The Correlation Between Cryptocurrency Adoption and Demographic Situations
In various fields of research, there are cases in which demographic factors play an important role in explaining a particular phenomenon.
In medical research, factors such as age, gender, and ethnicity have been found to play an important role in determining the risk and progression of diseases. In sociological research, demographic factors may determine access to healthcare or career opportunities. In psychological studies, age, gender, and cultural background play an important role in determining various aspects of mental health, including the prevalence and severity of depression and anxiety disorders.
These are just a few examples of the instances in scientific research, where demographic factors have proven to be crucial in explaining a specific phenomenon. The importance of such factors has been underestimated in the context of cryptocurrency adoption research, which can skew the results and provide pseudo-truthful conclusions.
In this research, Bitget aims to analyze the relationship between demographic processes and the cryptocurrency adoption index. Specifically, the study focuses on answering the following questions:
Is there a link between high birth rates and the popularity of new technologies?
Can demographic changes affect the government's regulatory stance on cryptocurrencies?
How does a decline in birth rates affect the spread of cryptocurrencies?
The study was conducted from July 2022 to January 2023 and involved more than 459,000 respondents, of whom more than 255,000 provided responses. The participants represent 26 countries with a high level of cryptocurrency adoption. For the representativeness of calculations, Bitget considered 26 countries, which are the most studied in this regard and have an index closest to 1.
The research team also collected and analyzed the information on fertility and the index of cryptocurrency adoption in the selected countries. The data missing from the existing studies was received through a survey of local users. The obtained data was then analyzed to gain a more comprehensive outlook.
The surveys analyzed the propensity of residents of these countries to use blockchain technology and data on the demographics of local cryptocurrency owners. The surveys were conducted remotely and electronically, with adult users participating only. The final figures for the number of people who participated in the survey are presented in the table below.
If the number of responses was not sufficient to confirm the representativeness of the sample, new (additional) participants were attracted. The confidence probability of the results for each country exceeds 95%, with a minimum confidence error of about 0.1%.
As part of data analysis, a breakdown of the respondents by age was conducted according to the Social generations of the Western world and the Millennial Saeculum.
The minimum condition for accepting cryptocurrencies is current or recent ownership of at least one cryptocurrency. The results of the survey of people who were born before 1946 are counted in the Baby boomers group due to their small number. A general breakdown of cryptocurrency owners by age is presented in the table below:
It is possible to observe a disproportionate distribution of cryptocurrency owners, which indicates an uneven use of digital assets among different age groups. The dispersion of these values becomes significant in countries with a long life expectancy and a highly educated population. For example, in Japan, more than 32% of participants indicated that they are over 59 years old, which also coincides with a share of the most active crypto users in the country. Baby boomers account for 21% of Japan's cryptocurrency owners, which is 13% higher than the average for the countries surveyed.
Distribution of cryptocurrency owners by age group
The data on the distribution of cryptocurrency owners indicates that Millennials are the most loyal to cryptocurrencies and related technologies. This correlation can be explained by several characteristics:
Millennials are more familiar with the internet and digital technologies compared to older generations, which makes them more likely to embrace cryptocurrencies.
Millennials are at the age when they are starting to build their investment portfolios. Cryptocurrencies may be seen as an attractive investment opportunity because of their potentially high returns.
Skepticism about traditional financial institutions
Millennials witnessed the 2008 financial crisis and may have developed a distrust of traditional financial institutions. Cryptocurrencies offer a decentralized alternative to traditional finance and can be perceived as a more reliable investment option.
Interest in new technologies
Millennials are known for their early adoption of innovations and interest in trying new technologies.
Influencing the decisions of state regulators
Gen Z representatives, like millennials, are also big fans of modern technologies, eager to use their knowledge of blockchain to save and grow their capital. Moreover, they have no negative experience with financial crises, which could stop them from making high-risk investing.
The circumstances, due to which the number of crypto supporters among Gen Z is almost equal to supporters among Gen Xers, can be reduced to their age. About half of Gen Zers are underage. Also, it is worth taking into account their financial capabilities. Compared to older generations, they have not had time to accumulate significant amounts to invest in cryptocurrencies. It is logical to assume that as they grow older, their budgets will grow along with their influence on political and social processes.
