How are millennials shaping the future of cryptocurrency?

November 14, 2018
Darya Karatkevich

Millennials have always been considered susceptible to technology. Though no digital natives as their followers from Gen Z, they’ve helped to shape the digital economy as we know it.

It’s no surprise then, that cryptocurrencies got on their radar pretty much since digital money first gained some spotlight. Now, millennials are among the leading figures in the industry itself, as evidenced by 24-year-old Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, the second most popular form of cryptocurrency, and 26-year-old Justin Sun who founded TRON. In addition to these leaders, many system engineers, programmers, and industry influencers are part of the generation.

Not every millennial will become a prominent player in the crypto market, of course. But it’s all the more interesting to look at how this demographic as a whole will be shaping the future of cryptocurrency.

Millennials crypto

One in five millennials sees crypto replacing traditional currency

Polling agency YouGov recently conducted a survey to help understand some of the trends for crypto. The report highlights millennials’ acceptance of the technology, with every one of five seeing cryptocurrency becoming “as common as cash or card” in the nearest future. Only 29% of those 55 and older held the same beliefs.

The statistic highlights one of the challenges facing the cryptocurrency industry, which is to shed the notion that it’s primarily for illegal or illicit purposes. The lack of a central authority has, in the past, attracted this type of use – most notably the Silk Road marketplace scandal. These things work to make older generations skeptical of the technology. The YouGov poll showed that around 25% of people thought crypto was regularly used for illegal purposes.

21% of millennials have bought bitcoin themselves

Here are some of the other highlights from the YouGov survey, proving that millennials are shaping the future of crypto.

  • 79% of Americans are familiar with at least one form of cryptocurrency
  • Men are more likely to have heard of cryptocurrency
  • 21% of those 18-34 have bought bitcoin, while only 1% of those over 55 have
  • Nearly half of those 18-34 stated they would consider switching from USD to crypto

The YouGov report also stated that of the people who believe that cryptocurrencies will become widely accepted, over one-third (36%) say they would be interested in converting to primarily using a cryptocurrency rather than the U.S. dollar. That shows a clear willingness among millennials to at least look at the technology in the future.

Millennials see crypto as long-term investment, retirement savings

Another key use that the younger generation sees for crypto is for retirement investing. While the traditional finance industry is shying away from investing in digital currency, many millennials are doing their own crypto investing with an eye toward retirement already. This shift will mean that the traditional finance sector will need to embrace the technology as these younger generations mature.

In fact, younger generations believe that crypto is a good long-term investment strategy five times more than boomers. Another recent survey, conducted by BankRate, showed that 5% of millennials believe that bitcoin is the best place to keep money they won’t need for 10 years or more. Only 1.2% of Gen-X’ers, and less than 1% of boomers felt the same way.

Millennials are taking a stake with cryptocurrency

Ultimately, the trends seem to show that millennials are more skeptical of the traditional finance industry and vice versa. Seeing that these mature financial markets are dominated by older, wealthier generations, it’s no surprise that younger folks are drawn to new ways of investing. The volatility inherent in the young cryptocurrency market is also appealing to young investors, who can weather a loss. The potential upside, however, if you are a smart crypto investor, can be massive.

There’s no question that cryptocurrency is going to disrupt major financial markets, and that is one way that millennials can take a stake in a financial system they don’t feel welcome in. The stock market, private equity, real estate, and so many other forms of traditional finance just aren’t accessible to younger generations. Cryptocurrency will change that, so the sooner you start learning about it and get involved, the better off you’ll be.

Post written by Darya Karatkevich
Darya is a blockchain market observer with 5+ years of experience as an author and editor for major tech blogging platforms. Her fortes are blockchain technologies and solutions, cryptocurrencies and crypto-related regulations.

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