The young and the frugal are buying less crypto

People who are struggling to make ends meet are much more likely to buy cryptocurrency to make payments than to make money.

In the recent PYMNTS report, “Paying with Cryptocurrency: Can Crypto at Checkout Become a Profit Center for Merchants?– a collaboration with BitPay – more than 43% of respondents who described themselves as living with difficulty from paycheck to paycheck said payments were their main motivation.

This decreased as respondents’ financial lifestyle improved.

Less than a third (32%) of those who live comfortably paycheck-to-paycheck and just 23% of those who don’t live paycheck-to-paycheck chose payments as their primary motivation.

Nonetheless, since paying with crypto in stores and online is still quite rare, it’s pretty clear that many people in all three income brackets are coming to consider cryptocurrencies as a form of payment.

On the other hand, only 36% of the financially tightest group said buying crypto was an investment, compared to 51% of the comfortable group and 59% of the wealthiest. All three groups put “fear of missing out” at around 15%.

The first group, who were living hard from paycheck to paycheck, were also much more likely to buy cryptocurrency in the coming year, with 38% saying they were very or extremely likely to do so. That’s up from 22% of those who live comfortably paycheck to paycheck and 17% of those who don’t live paycheck to paycheck.

Interestingly, these numbers didn’t add up very well when respondents were split by income rather than financial lifestyle.

In the wealthiest demographic, those earning over $100,000, 33% were very or extremely likely to buy crypto in the next year. That figure rose to 27% for those earning between $50,000 and $100,000, but then dropped precipitously to just 15% for those earning less than $50,000. Which suggests that living on a budget is not the same as living on a low budget.

With one exception, buying crypto by age group was more or less what you would expect. The very and extremely likely group was tiny for Baby Boomers and Seniors (7%) and gradually widened as the population got younger: Gen Xers 28%, Bridge Millennials 38%, Millennials 42%.

But then something interesting happens.

Gen Z, the group generally considered to be the most comfortable and educated about cryptocurrencies, took a big dive, ranking slightly below Gen X with 27% very and extremely likely to buy digital assets next year. One possible reason that comes to mind is that Gen Z is also the group with the lowest disposable income.


About: Results from PYMNTS’ new study, “The Super App Shift: How Consumers Want To Save, Shop And Spend In The Connected Economy,” a collaboration with PayPal, analyzed responses from 9,904 consumers in Australia, Germany, UK and USA. and showed strong demand for one super multi-functional app rather than using dozens of individual apps.

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