Fed Survey: 12% of US Adults Held Crypto in 2021

It marks crypto’s first appearance in the central bank’s “Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households” survey.

AccessTimeIconMay 23, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 5:22 p.m. UTC

Twelve percent of adults held cryptocurrency in 2021, according to a Federal Reserve study measuring the economic health of U.S consumers.

Released Monday, the annual survey of 11,000 people for the first time this year included questions on crypto ownership and adoption. It's the latest sign of the U.S. central bank’s growing interest in understanding how the booming crypto economy is (and isn’t) mixing into the picture.

The data collected indicated that American consumers have little interest in crypto as a currency. They’re by and large investors, not transactors, and only 3% of respondents said they’d either paid in or sent crypto in the previous year. By contrast, 11% had held crypto as an investment.

Those users “were disproportionately high-income,” the report said: 46% of pure-play investors made $100,000 or more. Almost all of them had a bank account.

Of the 3% who actually used crypto for payments or transfers, 13% did not have a bank account.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Danny is CoinDesk's Managing Editor for Data & Tokens. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.