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Infographic – 1 in 6 Americans Using Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency use in U.S.

Click on image for full-size view (Pew Research Center)

27 Nov. 2021. We report occasionally on new applications of blockchain in science and health, but the leading use of blockchain remains digital currencies, often called cryptocurrencies. A recent survey by Pew Research Center indicates cryptocurrencies are gaining more traction among individuals in the U.S., particularly younger people.

The Pew data show 16 percent, or nearly one in six adults in the U.S. are already investing, trading, or using cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin or Ether. On a broader question, one in four Americans (24%) say they’ve heard a lot of about cryptocurrencies, while another six in 10 (62%) have heard a little about the subject. Those investing, trading, or using cryptocurrencies tend to be men (22%) more than women (10%), and younger — 31 percent of those age 18 to 29. In fact, about half (49%) of men age 18 to 29 say they use cryptocurrencies in some way.

Blockchain is a system for capturing data about transactions in a network, but with the data distributed among many various nodes in a network. Data about a transaction are broken up into blocks, with each block connected in a chain. Each block is also time-stamped and encrypted with an algorithm giving it a unique identifier or fingerprint, also linked mathematically to the previous block in the chain. This linking of uniquely identified and encrypted blocks in the chain ensures the integrity of the data, as well as protects the data from hacking. Cryptocurrencies use this decentralized platform to transmit digital financial tokens in secure transactions.

Pew Research Center surveyed 10,371 adults in the U.S. from 13 to 19 Sept. 2021, by landline and cellular telephone taking part in its American Trends Panel. The data are weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, education, and other categories. The findings have a confidence interval, sometimes called margin-of-error, or 1.6 percent.

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