Do 46 Million Americans Really Own Crypto?


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Crypto social media were thrilled after Newsweek published an article on May 11th entitled “46 Million Americans Now Own Bitcoin As Crypto Goes Mainstream”.

The impressive number was republished by well-known Bitcoiners, including Michael Saylor, CEO of MicroStrategy. He tweeted: “The financial industry is embracing the crypto mainstream by incorporating bitcoin into its insurance, banking and investment products. According to Newsweek, 46 million Americans now own Bitcoin. “

Nic Carter, Co-Founder of Coin Metrics, said the sheer number of Bitcoiners “represents a powerful constituency that cannot be ignored. The political dividends for introducing Bitcoin are enormous. “

Dan Held, Kraken’s growth lead, celebrated the milestone again and tweeted:

“46 million Americans own Bitcoin. 22% of all adults. It’s happening right now.”

However, on the R / Bitcoin subreddit, the general response has been best characterized as disbelief. Some Redditors called them “grossly exaggerated” or said they were “not buying those numbers”. Redditor unfuckingstoppable wrote:

“Sounds very high. I don’t know a single person who owns it. And that means 1 in 6 or 7 people own it.”

The 46 million figure for crypto ownership in America comes from a survey conducted Jan. 6-7 by the New York Digital Investment Group, or NYDIG.

The January poll was referenced in a recent poll NYDIG conducted on March 22 on Bitcoin and life insurance, which formed the basis for the Newsweek article. While the research is far from complete, it has caught people’s attention as it was featured in a major media company.

The sample sizes from both surveys are relatively small but are considered statistically valid. The first was conducted on 1,050 participants with incomes over $ 50,000 and has a margin error of 3.1%. The second was performed on 2,184 U.S. consumers with an error rate of 2.1%.

Confusingly, the first line of the Newsweek article suggests that 46 million Americans represent “17% of the adult population,” while the original NYDIG poll claims that the number is 22% of the adult population. Given that NYDIG only surveyed those whose incomes were over $ 50,000 (a smaller group than the entire adult population), this may explain the percentage difference.

Another interesting finding highlighted by Newsweek was that a majority of respondents (53%) said they “don’t own any digital assets, but 55% of respondents said they would consider adding crypto to their portfolio.”

NYDIG poll numbers are higher than a recent Crypto Exchange Gemini poll of a larger sample of 3,000 people. The exchange stated in its report that “based on our sample size, we estimate that approximately 14% of the US population owns cryptocurrency,” which equates to 21.2 million people. Although the numbers were released in late April, the poll itself was conducted in October and November 2020 before the 2021 bull run was in full swing.