How Many People Own Bitcoin? 95 Blockchain Statistics (2021)

by Josh Howarth - September 21, 2021

Since its launch in 2009, Bitcoin has become the world’s best-known and most popular cryptocurrency exchange, with more than 76 million users worldwide. Because Bitcoin lives in the digital world, Bitcoin users can send it anywhere in the world without any banking infrastructure or exchange fees, fostering peer-to-peer financial transactions.

Bitcoin is free of any government or organizational control, yet it’s also scarce. The finite supply of 21 million bitcoins worldwide has contributed to the exclusivity of this cryptocurrency and its volatility over time.

Let’s explore some facts about Bitcoin so that you can weigh whether this or other cryptocurrencies have an investment reward that’s worth the risk.

Contents

Top 10 Blockchain Statistics - (Editor’s Choice)

  • More than 76 million people as of August 2021 created unique Bitcoin wallets on Blockchain.com, a site that makes buying Bitcoin possible. That's about 43% more than a year earlier and a 171% increase since 2018.
  • Cryptocurrency creator Satoshi Nakamoto is thought to own 1 million bitcoins worth $40 billion to $60 billion U.S. dollars.
  • There are more than 270,000 confirmed transactions of Bitcoin daily, a staggering amount.
  • Research from July 2021 shows that 89% of American adults have heard of Bitcoin.
  • As of 2021, about 106 million people around the world use cryptocurrencies.
  • About 46 million Americans (roughly 22% of the adult population) own a share of Bitcoin.
  • By 2025, financial analysts say, the global blockchain market will grow by $25.1 billion U.S. dollars.
  • 29% of all millennial American parents own cryptocurrency.
  • 51% of Americans in May 2021 had bought cryptocurrency for the first time within the last 12 months.
  • 24% of Americans said they don’t understand how cryptocurrency works, let alone a Bitcoin wallet.

Number Of Bitcoin Owners

How Many People Own Bitcoin?

The tremendously successful digital currency Bitcoin continues to grow in popularity. As of August 2021, more than 76 million people had created unique Bitcoin wallets on Blockchain.com, which makes purchasing Bitcoin possible. That’s roughly 20 million users more than a year earlier (or 43%) and about 48 million users more than in 2018 (a 171% increase).

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Numbers from the New York Digital Investment Group earlier this year found that about 22% of the U.S. adult population — or roughly 46 million Americans — owns Bitcoin. Yet, few financial advisers manage this for their clients. More than 1 in 5 clients already own Bitcoin, but more than 80% of people with financial advisers want to learn more about this cryptocurrency.

Who Created Bitcoin?

The creator of Bitcoin is something of a mystery. A person named Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 wrote a whitepaper describing Bitcoin and the design of the exchange system, publishing it to the Cryptography Mailing List. Bitcoin launched the following year, and Nakamoto stepped away from it soon afterward, sending a last-confirmed private message in 2011.

Bitcoin users have since grown to believe that “Satoshi Nakamoto” is a pseudonym for an unknown group or person, according to the New York Digital Investment Group, a Bitcoin subsidiary of the $11 billion alternative asset manager Stone Ridge.

A number of people have speculated that Nakamoto is Dorian Nakamoto, a Japanese-American man living in California; Nick Szabo, the creator of bit gold; or Hal Finney, an early user on the Bitcoin network.

Gavin Anderson, Bitcoin’s chief scientist, told Newsweek that “Satoshi Nakamoto” was determined to shield his identity from public access, communicating only through writing emails and online messages, never by phone.

How Many Bitcoins Does Satoshi Nakamoto Have?

Whoever they are, Satoshi Nakamoto is a billionaire. The cryptocurrency creator is thought to own 1 million Bitcoins. That would give Satoshi Nakamoto a net worth of about $40 billion to $60 billion, based on information from news reports.

Sources: BlockChain.com, New York Digital Investment Group, Newsweek, Ars Technica, Rob Report

Number Of Wallets

How Many Bitcoin Wallets Are There?

A Bitcoin wallet isn't something a person can tuck into a purse or back pocket. Rather, Bitcoin wallets are digital accounts that enable a user to access, store, buy, exchange, send, and receive cryptocurrency. The number of Bitcoin wallets out there provides some insight into the trading volume of a cryptocurrency.