State regulatory processes take place under the direct or indirect control of representatives of the population of each particular country. One of the related questions in the survey to understand this relationship was: "Will you make a decision when choosing members of the government/public representatives based on the candidate's attitude to the regulation of the cryptocurrency market?" The table below shows the results of the surveys among cryptocurrency owners in the 26 countries surveyed.
Baby boomers and Gen Xers take almost no account of a candidate's attitude toward the regulation of digital assets when voting. Although the surveyed age groups are cryptocurrency owners, they make their decision primarily based on other factors. The top level of their values when participating in the election does not include the support of a candidate who can lobby the interests of the cryptocurrency community.
Percentage of cryptocurrency owners who choose members of the government based on the candidate's attitude toward cryptocurrency regulation (by age)
Each successive generation is more eager for their representatives in power to have a similar interest in regulating blockchain assets. There is a significant spike in the percentage of Gen Xers and Millennials responding "Yes”. The spike from 6% to 27% can be attributed to the change in value mapping seen in these two generations.
Major factors behind the difference in the attitudes of the 2 groups include:
Generation X grew up before the widespread use of the Internet and digital technology, while Millennials were "digital natives" from an early age and feel better about technology in general.
Generation X values stability and security in their careers, while Millennials place higher value on work-life balance and flexibility.
Diversity and inclusion
Millennials are more open to diversity and inclusion and are more likely to support initiatives that promote equality and social justice.
Trust in institutions
Generation X has a higher level of trust in traditional institutions, such as government and corporations, while Millennials are more skeptical and question the motives of these institutions.
Taking into account such demographic processes as fertility and mortality, we can conclude that the influence of Baby boomers and Gen Xers will weaken every year due to the decreasing number of representatives of these generations. As of today, they make up 42% of the total population and can only lobby their interests quantitatively. The older generation can oppose or hinder the adoption of bills that promote crypto adoption through their wide representation in the government.
In 2030, all Gen Z members will be adults. By then, the spread of blockchain technology could lead to an increase in the percentage of cryptocurrency adopters across all generations. At the same time, Gen Z will be able to quantitatively approach the current number of Millennials, and the regulatory representation will change accordingly. From a statistical point of view, the chances of the growth in acceptance of cryptocurrencies in the coming years are very high.
The impact of fertility changes on the growth of cryptocurrency adoption
The study collected data on the fertility rates of each of the countries examined and averaged them according to the country's population in each period. The table below shows the rates since 1951 to trace long-term trends.
Growth rate trends are largely similar to global changes, which confirms the representativeness of the sample of the countries surveyed. Along with the growth of the population, we can also observe a decrease in the Growth Rate.
After peaking in the 1960s, this parameter is on the decline. If this trend continues, the Growth Rate may approach 0 before the end of this century.
These calculations give reason to believe that between 2085 and 2095, the birth rate may begin to decline. More specifically, each successive generation may have less influence on its country’s politics, due to its numerical minority.
Recent decades show a decline in the Population Growth Rate. This could lead to a paradigm shift of young people as the main driving force. Global trends may change because a majority of the population will accept cryptocurrency, promoting its popularization and implementation in different spheres of life.
Relationship between fertility rates and the popularity of new technologies
Since reliable fertility data for these countries can be traced to the period since 1950, these figures can be compared for the 3 age groups: Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z. The following table shows the total fertility rates for each of these generations.
The obtained data allows for concluding that the population growth of the studied countries (as a whole) is slowing down. Combined with the increase in life expectancy, there may be a situation of total rejection of cryptocurrencies, blocking innovation and modern technology.
As of 2023, the share of Baby boomers and Gen Xers in the countries studied is more than 40%. The decrease in their share in the total population of the countries may be followed by processes of unblocking and rehabilitation of solutions that benefit society and the replacement of conservatism with progressivism.
A combination of closed-ended questions and multiple-choice questions in the survey helped identify key factors that contribute to easier adoption of new technologies by each successive generation:
Widespread availability of technology
When technology is widely available, more people are exposed to innovations and are more likely to adopt them.
