Global: What consumers think about when they think about crypto
September 7th, 2022, Christien Pheby

Global: What consumers think about when they think about crypto

Advocates of cryptocurrencies say that it offers low transaction costs, protection from inflation, and a host of other benefits. Headlines, however, have often focused on investment wins (and losses), illegal activities, and other unflattering stories.

With this in mind, it’s worth examining what the public are most likely to strongly associate with crypto.

YouGov data from 18 international markets suggests that consumers are most likely to think about it as an investment (42%) – perhaps expectedly so, given headlines emphasising how Bitcoin has made some people very rich, and caused others to lose everything.


With two in five citing this kind of speculation, it’s the strongest association people have with cryptocurrency by some distance: the second strongest is “wasting time and losing money” (26%), and joint-third are “making online payments and money transfers” (23%) and “illegal activities” (23%).

As for where these associations are strongest, our data shows that consumers in Hong Kong are most apt to think of investment when they think of crypto (59%). In this market, people also report stronger associations with speculation, payments (26%), and illegal activities (31%) than average, suggesting a greater familiarity with cryptocurrency in general.

Consumers in Mexico are the most likely to think of money transfers and online payments (32%), while Britons are most likely to associate crypto with illegality (36%) – to the point that they’re twice as likely to think of criminal behaviour as they are to think of payments (18%).


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YouGov RealTime Omnibus provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18 and over in 18 markets with sample sizes. All surveys were conducted online in August 2022. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov RealTime Omnibus.