As of August 2021, more than 76 million people on Blockchain.com had created unique Bitcoin wallets to access, buy, and trade Bitcoin. Coinbase, another platform for access to Bitcoin, has more than 68 million users. Together, this amounts to at least 144 million Bitcoin wallets.

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A Bitcoin user might have more than one Bitcoin wallet: one account to trade Bitcoin and another account to store it and related funds.

Market Size

How Many Daily Users of Bitcoin?

Data show that the number of daily Bitcoin users easily reaches several hundred thousand, although this can fluctuate. Blockchain.com notes that there are more than 270,000 confirmed transactions of Bitcoin daily, a staggering amount.

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Additional data points show that the number of daily transactions skyrocketed to more than 400,000 in January 2021 but dropped to 289,000 as of September 1, 2021. While about 17% lower than a year prior, that’s still about 31% higher than another day that same week.

How Many People Know About Bitcoin?

More people know about Bitcoin or have taken an interest in it these days compared to years past. Data from a July 2021 survey of roughly 1,700 American adults shows that 89% had heard of Bitcoin. Among those, 27% would consider investing in cryptocurrency, and 13% already had.

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Another survey found that 80% of white respondents were more aware of Bitcoin than 66% of Hispanic respondents and 61% of African-American respondents. Additional data from another survey noted that 78% of men who responded reported being aware of Bitcoin compared to 71% of women.

Major investors such as Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Tesla’s Elon Musk likely have contributed to this interest, along with more industries accepting such funds, such as personal PayPal accounts.

A number of other vendors are accepting Bitcoin as money as well. For example, in September 2020, about 26% of the payments worldwide through BitPay, an Atlanta, Georgia-based bitcoin payment service provider, went toward prepaid gift cards.

What Percent of the World Has Crypto?

An estimated 106 million people worldwide now use cryptocurrency exchanges, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, according to 2021 data from the cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com.

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Cryptocurrency is most popular in countries in Africa, Asia, and South America compared to Europe, North America, or Australia. In Nigeria, for instance, 32% of people (roughly 1 in 3) surveyed in 2020 said they use or own crypto. Other top-investing crypto countries that year included:

  • Vietnam (21%)
  • The Philippines (20%)
  • Turkey (16%)
  • Peru (16%)

The numbers of Americans interested in these investments seem to be on the rise, however. In 2020, some data found that just 6% of Americans use or own crypto. Yet 2021 data from the New York Digital Investment Group shows that about 46 million people nationwide (roughly 22% of the U.S. adult population) own a share of Bitcoin.

Blockchain Market And Revenue

In 2020, analysts valued the global blockchain market at USD $3024.54 million, with the COVID-19 pandemic and e-commerce driving growth. Additional information from financial analysts predicts that the global blockchain market value will grow by $25.1 billion U.S. dollars by 2025 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 69.3%.

Sources: Coinbase, BlockChain.com, Blockchain.com, Ycharts, Yahoo News, Simple Money Lyfe, PayPal, Statista, CTF Assets, Yahoo, Statista, New York Digital Investment Group, Market Research, Market Search Engine

Crypto Market Growth

How Many Believe That People Will Be Using Bitcoin in the Next 10 Years?

In 2020, financial experts valued the global cryptocurrency market size at USD $1.49 billion, but demand for financial transparency and security are spurring market growth. Financial forecasters project the global cryptocurrency market to reach USD $4.94 billion by 2030, a CAGR of about 12.8%.

The price of Bitcoin is known to be volatile. Bitcoin price reached $60,000 in early 2021 before crashing and losing about 40% of its value over weeks. Nevertheless, investors predict that more mainstream use will increase the bitcoin price by about 1,500% over the next decade.

How Many Bitcoin Traders Are There?

Bitcoin is the oldest cryptocurrency and the largest in value. It’s also the most popular. In a survey from the financial website Finder, data show that 66.7% of cryptocurrency investors own Bitcoin compared to 28.6% owning Dogecoin and 23.9% investing in Ethereum.

