A Modern-Day Gold Rush: 30 Eye-Opening Cryptocurrency Statistics for 2022

ByI. Mitic
April 05, 2022

Invented in 2009 by pseudonymous developer Satoshi Nakamoto, decentralized cryptocurrencies are not the newest of technologies. However, over the past 10 years, digital currencies have gained so much traction that they have triggered a genuine modern-day gold rush. 

Today, there are over 7,550 cryptocurrencies in circulation, and they are revolutionizing the way we look at finance, the stock market, transactions, and investments. 

In the sections below, you’ll find the most important crypto stats you need to get a snapshot of this powerful and growing market. 

Crypto Stats You Shouldn’t Miss - Editor’s Choice

Here are the top 10 statistics on the cryptocurrency market size and adoption:

  • As of December 29, 2021, the global crypto market capitalization is $2.21 trillion
  • The average crypto daily trading volume is $120 billion
  • Bitcoin dominates over 40% of the cryptocurrency market
  • 43% of Americans ages between 18 and 29 have traded or used a cryptocurrency
  • Over 32% of small businesses in the US say they accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment
  • After the pandemic hit in March 2020, the price of Bitcoin went from $6,000 to $60,000 within 12 months
  • In 2020, there were over 8,000 cryptocurrency scams in the US
  • The cryptocurrency market is predicted to grow at an annual rate of nearly 13% until 2030
  • Approximately 27% of Americans support the adoption of Bitcoin as a legal tender
  • Bitcoin alone produces about 22.5 million metric tons of CO2 emissions each year

General Cryptocurrency Statistics & Market Growth

Cryptocurrencies have been in circulation for over 11 years. Nonetheless, the last 18 months have had a drastic impact on the entire global cryptocurrency market, future outlook, and levels of adoption. 

As the pandemic fuelled changes that were already happening, cryptocurrencies have become widespread and gained international traction.

Learn about the most important cryptocurrency growth statistics and data below. 

As of December 29, 2021, the global crypto market capitalization is $2.21 trillion, after reaching an all-time high of $3.3 trillion in November 2021.

(CoinMarketCap)

On Tuesday, November 9, 2021, cryptocurrency market capitalization reached an all-time high of over 3 trillion US dollars. That’s a sixfold increase of the crypto market value compared to November 2020, when it was worth just over $578 billion. 

During the November 2021 spike, leading tokens such as Bitcoin and Ether jumped by over 30% in under a month. After the surge, the crypto market cap settled at an average of $2.21 trillion US dollars. 

The number of global cryptocurrencies went from 66 to 7,557 between 2013 and November 2021.

(Statista)

Cryptos such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, and Binance Coin are extremely popular and widespread. However, these coins nearly everyone has heard of only comprise a small percentage of over 7,000 cryptocurrencies in existence today.

Most of these have minimal trading volume or following, but some are reshaping the future of the world’s economy.

As of December 2021, Bitcoin holds a market dominance of 40%, after reaching a four-year high of 69% market dominance in January 2021.

(CoinMarketCap Charts)

Bitcoin is the first decentralized digital currency supported by blockchain technology. Because of its history, it continues to inspire the trust of investors, which has been driving up its value. 

With a market cap of nearly 1 trillion US dollars, Bitcoin holds a market dominance of over 40%. It’s followed by Ether, which benefits from a 20% dominance, and other coins such as Solana and XRP.

There are currently nearly 34,000 crypto ATMs in the world.

(CoinATMRadar)

After growing by 119% in 2020, the number of worldwide crypto ATMs further rose from 13,993 to 33,911 between January 2021 and December 2021. The advent of crypto (mostly Bitcoin) ATMs has enabled cryptocurrencies to become more mainstream and accessible.

Unlike standard ATMs that allow bank customers to deposit and withdraw money from their bank account, Bitcoin ATMs allow users to purchase cryptocurrency via a cash deposit. The coins are then delivered onto a digital wallet via a QR code. 

The crypto daily trading volume reached a peak of $500 billion in May 2021 and stabilized at an average of $120 billion per day.

(Statista & CoinMarketCap)

While understanding the market capitalization of crypto is important, one of the most important cryptocurrency volume statistics is the daily trading volume index. 

