Crypto Makes a Buzz on the Shopping Front

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While regulators and experts debate if cryptocurrency is an asset to hold or cash to spend, many consumers are using their crypto to go shopping.

Of those who have owned at least one crypto in the past year — and that’s 59.6 million people, or 23% of U.S. consumers — 16.1 million people have used their crypto to make online purchases in the last 30 days, and 7.1 million have used it to go shopping at physical stores. 

In the U.S., people who shop with crypto want the option so much that one-third of consumers said they would switch merchants if it meant they could pay with cryptocurrency, according to the findings in “The U.S. Crypto Consumer: Cryptocurrency Use In Online And In-Store Purchases,” a PYMNTS and BitPay collaboration.

Some 66% of respondents have also used crypto gift cards or debit cards in-store, and 26% of respondents indicated they were “very” or “extremely” interested in using crypto to make purchases from retailers offering rewards and discounts. 

The report also shows that higher-income consumers and millennials are the most likely to see cryptocurrency as a means of spending. Forty-eight percent of millennials and 32% of high-income consumers positively viewed cryptocurrency as a viable payment method. Meanwhile, 36% of consumers had neutral or negative perceptions of cryptocurrencies as a payment alternative. 

The number of consumers owning cryptocurrencies is up 4% this year from 2021. Last year, just 12% of survey respondents reported that they currently held cryptocurrencies. 

Bitcoin is the most well-known of all crypto regarding recognition, usage, user penetration and awareness. Among the 12 types held by survey respondents, 12% had bitcoin, 5% have held it in the last 12 months and 2% have held it at some point in time. 

Of the 74% of consumers who have never held bitcoin, most said they have heard of it, with only 8% stating they never heard of bitcoin. Ethereum and dogecoin were also among the more popular coins held by respondents. 

Download the report to learn more.