Gen Z Turning Away from Crypto, PYMNTS Studies Suggest

It’s pretty much accepted wisdom, and backed up by many studies and surveys, that the youngest consumers know the most about crypto — and are most likely to buy, hold and pay with it.

But that has been challenged by a pair of recent PYMNTS surveys that found Generation Z not only substantially less like to make payments with cryptocurrency than millennials and bridge millennials but also substantially more likely to have sold off crypto holdings in the past year, as the prices collapsed into a crypto winter.

There are plenty of reasons this could be the case, starting with Gen Z having less disposable income.

However, it could also suggest that the youngest and most crypto-savvy consumers are having second thoughts about digital assets at a time when their value has cratered: Bitcoin went from about $20,000 at the beginning of 2021 to almost $68,000 that November back to about $20,000 by June, where it has lingered.

Selling Off

The most dramatic is the PYMNTS “Credit Union Innovation: Cryptocurrency As A Key To Member Loyalty” report, issued in September.

See also: Credit Union Member Crypto Ownership Lags Other FIs, Still High

Among credit union members, nearly half of the Generation Z respondents has sold off their cryptocurrency assets in the past 12 months, with 22% currently holding digital assets out of 44% that had crypto assets in the past 12 months.

Compare that to millennials (43% out of 52% still hold digital assets) and bridge millennials (41% out of 47%) and you’ll see a dramatic shift.

While the numbers aren’t as dramatic for the broader non-credit union population — 35% out of 50% of Gen. Z crypto buyers still hold their crypto — it is still about a one-third reduction compared to about one-quarter for the two millennial demographics.

That’s backed up by PYMNTS’ 2022 U.S. Crypto Consumer report, which found that while just as many Gen Z consumers had a positive view of cryptocurrencies as millennials and bridge millennials, a somewhat larger group had negative views.

Among the possible reasons for this is what the Pew Foundation calls their higher degree of personal responsibility about the need to take action on climate change — and Bitcoin and Ethereum both use country-sized amounts of electricity (although Ethereum is on the verge of changing that).

Read more: Ethereum Gets Closer to an Eco-Friendlier Version 2.0, but Next-Gen Scalability Still Delayed

Fans Outnumbered

Another example came in PYMNTS recent report, “Paying With Cryptocurrency: Can Crypto At Checkout Become A Profit Center For Merchants?

In that survey, just 27% of Gen Z respondents said they are “very” or “extremely” likely to purchase cryptocurrencies in the next year, compared to 37% who said they were “not at all likely” to do so.

Among millennials, 42% were “very” or “extremely” likely while just 20% were “not at all likely” to buy digital assets.

Looking at bridge millennials, 38% were “very” or “extremely” likely while 26% were “not at all likely” to buy digital assets.

This is to say, the anti-crypto Gen Z crowd outnumbered the pro-crypto side substantially, and substantially more than in millennial demographics.


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