Cryptocurrency transactions guarantee privacy, speed, and minimal fees, which make them preferable over standard bank transfers. Thanks to these benefits, millions of crypto transactions take place every day, for a total average trading volume of $120 billion per day.

As of December 2021, there are over 300 crypto exchanges with an average total daily volume of nearly $290 billion.

(CoinMarketCap) 

One of the reasons behind the sudden popularity of cryptos is the increased accessibility of trading platforms and global exchanges. Today, there are over 300 crypto exchanges which, according to cryptocurrency exchange statistics, trade a volume of approximately $290 billion every day. 

Cryptocurrency Users Statistics 

It can be difficult to visualize the enormous market capitalization and monetary transaction value involved with cryptocurrencies. What is easier to understand is the number of people around the world using digital currencies. So, how many people own cryptocurrency? And, how many people use it in their daily life?

The advent of peer-to-peer trading platforms and retail investors and a generational shift have caused a sharp rise in the number of first-time crypto investors. Here is what’s happening around the world.

The number of blockchain wallet users went from 0 to 80 million in the past 10 years.

(Statista)

Blockchain or digital wallets are essential instruments needed by crypto owners and users to store and manage their crypto. As the number of blockchain wallets skyrocketed in just under a decade, this cryptocurrency stat gives a clear snapshot of the increase in popularity of crypto as a form of payment. 

Nigeria (32%), Vietnam (21%), and the Philippines (20%) are the three countries with the highest percentage of cryptocurrency users.

(Yahoo! Finance)

One of the unique uses of cryptos is that virtual currencies provide a valid and secure alternative for countries with volatile national currencies. According to Yahoo! Finance cryptocurrency statistics by country, the majority of crypto worldwide users can be found in emerging economies, including Nigeria, Vietnam, the Philippines, Turkey, and India. 

43% of Americans ages between 18 and 29 have traded or used cryptocurrency.

(PEW Research Center)

Just sixteen percent of the US adult population say they have used, traded, or owned cryptocurrencies, but over 40% of those in the 18-29 age group are crypto investors.

In terms of demographics, and according to PEW Research Center cryptocurrency usage statistics, 79% of the crypto community is male, 53% under the age of 34, over 80% have a Bachelor’s degree, and 36% have an income greater than $100k.

Over 32% of small businesses in the US say they accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment.

(Skynova)

When looking at cryptocurrency statistics by usage, it’s also important to review how businesses are adopting virtual currencies. According to recent surveys, over a third of small-business owners or top executives report that their organization is accepting cryptocurrencies as a form of payment.

Among the most common cryptos used as payment are Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Market volatility is cited by 50% of small-business owners as the primary reason against adopting cryptocurrencies.

(Skynova)

Other reasons for opposing the introduction of crypto include high risk (45%), lack of governmental support (36%), limited knowledge about cryptocurrencies (34%), cryptocurrencies being too new (34%), and not being able to pay employees in crypto (28%).

Los Angeles and Chicago are the most all-around crypto-friendly cities in the US.

(Skynova)

Cryptocurrencies are considered the currency of the future - they enable you to complete transactions seamlessly, immediately, and without significant fees. However, this future is impossible without society adopting cryptos as a universal form of payment. 

Some cities in the US have already undergone a substantial digital transformation and now boast a large number of cryptocurrency ATMs, crypto-friendly restaurants, and crypto-accepting retailers.

Cryptocurrency Security Statistics

Bitcoin wasn’t the first digital currency ever created. However, it was the first one to be supported by the underpinning blockchain technology, which allowed for fast, secure, and tamper-proof recording of transactions. 

Thanks to several layers of security, this technology has granted Bitcoin - and other cryptos - the ability to function as a secure currency. Nonetheless, as we’re about to see from the cryptocurrency theft statistics below, cryptos aren’t immune to cybercrime. 

In 2020, cryptojacking increased by 28% and caused a loss of $82 million.

(SonicWall)

Cryptojacking is a term coined in 2017 and defines a cyberattack that aims to hijack a computer to mine cryptocurrencies against the user’s will or without them knowing about it.

