UK cryptocurrency statistics 2022

How many Brits own crypto?

Ever since Bitcoin was first invented in 2008, cryptocurrency has quickly grown in popularity – and notoriety.

Find out how many Brits currently own cryptocurrency, how many intend to buy some in the future and the reasons why people are getting involved in the latest trends, such as Ethereum, Dogecoin and Binance Coin, or staying away from crypto altogether.

Quick overview

  • 6.1% of Brits say they currently own cryptocurrency (as of March 2022)
  • However, this rate is lower than the global average of 15.5%.
  • A fifth (19%) of Brits have bought cryptocurrency before.
  • This means the number of people who have bought cryptocurrency before has increased by 103% since 2018 when just 3% of the population owned cryptocurrency.
  • The most common reasons why Brits are buying cryptocurrency is that they think it will be very influential in the future (23% of crypto owners)
  • 71% of Brits still say they have no intention of ever buying cryptocurrency.
  • The most common reason these people are avoiding crypto is that they have no interest in it (41%) and they believe it’s too risky (31%).
  • There’s a new post every three seconds on social media about Bitcoin alone.

How many people in the UK own cryptocurrency?

The crypto ownership rate in the United Kingdom is 6.1%, according to our survey from February 2022.This means that the number of cryptocurrency users in the UK has surged by 103% since the beginning of 2018 when just 3% of the population – 1.5 million people – owned some.
Globally, 15.5%. say they own cryptocurrency, putting the UK significantly behind when it comes to cryptocurrency adoption. Almost a fifth (19%) of Brits say they have bought cryptocurrency at some point before, which is the equivalent of 9.8 million people.
2022 2018
Percentage of Brits 6.10% 3.00%

Crypto ownership in the UK and age

As with those who have already bought cryptocurrency, the younger generations have a greater interest in buying cryptocurrency for the first time in the future.

In the 18-24-year-old age group, a fifth (21%) intend to buy cryptocurrency for the first time in the future. 25-34-year-olds are right behind, with 16% intending to invest. This drops to 1 in 10 (12%) for people aged between 35 and 44. This interest in investment continues to drop for the older generations: 9% of 45-54-year-olds and 6% of those aged 55+ intend to invest in cryptocurrencies.
Age group Percentage who intend to buy crypto for the first time in the future
18-24 20.60%
25-34 15.50%
35-44 11.60%
45-54 9.10%
55+ 5.90%

Crypto ownership in the UK and gender

Roughly 8.3% of men in the United Kingdom say they hold crypto compared to 3.9% of women. Of those in the United Kingdom who own crypto, 68% are men and 32% are women.
Male Female
Total ethical investments 34.88% 21.14%

We also asked the people who have invested in cryptocurrency when they first bought it, and it’s clear that interest is growing. A quarter (25%) of all British crypto owners first invested in 2020 and a fifth (19%) of crypto holders first got involved in 2021. This means that 45% of all British crypto holders got involved from 2020 onwards.

In fact, interest has grown fairly steadily year on year. 11% of crypto investors first bought some in 2016 or before, 11% did so in 2017, 15% in 2018 and 18% in 2019.

Age group Percentage who intend to buy crypto for the first time in the future
18-24 20.60%
25-34 15.50%
35-44 11.60%
45-54 9.10%
55+ 5.90%

Why are people buying cryptocurrency in the UK?

The most popular reason why people have already bought, or intend to buy, cryptocurrency is that they believe it is going to be very influential in the future (23%).

A potentially worrying statistic is that 19% of potential and existing crypto investors think that it seems like an easy way to make money. Additionally, around 1 in 6 (16%) said that influential people, such as Elon Musk, talking about cryptocurrency had convinced them to invest.

Reason to buy cryptocurrency Main reason for wanting to buy cryptocurrency
I want to get involved 19.60%
I am comfortable with the risk considering the reward 19.60%
Investing platforms make investing more accessible 21.10%
Interest rates are low and I want to make high returns 21.30%
Cryptocurrency will be influential in the future 22.80%

Why are people avoiding cryptocurrency in the UK?

Despite the undoubted increase in interest that cryptocurrency has received, the majority of the population are not planning to invest in it anytime soon. 7 in 10 (71%) said they haven’t invested in cryptocurrency and have no plans to do so.

The main reason given by these people is that they simply have no interest in cryptocurrency (41%), while the second most common reason is that they feel it’s too risky an investment (31%).The fifth most common reason that people are steering clear of cryptocurrency is that they actually believe it’s a scam (17%).

Reason people avoid crypto Percentage who agree
There are too many fees 4.30%
It is too difficult to buy and sell 6.00%
Prices are currently a 'bubble' 7.90%
Don't believe it will last 8.10%
I prefer other types of investments 9.90%
I think it is a scam 17.10%
It is too complicated to understand 20.40%
I have no money available to invest 21.30%
I think it is too risky 31.10%
I am not interested in cryptocurrency 41.10%

Which cryptocurrencies are Brits most familiar with?

Recognition of Bitcoin stands at 82% in 2021, and it is interestingly the only coin that’s recognition has increased since 2020. Other notable coins saw a drop in recognition. For example, Ethereum dropped to 14%, Ripple dropped to 5% and Litecoin dropped to 9%. Diem (previously called Libra in 2020) is the least recognised coin among those listed, dropping from 22% to 4%. This decrease in recognition is most likely due to the rebrand.

Category 2020 2021
Bitcoin 78% 82%
XRP (Ripple) 7% 5%
Ethereum 17% 14%
Bitcoin Cash 20% 21%
Litecoin 12% 9%
Bitcoin SV 12% 11%
Libra/Diem 22% 4%
None 15% 8%

Sources

  • Forbes
  • CoinMarketCap
  • Coinopsy

Methodology

  • Finder commissioned Censuswide on 12-15 February 2021 to carry out a nationally representative survey of adults aged 18+. A total of 2,000 people were questioned throughout Great Britain, with representative quotas for gender, age and region.

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

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