Young Americans Embrace Crypto Nearly as Much as Real Estate, Policygenius Survey Finds

.. By Thomas Peterson

May 8, 2024

2 min read

Reading Time: Read Time 2 minutes

Overview of Crypto and Real Estate Ownership Among Young Americans
A recent survey by Policygenius reveals a surprising trend among young Americans: nearly as many own cryptocurrency as do real estate. The survey, conducted in October of the previous year, indicates that 21% of millennials and Gen Z’ers own cryptocurrency, closely rivaling the 20% who own real estate. This data highlights a significant shift in investment preferences among younger generations, particularly in the context of the challenging real estate market following the pandemic-induced boom.

Generational Differences in Crypto Ownership
The generational gap in cryptocurrency adoption is notable. Among Gen X respondents, only 10% reported owning crypto, while a mere 5% of boomers said the same. This stark contrast not only underscores the growing appeal of digital currencies among younger generations but also reflects broader technological and cultural shifts.

Crypto vs. Stocks: The Preference of Gen Z
The survey further explores the investment choices of Gen Z, revealing that they are more likely to own cryptocurrencies than stocks, with 18% owning stocks compared to a higher percentage owning crypto. This preference points to a broader trend of younger investors favoring more modern and arguably riskier assets over traditional ones like stocks.

American Youth and NFT Ownership
Despite the high crypto adoption rates, the ownership of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) remains relatively low among all age groups. Nine percent of Gen Z and 8% of millennials reported owning NFTs, significantly higher than the 4% of Gen X’ers and 1% of boomers. This data indicates that while NFTs have captured significant attention, they have not yet become a mainstream investment option like cryptocurrencies.

Financial Pride Among Younger Generations
Interestingly, the survey also sheds light on how Gen Z and millennials view their financial management. A notable number of respondents from these age groups feel “somewhat proud” of how they handle their finances, suggesting a degree of confidence in their financial decisions despite the volatility associated with assets like crypto.

Market Context and Future Outlook
The timing of the survey is crucial for understanding these trends. Conducted before the SEC’s approval of spot bitcoin ETFs and during a period when bitcoin was experiencing significant price fluctuations, these insights offer a snapshot of younger Americans’ resilience and adaptability in the financial sector. Since then, bitcoin’s value has surged, reflecting a broader increase in the crypto market’s capitalization, which now stands at around $2.6 trillion.

The Policygenius survey provides compelling evidence that cryptocurrencies are becoming a fundamental part of the financial portfolio for many younger Americans, nearly equating to traditional asset classes like real estate. As digital currencies continue to mature and gain acceptance, it is likely that their adoption among younger, tech-savvy generations will only increase, potentially reshaping investment trends for years to come.