Crypto inequality: 65% of users are male, says Visa research

By Raffaele Redi

The crypto environment is proving to be a male-dominated one

Hong Kong harbour                                 
Hong Kong is the only place where there is little gender difference in participation levels – Photo: Shutterstock

Almost two in three (65%) consumers who transact with cryptocurrency are men, while the majority (57%) of completely unengaged consumers are women.

With the only exception of Hong Kong, as there is little difference in participation between the genders in the former British colony, the crypto environment is proving to be a male-dominated one, according to a Visa survey accompanying the launch of Visa Global Crypto Advisory Practice, an offering within Visa Consulting & Analytics (VCA) that helps customers and partners deal with cryptos.

The survey was conducted using a sample of 6,430 consumers, with responses from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, South Africa, the US and the UK. It outlined that, on average, crypto enthusiasts are mostly young males while engagement with cryptocurrency is strongest in emerging markets.

“While most crypto-aware consumers view cryptocurrency as a wealth-building asset, many believe that within the next five years it will have permeated most types of transactions and that within 10 years it will be used by most consumers,” said researchers.

Women less likely to engage with cryptos

As cryptocurrency continues to emerge from being a niche area according to Visa research, three out of 10 consumers are active stakeholders, with further 20% of respondents saying they are interested in cryptos.

On the other hand, unengaged and/or sceptical consumers amounted to 48% of the people questioned – and most of them were women.

“Similar to sceptics, the unengaged are older than other segments and are most likely to be in the Boomer generation (39%). They are the most likely segment to be female (57%),” said the researchers.

Crypto adoption on the rise

According to Visa research, universal awareness of cryptocurrency stood at 94% globally among adults with discretion over their household finances.

“Crypto is moving from a niche asset class for a small community of investors, to a broader market increasingly accessible for mainstream and new adopters. While cryptocurrency adoption is still in the early stages, it is significant, and growing fast,” said the researchers.

Moreover, nearly one in three crypto-aware consumers already own or use cryptocurrency, with the majority (62%) saying that their use has increased in the past year, and nearly two-thirds (65%) expecting that they will increase the share of their investable assets invested in crypto in the next 12 months.

Approximately half of consumers who own cryptocurrency acquire their cryptocurrency from crypto-first exchanges, with more than a third indicating that they earn crypto through mining or staking.

Paying crypto assets by card

According to the research, a significant majority of consumers (83%) who use cryptocurrency expressed interest in crypto-linked cards and rewards, and most crypto owners (85%) would be interested in buying cryptocurrency from their bank.

Similarly, many crypto owners said they would be ready to take their business to banks that have jumped into crypto, while more than a third of current owners indicated that they plan to switch to a bank that offers crypto products within the next 12 months.

Finally, of those that already transact with cryptocurrency, a large portion (30%) said they were motivated by avoiding exchange conversion fees, while the remaining part quoted being able to transact at any time and low transaction fees.

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