While in 2019 the Coin Hive shutdown made investors believe that the risk of falling prey to cryptojacking was over, attacks aimed to steal cryptos have surged by nearly 30% in 2020. 

(CipherTrace)

The number of crypto thefts and frauds dramatically decreased over the past two years thanks to added layers of security and new cybersecurity measures. Nonetheless, crypto hacks, especially those related to decentralized finance (De-Fi), are still causing nearly $700 million worth of losses. 

The median loss of a scammed crypto investor was nearly $2,000 between October 2020 and May 2021.

(Federal Trade Commission)

Recent crypto stats by the Federal Trade Commission show the extent of the financial loss cryptocurrency-related crimes can cause to investors. From October 2020 to May 2021, the median loss caused by cryptocurrency theft or fraud averaged $1,900. 

In 2020, there were over 8,000 cryptocurrency scams in the US.

(Forbes)

Some of the most common scams include:

  • Investors are lured by an initial coin offer (ICO) for scam crypto that will be abandoned within days or months
  • Pump-and-dump schemes cause the price of a coin to skyrocket just to plummet within hours
  • Theft through account hacking 

One of the most famous 2021 crypto scams is the one involving the Squid Game coin. 

Investors who are 20-49 years old are five times more likely to fall victim to crypto scams than investors from other age groups.

(Federal Trade Commission)

No investors are entirely immune to crypto fraud. However, since cryptocurrencies are particularly attractive to younger, inexperienced, and first-time investors, it’s no wonder this age group is also most prone to various crypto scams.

Nearly 70% of crypto traders under 40 in the UK incorrectly believe that cryptocurrency is regulated.

(CNBC)

Investing in cryptocurrencies has many advantages - especially because the potential of new tokens is unexplored and unlimited. However, crypto investing comes with its share of risks, which are not only related to the fact that cryptos are highly volatile assets. 

Indeed, in most countries, cryptocurrencies are not regulated by any authority, which means that the interests of traders and investors aren’t protected against scams and fraud. 

Nonetheless, recent cryptocurrency adoption statistics inform us that nearly 70% of crypto traders were unaware of this lack of regulations. 

COVID-19 Impact on the Cryptocurrency Market

Moments of global economic crisis have a powerful effect on investors and often cause them to explore different and alternative forms of investment. Digital assets such as cryptocurrencies represent a viable response to stock market volatility, so it isn’t surprising that the first cryptocurrency - Bitcoin - was created in 2009, just after the 2008 Lehman crisis. And, in March 2020, as COVID-19 hit and triggered a global stock market crash, crypto exploded. 

Since March 2020, the global crypto market has skyrocketed by 900%.

 (Knoema)

According to recent statistics on cryptocurrency, millennials resort to cryptos during times of economic crisis. 

This investor sentiment, alongside the accessibility of trading platforms, lured millions of new investors in 2020. In turn, this has caused an unprecedented 900% growth of the crypto market. 

After the pandemic hit in March 2020, the price of Bitcoin went from $6,000 to $60,000 within 12 months.

(Statista)

After the onset of the pandemic, the stock-market and other investors looked for alternative forms of investment. Since Bitcoin represented the oldest and most trusted digital currency, investor sentiment and increase in buyers drove its value from $6,000 to $60,000 in just one year.

With over 10 million Americans opening a new brokerage account as the pandemic hit, 2020 was called “the year of retail investors.”

(Deloitte)

According to Deloitte’s global cryptocurrency statistics, the advent of retail trading platforms - including Coinbase and Robinhood - caused a sharp rise in the number of investors. This, alongside the economic uncertainty deriving from the pandemic, has caused millions of people to look for alternative investment strategies.

The number of monthly active users of Coinbase - the largest US crypto trading platform - doubled in Q1 2021, reaching 6.1 million.

(CoinDesk)

According to CoinDesk cryptocurrency market statistics, Coinbase - the largest and most trusted crypto retail trading platform in the US - reported a sharp rise in users in 2020. The number of monthly users went from 1 million to 2.8 million. In Q1 2021, this number more than doubled, reaching 6.1 million. 