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For one Bitcoin, the Bitcoin price as of Sept. 7, 2021, was $47,055. Data from Coinbase shows there is currently 18.8 million Bitcoin (BTC) in circulation. As of 2019, over $7 trillion worth of Bitcoin has been transferred among Bitcoin traders since 2009.

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What Is Bitcoin’s User Growth?

Blockchain.com reported having more than 75 million blockchain wallet users (or owners of exchange accounts) worldwide as of August 2021, a 13% increase from earlier in the year. In January, the same website reported having only about 66 million blockchain wallet users worldwide.

Sources: Yahoo, Forbes, Finder, Coinbase, Coinbase, Statista

USA Market Growth

Millennials Own the Most Crypto

According to a Harris Poll that USA Today published in August 2021, 29% of all millennial American parents have cryptocurrency. Millennials are the largest current generation of parents in America, yet they own only a small amount of the nation's wealth, about 5%, this data shows.

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American millennials share an affinity for cryptocurrency with a number of investors in this age bracket worldwide. In a global survey by the deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent fintech and financial advisory organizations, data show that 67% of the more than 700 millennials surveyed believed that Bitcoin outranked gold as a safe-haven asset.

These respondents lived in the United Kingdom, North America, Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, East Asia, and Australasia.

How Many Americans Have Crypto?

Roughly 59.1 million Americans have digital assets in some form, according to data from a survey commissioned by the financial website Finder, launched in 2006. A Harris Poll that USA Today published in August 2021 placed this at 13% of Americans.

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A June 2021 nationwide survey published by the University of Chicago found that more than 1 in 10 people had invested in cryptocurrency over the past twelve months. By comparison, the data show that 24% of those people had invested in the stock market over the same time frame.

The National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago has additional information about Bitcoin owners and people interested in these exchanges. The mean age for the average cryptocurrency trader is 38. More than half (55%) of these traders do not have a college degree.

This research notes that two-fifths of the owners of crypto accounts nationwide are non-white (44%), and 41% are women. More than one-third (35%) have annual household incomes under $60,000.

A Rising Number of Americans Own Crypto

Over the past few years, the number of Americans who own cryptocurrency has climbed steadily, according to a survey of 2,059 participants that Finder commissioned. From about 7.95% of Americans owning cryptocurrency in 2018, the percentage rose to 14.4% in 2019 and 23.16% in 2021.

Although millennial investors seem to be leading the way, other age groups are paying attention. Research from deVere found that 70% of its clients over age 55 either planned to buy such digital assets in 2021 or already had done so.

One May 2021 survey of 2,000 American adults across all age groups found that 51% who own cryptocurrency bought it for the first time within the last 12 months. In addition, more than 20% (roughly 50 million people) who had never owned cryptocurrency said they were likely to buy it in the next year.

Part of the barrier for new investors seems to be a lack of understanding, with 24% of this survey's respondents saying they don't understand how cryptocurrency works. Another 20% didn't access cryptocurrency because they didn't understand how to buy it.

However, 70% of all those surveyed said they'd consider buying cryptocurrency (or more of it) if they could store it in their bank accounts.

Sources: News Chant, Simple Money Lyfe, Finder, CNBC, NORC, Lyo Credit, Fool

Top 10 Crypto Billionaires

Cryptocurrency Rich List

In 2021, Forbes listed 12 crypto billionaires on its World’s Billionaires list, four more than the previous year. The top-earning owners are as follows:

  • Sam Bankman-Fried: This twentysomething MIT graduate founded the derivatives exchange FTX and the quantitative trading firm Alameda Research. His net worth is $8.7 billion.
  • Brian Armstrong: The co-founder and CEO of Coinbase has a net worth of $6.5 billion.
  • Chris Larsen: The chairman and co-founder of Ripple, real-time currency exchange and gross settlement system, has a net worth of $3.4 billion.
  • Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss: The twin brothers and former Olympic rowers who sued Facebook began buying Bitcoin in 2012 and are worth about $3 billion each.
  • Michael Saylor: The CEO of software firm MicroStrategy is worth about $2.3 billion, thanks to Bitcoin.
  • Jed McCaleb: Another Ripple co-founder, he’s worth about $2 billion.
  • Fred Ehrsam: Armstrong’s Coinbase cofounder, Ehrsam now leads Paradigm, a cryptocurrency-focused investment firm. His net worth is $1.9 billion.
  • Changpeng Zhao: This founder of Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange, is worth $1.9 billion.
  • Matthew Roszak: The chairman of Bloq, a blockchain infrastructure company, invested in Bitcoin circa 2011 and is worth about $1.5 billion.
  • Tim Draper: When the U.S. Marshals in 2014 closed the Silk Road cryptocurrency black market, this Silicon Valley venture capitalist bought $18.7 million worth of Bitcoin. It's now worth $1.5 billion.