Increased access to information
The Internet has made it easier for people to learn about new technologies and understand how they work, making them more likely to innovate.
In many cases, new technologies offer economic benefits (as with cryptocurrencies), such as increased efficiency or cost savings, which can make them more attractive to individuals and businesses.
The widespread adoption of new technologies by peers and influencers can create social pressure for them to adopt new technologies as well.
What is the value of understanding the correlation between demographics and the cryptocurrency adoption index?
Understanding the connections between these two statistical values in different countries can provide researchers with a more comprehensive view on broader aspects related to the adoption of technologies, and an opportunity to anticipate the effects of demographic change. The benefits of understanding this relationship include:
Understanding the demographic factors that are associated with higher adoption of cryptocurrencies can help predict which countries are more likely to adopt cryptocurrencies and which may be slower to adopt them. This information can be valuable to governments, businesses, and individuals who are interested in investing in or using cryptocurrencies.
Targeting the population
By understanding the demographic factors that are associated with higher adoption of cryptocurrencies, organizations interested in promoting the adoption of cryptocurrencies can better target their outreach efforts. For example, they can focus on demographic groups that are more likely to adopt cryptocurrencies and develop educational and marketing materials targeting these groups.
Understanding user behavior
Understanding the demographic factors associated with cryptocurrency adoption can also help better understand the behavior and needs of cryptocurrency users. This information can be valuable to businesses and organizations looking to develop related products and services.
Governments can gain the necessary knowledge for developing better policies to regulate and encourage the use of cryptocurrencies by promoting users’ financial literacy or developing tax policies that are more favorable to cryptocurrency users.
Understanding barriers to cryptocurrency acceptance
Understanding the demographic factors that are associated with lower adoption of cryptocurrencies can help identify barriers that prevent certain groups from adopting cryptocurrencies. This information can be used to develop solutions to address these barriers, such as educational programs or outreach activities targeting specific demographic groups.
Assessing policy impact
Understanding the demographic factors associated with the adoption of cryptocurrencies will help assess the impact of policies promoting or regulating cryptocurrencies. For example, policymakers can use this information to determine how effective a particular policy is in promoting cryptocurrencies among certain demographic groups, and whether the policy has any unintended consequences for other groups.
Identifying market opportunities
Understanding the demographic factors associated with cryptocurrency adoption can help identify new market opportunities for businesses and organizations. For example, businesses can use this information to develop products and services meeting the needs of demographic groups that are more likely to adopt cryptocurrencies.
Improving financial inclusion
Understanding the demographic factors associated with cryptocurrency adoption can help improve financial inclusion. For example, by identifying demographic groups that are less likely to have access to traditional financial services, policymakers and organizations can develop solutions to give these groups access to alternative financial services like cryptocurrencies.
The study analyzed the demographics of 26 countries with high levels of adoption of cryptocurrencies, as well as open-source data and the results of surveys conducted by the Bitget team. Similar to other industries (medicine, sociology, psychology), a thorough and qualitative study of the correlation of demographics with cryptocurrency adoption can make it easier to find consistencies and connections for crypto-tech companies, government organizations, crypto exchanges, and other companies interested in gaining a competitive edge.
Bitget processed more than 255,000 survey responses from participants in 26 countries around the world. The participants were categorized into four age groups. The analysis concluded that the largest number of cryptocurrency enthusiasts are Millennials (46%). The extent to which their interests are represented by the government regulators of a particular country can determine the likelihood of a decision, which is favorable for the crypto community.
The research highlighted the characteristics and distinctive features of the main groups, which have a significant impact on the decision-making process concerning crypto regulation.
Data collection and analysis determined that by the beginning of the next decade, demographic processes will lead to a dramatic shift towards increased acceptance of cryptocurrencies. Slowing population growth may curb this trend, but will inevitably affect all of the states studied.
The impediment of innovation and digital technology will also diminish along with the transition of the majority in society from Baby boomers and Gen Xers to Millennials, Gen Z, and subsequent generations.
The results of the study should be used to analyze the relationship of demographic processes of each particular state or region through the prism of other factors (cultural, educational, economic, technological, legal and others) to obtain objective and reliable conclusions and forecasts.