The NFT phenomenon – US consumers’ understanding and investment outlook have evolved
April 25th, 2023, Kineree Shah

The NFT phenomenon – US consumers’ understanding and investment outlook have evolved

A new YouGov Surveys reveals that the overall awareness of NFTs among Americans has increased in the past year, but a significant proportion still lack a clear understanding of the concept.

Between February 2022 and April 2023, the percentage of respondents who claimed to have heard about NFTs and knew what they meant rose slightly (23% in 2022 to 25% in 2023). Meanwhile, those who had heard about NFTs but were unsure of their meaning increased from nearly one-fifth (19%) to a quarter (24%). 

The percentage of consumers who had heard of NFTs but had no idea what they meant remained relatively stable, with a minor increase from 17% to 18%. Most notably, the proportion of consumers who had never heard of NFTs dropped from two-fifths to one-third (41% in 2022 to 33% in 2023). This suggests that while general awareness about NFTs is growing, many consumers still lack a comprehensive understanding of their function and significance.

When it comes to age, younger consumers are more knowledgeable about NFTs, with more than one-third of respondents aged 18-34 saying they know what NFTs are (36%), compared to consumers aged 35-54 (29%) and 55 and above (15%). Education level also plays a significant role in NFT comprehension, as higher education levels correspond to a greater understanding of NFTs. Among non-high school graduates, nearly one in seven (15%) claimed to know what NFTs are, whereas the percentage increased to two in five among postgraduates (44%).

Our data shows a significant positive correlation between income level and NFT knowledge. Less than one-fifth of respondents with an annual income of under $40K (19%) understood NFTs, compared to more than a third among those earning $80K or more (36%).

There has been a noticeable shift in US consumers' perception of NFTs as an investment in the past year. In 2022, 7% of respondents considered NFTs to be a good investment which more than doubled to 16% in 2023. Meanwhile, the proportion of respondents who perceived NFTs as a bad investment also increased, but to a lesser extent (from 30% in 2022 to 33% in 2023).

These data points suggest that although there remains considerable skepticism surrounding the investment potential of NFTs, an increasing number of consumers are beginning to buy into the concept. However, it is important to note that despite the growth in positive perception, a larger proportion of respondents still consider NFTs to be a bad investment – and that proportion has grown in the past year, too.

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Methodology- YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on 17-18 April 2023, with a nationally representative sample of 1,183 adults in the US (aged 18+ years), using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race to be representative of all adults in the US (18 years or older) and reflect the latest U.S. Census Bureau population estimates. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.