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New survey of 2,000+ American adults suggests 20% own crypto and the vast majority see an urgent need to update the financial system.

Tl:dr: A February 2023 national survey of 2000+ general population respondents commissioned by Coinbase and conducted by Morning Consult, suggests that the vast majority of Americans want to see the financial system updated and they believe crypto can be a powerful part of the solution. Coinbase is committed to partnering with policymakers and traditional finance to make that a reality. As a next step, Coinbase plans to launch an integrated public education campaign that aims to shed light on the everyday challenges faced by consumers and the role that crypto can play in a broader effort to update the system.

By Coinbase


, February 27, 2023

, 5min read time

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Leading public officials have been calling for changes to create a fairer and more accessible financial system but casting about for effective solutions that can improve the system for everyday Americans. In this context, Coinbase wanted to understand how American adults and those who own cryptocurrency view the current financial system and crypto’s role in it. 

In February, we commissioned a survey of 2000+ American adults conducted by Morning Consult. The survey found that 80% of respondents believe the current financial system is unfair, with the overwhelming majority expressing frustration with the current financial system and a hunger for change. At the same time, the survey indicates that most Americans remain optimistic about the future of crypto and understand its potential to be part of the solution to bring about meaningful change to the financial system that would benefit society as a whole. The survey suggests that:

  • 80% of Americans think the global financial system unfairly favors powerful interests. 

  • 67% of Americans agree that the financial system needs major changes or a complete overhaul. 

  • 20% of Americans–which would constitute over 50 million people–own crypto. Despite the tumultuous events of 2022, crypto ownership has remained largely unchanged since early 2022, which has been the historic high water mark for crypto ownership in America. Ownership is higher with people of color and younger Americans.

  • Crypto ownership is generally consistent for Republicans (18%), Democrats (22%), and Independents (22%), speaking to how crypto is a rare bipartisan issue.

  • 76% of those who own crypto agree that cryptocurrency and blockchain are the future. These numbers are even higher amongst people of color and younger Americans. Regardless of crypto ownership, the majority of Gen Z adults (54%) and Millennials (55%) agree that cryptocurrency and blockchain are the future.

We get it. The majority of financial systems were built over 100 years ago when computers and the internet did not exist. The technology is inefficient and all over the world people are paying the price with their time, money, and opportunities. While we know that many in the existing financial system are working on updating the system, significant challenges remain and we believe crypto will be an important part of the solution. 

The data makes clear that the public is ahead of policymakers when it comes to the role crypto can play in helping to update a financial system. Crypto is already increasingly being used to solve real-world problems. For example, previous studies have found that communities underserved by the banking system are more likely to have used a cryptocurrency, and this study confirms that communities of color are more likely to be engaged with and optimistic about crypto’s future. On a global level, crypto is offering faster, low-cost cross-border transfers, and digital stablecoins are helping underbanked people across the world to gain access to the US dollar and financial services to help launch a small business.

We felt it would be useful to share these findings with the public, and especially with policymakers (elected officials and regulators) to help them understand the feelings of the average American voter. So we are publishing a summary of the findings of the Morning Consult survey here.

And later this week, we plan to launch an integrated public education campaign that represents a significant investment by Coinbase in educating Americans from all walks of life, and all around the country, about the role that crypto can play in supporting a broader effort to make the financial system more open, fairer, and faster for everyone. We’re planning for the campaign to include the regular release of data and reports as well as national advertising to highlight two things:

First, that all of us - consumers, traditional financial services, and policymakers - are having to navigate a financial system built on technology that needs to be updated. Here's a preview of our newest ad.

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Second, specific use cases showing how the utility of crypto is benefitting people here in the US and around the world. Here's a teaser of our upcoming series on crypto's utility.

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We also aim to work with the millions of Americans who hold crypto to help them engage policymakers, and, most importantly, we will continue to release Coinbase products and services specifically designed to support economic opportunity.

--- This survey was developed on behalf of and paid for by Coinbase, Inc. in consultation with survey and market research provider Morning Consult, which interviewed a representative sample size of 2,202 U.S. adults (age 18 or older) nationwide. Americans of varying race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment and region were polled. Findings have been extrapolated to represent the views of the U.S. adult general population.

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