United Kingdom | 2022

Digital currency adoption in the United Kingdom in 2022



of British own digital currency

How many digital currencies owners are in the United kingdom?

It is estimated that 4.2 million people, 6.2% of the United Kingdom’s total population, currently own digital currency.¹

British digital currencies ownership demographics

Breaking down digital currency ownership by income, ownership levels are higher among the wealthy. 40% of the surveyed Britons who own digital currency have income over £200,000, and 18% of them with income ranging from £100,000 to £200,000.

Graph showing the percentage of digital currencies owners per income ranges in the United Kingdom
Graph showing the percentages of people owning digital currencies per age ranges

Majority of the United Kingdom’s digital currency owners are in the 18-34 age group (56%). Only 4.6% of them are 55 and above. This suggests that digital currencies are largely owned by younger Britons.

UK digital currency owners are likely to be highly educated, with 46% holding a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Graph showing the percentage of people owning digital currencies per education level

Main findings

Graph showing the increase in digital currencies awareness in the UK between 2020 and 2021

From the survey conducted, we see 74% of UK adults have heard of digital currencies in 2021. We see a rise of 3 percentage points, compared to 71% from 2020. This suggests a growing awareness among Britons regarding digital currency.

We see 6.2% of UK adults currently hold digital currency, or approximately 4.2m people in 2021. By comparison, our data shows that digital currencies ownership in the UK has risen rapidly from 4.95% in 2020.

Bitcoin remains the popular choice for digital currencies owners in the United Kingdom, with more than 62% of digital currencies owner respondents possessing Bitcoin. Ethereum follows closely in second place with the digital currencies’ wide application cases, followed by Ripple (XRP), Tether (USDT) and other Altcoins.

People are increasingly seeing digital currency as a safe asset and alternative to national currencies, with more than 63% of UK digital currencies owners having more than £1,000 in digital currencies assets. A significant proportion of owners (19%) also hold more than £10,000 in digital currency.

Digital currency purchase attitudes

The number of UK digital currencies owners using digital currencies for purchases are also seeing rapid growth, with 2021 marking an exponential increase of 10 percentage points (y-o-y growth) in purchases made using digital currency.

More than 52% of UK digital currencies owners using digital currencies for spending.

Almost 60% of UK digital currencies spenders are spending more than £100 of digital currencies for purchases monthly, with a sizeable crowd (26%) being large spenders of more than £1,000 monthly

Survey results show that digital currency payment services are eagerly anticipated across the retail industry. Respondents showed interest in all the major categories ranging from Entertainment, E-commerce and Luxury Retail, etc.

Future Outlook

Digital currency is gaining the attention it deserves. 2021 was the year that digital currency was in the spotlight as major institutions, celebrities and public figures all jumped on the digital currencies bandwagon. Bitcoin and other digital currencies also broke through all-time highs.

More than a third of UK survey respondents (38%) are seeking to increase their holdings of digital currency over the next year.

Majority of non-digital-currencies respondents (70%) cited a lack of knowledge for not owning digital currency, presenting strong potential for increasing digital currency adoption with proper channelized education and awareness.

Additionally, greater adoption of digital currency payment options across merchants can also have a network effect on more rapid adoption of digital currency in the populace, given that 24.9% of respondents cited not owning digital currency as their current merchants do not accept it.

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