The Environmental Impact of Cryptocurrency

While cryptocurrencies are reshaping the world of finance and the global economy, innovation doesn’t come without risks or downsides. One of the main disadvantages of cryptos and their underpinning technology is the amount of energy they require to run. 

Bitcoin mining requires over 90 terawatt-hours of electricity per year - a tenfold amount compared to five years ago.

(The New York Times)

Bitcoin’s massive ecological footprint is one of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of its broader adoption. Some crypto communities, such as that of Ethereum, are aware of this problem and are actively working on reducing the negative impact of Ether on the environment.

A single crypto transaction uses as much electrical energy as nearly a million and a half Visa transactions.

(Digiconomist)

Above, we have seen some cryptocurrency mining statistics and their impact on the environment. But what is the impact of a single transaction? Every time a user trades cryptocurrency, deposits cash in a Bitcoin ATM, or pays for goods with crypto tokens, over 2,100 kilowatt-hours of electricity are used.

This is the same amount of electricity needed by an average US household for over 72 days.

Bitcoin alone produces about 22.5 million metric tons of CO2 emissions each year.

(Reuters)

Aside from the whopping amount of electricity needed to mine and trade cryptocurrency, this developing technology also produces somewhere between 22 and 22.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide every year. 

The Future of Cryptocurrency

Digital currencies and their underpinning technologies are new systems, which have not yet been fully explored. Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are reshaping healthcare, the world of fast-moving consumer goods, the global supply chain, and financial transactions. While not everything can be forecasted, here are some of the most important trends for 2022 and beyond. 

(YouGov)

El Salvador was the first country to officially adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender in September 2021. Other countries are working to follow suit, and just under 30% of people in the US support the adoption of Bitcoin as a legal tender. 

The cryptocurrency market is predicted to grow at an annual rate of nearly 13% until 2030.

(Allied Market Research)

Over the past 18 months, the cryptocurrency market has grown at an unprecedented rate. Nonetheless, thanks to the popularity of investing in crypto and the increased accessibility and usability of cryptocurrencies, the global market for digital currencies is expected to continue growing at a rate of 13% until 2030.

Nearly 30% of investors believe that crypto regulations will increase its value, reduce volatility, and curb the risk of scams.

(GWI)

As we have seen, in most countries, cryptocurrencies and crypto transactions are not regulated by an authority. While this gives plenty of privacy and freedom to crypto investors, on the flip side, it makes crypto a high-risk, highly volatile investment. 

As more countries work to regulate the crypto market, over a third of investors believe that these developments will improve the value of their coins. 

(Library of Congress)

Numerous cryptocurrency transaction statistics confirm that crypto coins are used as efficient currencies around the world. Nonetheless, cryptocurrencies are illegal in over 40 countries - including China, where they have been banned in 2021.

Fifteen percent of crypto investors and 22% of potential investors don’t trust any institution to regulate cryptocurrency.

(GWI)

While there are many benefits that come with the introduction of regulations - a cryptocurrency authority would be able to reduce the tokens’ volatility, curb scam risk, etc. - over 15% of today’s crypto investors don’t trust any governmental institution to regulate cryptocurrency and would prefer for it to remain unregulated. 

Conclusion

Above, we have seen the most impactful crypto stats for 2021. While the world of cryptocurrencies looks promising and powerful enough to reshape the world’s economy, there is a lot still unknown.

FAQ

How many people use crypto?

+

Today, there are an estimated 300 million crypto users. The number of active crypto traders increased by 190% between 2018 and 2019 and continues to grow.

How many bitcoins does the average person have?

+

Today, there are about 106 million Bitcoin owners, owning about 90% of a total supply of 21 million bitcoins. That means the average Bitcoin owner has 0.178301887 BTC.

How is cryptocurrency taxed?

+

For tax purposes, in the US, crypto is considered property. Any profit made on a short-term asset (an asset you hold for less than a year) will be subjected to a 10%-37% taxation by the IRS.

Sources

About author

For years, the clients I worked for were banks. That gave me an insider’s view of how banks and other institutions create financial products and services. Then I entered the world of journalism. Fortunly is the result of our fantastic team’s hard work. I use the knowledge I acquired as a bank copywriter to create valuable content that will help you make the best possible financial decisions.

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