprisingly still the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, but there are some relative newcomers to the top 10 in 2020 such as Chainlink (fifth) and Cardano (ninth). As a result, since August 2019 both EOS and Stellar dropped out of the top 10.

Rank Name Market cap ($) Market cap (£) % change from 2019
1 Bitcoin $ 216,335,308,454 £165,038,961,790 14.53%
2 Ethereum $ 47,803,310,510 £36,468,428,538 115.56%
3 XRP $ 13,241,106,708 £10,101,441,691 5.37%
4 Tether $ 10,094,047,572 £7,700,597,482 151.00%
5 Chainlink $ 6,027,736,111 £4,598,469,463 605.05%
6 Bitcoin Cash $ 5,428,401,693 £4,141,246,226 -10.53%
7 Bitcoin SV $ 3,925,924,895 £2,995,029,214 52.13%
8 Litecoin $ 3,687,342,324 £2,813,018,149 -29.65%
9 Cardano $ 3,628,191,483 £2,767,892,860 170.75%
10 Binance Coin $ 3,256,270,962 £2,484,160,273 -27.14%

Market capitalisation data accurate as of 14/08/20 from coinmarketcap.com

Did you know you can buy cryptocurrency on your credit card? Though it’s not quite as easy as buying something on the high street, you’ll need to use a verified platform in order to buy the currency of your choice. If you’re considering this option, we’ve compiled our selection of the best credit cards available in the UK.

For more stats on Bitcoin see our guide to Bitcoin statistics.

Price of the top 10 cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrency boomed in 2017, where seemingly every currency experienced a meteoric rise with currencies such as Ripple increasing in value by 36,000%. However, 2018 brought cryptocurrencies back down to earth. If there is one thing cryptocurrencies are notorious for, it’s unpredictable price fluctuations. What have been the biggest rises and falls in the crypto world?

We recently analysed the prices of the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalisation from August 2019 to August 2020. Bitcoin is the most expensive cryptocurrency out of the top 10 in 2020, at £8,061 ($10,567), which is almost an 11% increase from 2019. The cheapest top 10 cryptocurrency is Cardano at £0.11 ($0.14), followed by XRP (£0.22/$0.29) and Tether (£0.77/$1.01).

In terms of the biggest rise in price, Chainlink was the highest, with a 606% rise since this time last year. The next cryptocurrencies seeing the biggest rises were Cardano (171%) and Etheruem (106%). However, not all of the top 10 cryptocurrencies prices went up. Litecoin (-32%), Binance Coin (-22%) and Bitcoin Cash (-13%) all saw falls from 2019 to 2020 (August).

Cryptocurrency $ Price (2019) £ Price (2019) $ Price (2020) £ Price (2020) % change
Bitcoin $10,566.62 £8,061.12 $11,718.88 £8,940.16 10.90%
Ethereum $206.64 £157.64 $426.15 £325.10 106.23%
XRP $0.29 £0.22 $0.29 £0.22 0.61%
Tether $0.99 £0.76 $1.01 £0.77 1.53%
Chainlink $2.44 £1.86 $17.22 £13.14 605.74%
Bitcoin Cash $338.08 £257.92 $293.60 £223.98 -13.16%
Bitcoin SV $144.54 £110.27 $212.35 £162.00 46.91%
Litecoin $83.15 £63.43 $56.52 £43.12 -32.03%
Cardano $0.05 £0.04 $0.14 £0.11 170.75%
Binance Coin $28.73 £21.92 $22.55 £17.20 -21.51%

Data accurate as of 14/08/20 from coinmarketcap.com.

Circulation of the top 10 cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrency circulation refers to the amount of a cryptocurrency that is publicly available and circulating in the market. Regarding the top 10 cryptocurrencies, XRP has by far the highest circulation (45 billion), followed by Cardano (26 billion) and Tether (10 billion). Contrastingly, Bitcoin has a circulation of just below 18.5 million, making it the cryptocurrency with the lowest circulation out of the top 10.

