How many people own bitcoin?

Bitcoin is growing in popularity, but how many people own bitcoin is almost impossible to determine. Various studies estimate that this concerns a few percent of the population: in the Netherlands about five percent and in the United Kingdom about three percent. Elsewhere, the percentages are sometimes considerably higher. There are now more than 100 million people worldwide who own bitcoin.

How many people own bitcoin? That’s a tough one to answer because Bitcoin doesn’t work based on identity. Everyone can create as many bitcoin wallets and bitcoin addresses as he or she wants. That makes it very difficult to determine how many individuals use it.

Nevertheless, various studies make an attempt to estimate the number. This is sometimes done on the basis of surveys and other times on the basis of blockchain analysis. The quality of the studies varies and so does the quality of the results. Some results also contradict each other. Nevertheless, an overview of the figures may give an impression.

Europe

In the Netherlands in 2018, according to research agency Kantar, there were already about 480,000 Dutch people who own bitcoin. However, research agency Markteffect stated in March that there are currently about 700,000. That is about 5% of the population.

In the United Kingdom, the financial regulator Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) examined the number of UK crypto owners in June. According to the FCA, there are about 2.3 million, or 4.4% of the UK population. Two-thirds of them would own bitcoin; so about 3%.

America

The American situation is not entirely clear, because the results of various studies do not correspond.

For example, polling agency Gallup stated in June that 6% of US residents own bitcoin. The exchange Gemini, in turn, stated in April that 14% of Americans own a cryptocurrency and that it is bitcoin in 87% of cases. That comes out to 12%.

The New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) estimated the percentage even higher. They thought in January that 22% of Americans owned bitcoin. That would be 46 million people. That seems like a lot and many consider it an overestimate.

Southeast Asia & Oceania

The Independent Reserve Cryptocurrency Index estimates that a whopping 43% of the population owns a cryptocurrency in Singapore. That seems a bit on the high side.

Research firm Finder estimated last month that in Australia about 9% of the population owns bitcoin.

Worldwide

In 2020, research agency Statista stated that just over 100 million people worldwide owned a cryptocurrency. According to Crypto.com, that number is correct and has doubled in the past six months to more than 200 million people. Bitcoin is the most popular choice among them.

Statista also examined the situation per country, but focused on the percentage of users rather than owners. Bitcoin proved most popular in Nigeria, where 32% of the population say they have used a cryptocurrency. Vietnam (21%), the Philippines (20%), Turkey (16%) and Peru (16%) also score high.

Hootsuite did look at the number of owners in a report last year, based on data from GlobalWebIndex. They state that the Philippines leads the way with 17%, followed by Brazil (13%), South Africa (13%), Thailand (12%), Nigeria (11%) and Indonesia (11%). The percentage for the Netherlands is 5%, as is the case with Market effect.

A few percent

Not every study is equally reliable and not every participant or researcher is objective. It is therefore best to take most figures with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, the figures together seem to paint a certain picture: a few percent of the world’s population owns bitcoin.

A global number of between 100 and 200 million people who own bitcoin, as some studies suggest, does not seem unreasonable and is rarely disputed. That is at most 2.6% of the world’s population. Some compare it to the number of users the Internet had in 1997.

Most studies estimate the adoption rate in developed countries to be between 4% and 8%, but it is striking that Bitcoin sometimes seems to be twice as popular in less affluent countries.

If that is true and global adoption is only 2.6%, the downside would be that there must also be many countries where there is hardly any bitcoin adoption.

 

Did you know that Bitcoin is also relatively popular in Africa? If you want to see more statistics on Bitcoin usage by country, check out UsefulTulips.com.

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