Why aren’t we all buying cryptocurrency?

Charlie Barton
by , Banking and Investments Publisher

While there are lots of people talking about cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, many are yet to take the plunge and own any.

Bitcoin’s social media success is phenomenal. It pulled in 28,866 social media posts on February 15 – its peak of the last three months – according to data from Solume.io. This equates to approximately 1,203 posts in an hour, 20 posts per minute, or one post every three seconds. This figure doesn’t even include the social media posts of other coins in the world of cryptocurrency, such as Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Ripple – just to name a few.

But how many Brits have actually bought cryptocurrency? Despite the online popularity, it turns out that not many have, according to our recent survey of 2,000 Brits. In fact, the study found that 97.15% have never purchased any cryptocurrency. That means over 1.1 million Brits are estimated to have put their money into cryptocurrency. Of those who have, the vast majority, 78.95%, said the coin they’ve chosen to buy was bitcoin.


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.
Sources: finder.com, Solume

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

Bitcoin, the major player in cryptocurrency, started 2017 off at US$953.56. It reached a high of US$20,089.00 on December 17, 2017 (+2,007%) and then dropped back to US$9,167.97 (-54%) on March 13, 2018, according to CoinMarketCap.

This volatility could show why the most common reason Brits have not bought cryptocurrency yet is because they think the risk is too high (31.09%). Considering bitcoin’s recent fluctuations, who can blame them?

The second most common reason why Brits haven’t yet bought cryptocurrency is that it’s too complicated to understand (30.31%). This is followed closely by the 30.11% who say they aren’t interested in crypto.

Transaction fees on cryptocurrency exchanges can fluctuate dramatically, depending on demand. For instance, the average transaction fee peaked at US$54.90 in December 2017, according to BitInfoCharts and is now averaging just US$1.19 as of March 18, 2018. So it’s no surprise that we found 4.63% of Brits haven’t bought crypto there are too many fees.

Reasons why people aren’t buying cryptocurrency Proportion
Too complicated to understand 30.31%
Too difficult to use 9.68%
It’s a scam 16.42%
There are too many fees 4.63%
There’s no need/I’m disinterested 30.11%
It’s a bubble 19.04%
It’s too high-risk 31.09%
I have no money to buy 29.44%
Other reasons 8.80%
Source: finder.com

Men are more likely to have bought crypto than women, sitting at 3.66% compared to 2.06% for women.

The main reason men chose to not yet invest was that the risk was too high (35.69%). A further 28.83% claim it’s too complicated to understand, while 26.61% admit a lack of interest or need for crypto.

For women who haven’t bought crypto, 33.43% say that there’s no need or they’re disinterested in cryptocurrency. This was closely followed by about one in three (32.33%) who said they have no money to buy, and 31.73% saying it’s simply too complicated to understand.

Reasons why people aren’t buying cryptocurrency Female Male
Too complicated to understand 31.73% 28.83%
Too difficult to use 7.23% 12.25%
It’s a scam 12.55% 20.49%
There are too many fees 3.21% 6.12%
There’s no need/I’m disinterested 33.43% 26.61%
It’s a bubble 12.75% 25.66%
It’s too high-risk 26.71% 35.69%
I have no money to buy 32.33% 26.40%
Other reasons 10.14% 7.39%
Source: finder.com


Of the three generations, baby boomers are the least likely to have purchased any cryptocurrency, while millennials are the most likely. Of those surveyed, 4.68% of millennials, 2.77% of Gen X and 1.58% of baby boomers say they’ve jumped on the crypto bandwagon.

One in three millennials (33.84%) haven’t invested because they thought it was too complicated to understand. A further 29.68% have no money to invest, while 24.95% claim the risk is too high.

When it comes to Gen X, the most common reason they haven’t purchased was due to not having the money to buy (31.38%). 29.43% think that it’s too complicated to understand and 27.18% say there’s no need or they’re disinterested.

Almost two in five baby boomers (39.04%) who haven’t bought crypto said the risk was simply too high. The next most common reason was a lack of interest (37.17%), followed by 28.61% saying it’s too complicated to understand.

Reasons why people aren’t buying cryptocurrency Millennial Gen X Baby Boomer
Too complicated to understand 33.84% 29.43% 28.61%
Too difficult to use 10.96% 7.81% 10.43%
It’s a scam 13.99% 14.86% 19.52%
There are too many fees 6.24% 3.15% 4.81%
There’s no need/I’m disinterested 23.82% 27.18% 37.17%
It’s a bubble 11.34% 19.22% 24.33%
It’s too high-risk 24.95% 27.03% 39.04%
I have no money to invest 29.68% 31.38% 27.54%
Other reasons 13.04% 7.81% 6.68%
Source: finder.com

If you’re a part of the 30.31% who are finding cryptocurrency too complicated to understand, check out our cryptocurrency guide containing key information, tools and analysis to break down the phenomenon taking over our news feeds.

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