Cryptocurrency circulation can change over time. Tether saw the biggest change in circulation from 2019 to 2020, with a huge 147% increase (+6 billion in circulation). The rest of the cryptocurrencies stayed fairly stable with the majority anywhere from 0–5%. Only Binance Coin saw a reduction in circulation (-7%)

Name Currency code 2019 circulating supply 2020 circulating supply % change
Bitcoin BTC 17,875,825 18,460,406 3.27%
Ethereum ETH 107,316,637 112,174,784 4.53%
XRP XRP 42,890,708,341 44,918,719,274 4.73%
Tether USDT 4,042,756,265 9,998,221,723 147.31%
Chainlink LINK 350,000,000 350,000,000 0.00%
Bitcoin Cash BCH 17,946,775 18,489,369 3.02%
Bitcoin SV BSV 17,854,986 18,487,965 3.55%
Litecoin LTC 63,034,706 65,237,848 3.50%
Cardano ADA 25,927,070,538 25,927,070,538 0.00%
Binance Coin BNB 155,536,713 144,406,560 -7.16%

Data accurate as of 14/08/20 from coinmarketcap.com.

Who is winning from the rise of cryptocurrency?

It is no secret that there is money to be made from cryptocurrency, but with such unpredictable price fluctuations, it’s a risky game. We explored Forbes’ latest rich list to find out who the biggest players in the game are.

  • To make the list, you need to have made $350 million from cyptocurrency
  • Chris Larsen, the cofounder of ripple, tops the list with an estimated crypto net worth of $7.5–$8 billion
  • The average age on the crypto rich list is 42, compared to 67 on the traditional Forbes’ rich list

The richest people in cryptocurrency

Mainly populated by cofounders and CEOs, the Forbes cryptocurrency rich list details those who have made their millions from crypto. Explore the table below to see who made the list.

Name Age Estimated crypto net worth How they made their money
Chris Larsen 57 $7.5 billion – $8 billion Cofounder, Ripple
Joseph Lubin 53 $1 billion – $5 billion Cofounder, Ethereum. Founder, Consensys
Changpeng Zhao 41 $1.1 billion – $2 billion CEO, Binance
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss 36 $900 million – $1.1 billion Cofoudners, Winklevoss Capital
Matthew Mellon 54 $900 million – $1 billion Individual investor
Brian Armstrong 35 $900 million – $1 billion CEO, Coinbase
Matthew Roszak 45 $900 million – $1 billion Cofounder, Bloq. Founder, Tally Capital
Anthony Di Iorio 43 $750 million – $1 billion Cofounder, Ethereum. Founder, Jaxx and Decentral
Brock Pierce 37 $700 million – $1 billion Chairman, Bitcoin Foundation. Adviser, Block.one
Michael Novogratz 53 $700 million – $1 billion CEO, Galaxy Digital
Brendan Blumer 31 $600 million – $700 million CEO, Block.one
Dan Larimer 35 $600 million – $700 million Chief technology officer, Block.one
Valery Vavilov 38 $500 million – $700 million CEO, Bitfury
Charles Hoskinson 30 $500 million – $600 million Cofounder, Ethereum, IOHK
Brad Garlinghouse 47 $400 million – $500 million CEO, Ripple
Barry Silbert 41 $400 million – $500 million CEO, Digital Currency Group
Vitalik Buterin 24 $400 million – $500 million Creator of Ethereum
Tim Draper 59 $350 million – $500 million Founder, Draper Associates
Song Chi-Hyung 38 $350 million – $500 million CEO, Dunamu. Founder, Upbit

Who are the biggest losers from cryptocurrency?

The value of cryptocurrency, much like any investment, can go up as well as down. We explored who the biggest losers from cryptocurrency are to find out who has lost the most.

  • Rapper 50 Cent (Curtis Jackson) accepted Bitcoin payments for his album back in 2014, recently claiming that he has forgotten about them and they were now worth millions. However, his record label had actually converted the currency into US dollars immediately, meaning the rapper missed out on the potential meteoric rise of Bitcoin in late 2017.
  • A British IT worker accidentally tossed out his hard drive containing 7,500 Bitcoin, which at its peak would have been worth $146 million.
  • Apple cofounder, Steve Wozniak recently announced he had been scammed out of 7 Bitcoin, worth almost $140,000 at its peak.
  • Lily Allen turned down an online concert for “several hundred thousand Bitcoin” back in 2009. If the offer was just for 100,000 Bitcoin, that would be worth an astounding $1.28 billion (July 2019).

Sources used

  • Forbes
  • CoinMarketCap
  • Cryptovest
  • PlayCryptoCards
  • Inc
  • NME
  • Investopedia

Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact:

Matt Mckenna
UK communications manager
T: +44 20 8191 8806
matt.mckenna@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/matthewmckenna2

Latest cryptocurrency headlines

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site