Source: Forbes

Number of Crypto Users by Type

The total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies as of Sept. 5, 2021, was $2,341,329,700,213. Out of all available cryptocurrencies, the 14 most popular in the United States include Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dogecoin, and Ethereum.

How Many Users Does Coinbase Have?

Coinbase, a platform that launched in 2012 to access cryptocurrency, now has more than 68 million users. The platform has about $180 billion in assets spread across 100 countries, with a quarterly volume traded of $462 billion.

How Many Users Does Ethereum (ETH) Have?

Also known as Ether, this is the second-largest cryptocurrency by value. One Ethereum is worth $3,482 as of Sept. 7, 2021. There are an estimated 10 million users of Ethereum and about 117.4 million Ethereum in circulation.

How Many Users Does Dogecoin (DOGE) Have?

Created in 2013 as a “lighthearted alternative” to Bitcoin, Dogecoin by design is meant to be abundant and relatively low-stakes in the crypto world. There are an estimated 1 million users of Dogecoin and about 131.2 billion in circulation as of September 2021. At the time, each Dogecoin also was worth about 26 cents.

Sources: Coin Market Cap, Coinbase, Coinbase, BuyBitcoinWorld, Coinbase

Which Countries Have Banned Bitcoin Users?

Because Bitcoin has no government regulation, several countries have banned the cryptocurrency at various times or at least warned owners of Bitcoin accounts about exchanging it. These include:

  • Bolivia: The country’s central bank has banned the use of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin.
  • China: China has banned cryptocurrency exchanges and also prohibits banks and financial institutions from trading or dealing in Bitcoin.
  • Columbia: This country does not allow Bitcoin investments or use.
  • Ecuador: The National Assembly of Ecuador in 2014 banned Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies but established guidelines for its own “electronic money.”
  • Russia: Although there is no current law against cryptocurrency, the Russian government has warned that “virtual currencies” could be used for terrorist financing and money laundering.
  • Vietnam: This country’s government and state bank do not regulate Bitcoin as an investment, but they also do not accept Bitcoin as a legitimate payment method.

Which Countries Have Made Bitcoin Legal Tender?

El Salvador is the first and only country in the world to recognize Bitcoin as a legal tender as of June 2021. However, other countries welcome payment in Bitcoin under certain conditions. For instance:

  • The United States considers Bitcoin a “money services business,” subject to registration and record-keeping under the Bank Secrecy Act. The IRS also classifies it as property for taxation purposes.
  • Canada similarly views Bitcoin under money services, not currency. Any Bitcoin transaction falls under “barter transactions,” and any income generated is considered business income.
  • Australia has ruled that Bitcoin is an asset for purposes of capital gains tax. It does not consider Bitcoin currency.
  • The European Union considers buying and selling digital currencies a “supply of services” that is exempt from value-added tax. However, individual nations, such as the United Kingdom, have specific Bitcoin tax regulations.

Sources: Investopedia, Coindesk, Morgan Lewis, Reuters

Conclusion

While a number of Americans want more information about how cryptocurrency works, the interest in these financial exchanges isn't waning anytime soon.

Seeing how much money that cryptocurrency account owners can accumulate likely inspired more than 106 million people worldwide to use this as part of their investment strategy, even if they already own real estate or follow the stock trade.

Since its inception, Bitcoin has hit the highs and lows of the market, a trying experience for anyone who already finds the information and numbers around these assets mind-boggling. One solution for any confusion about these investments is more educational content that can turn casual account owners into savvy investors and trustworthy partners in their financial future.

Written By
Josh Howarth
Co-founder of Exploding Topics.
548 Market St. Suite 95149
San Francisco, California
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