Survey: Consumers Differ on Impact of ‘Crypto Winter’

Illustration of digital bitcoin snowflakes
Illustration: VIP+: Adobe Stock

Note: This article is based on Variety Intelligence Platform’s special report “Demographic Divide,” available solely to subscribers.

The crypto winter has yet to thaw. 

The term, used to reference the huge drops in valuation for the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum that have occurred in 2022, is actually the second crypto crash to have occurred since 2018 — the prior one lasting from January 2018 to December 2020.

As part of VIP+’s “Demographic Divide” report, our research partner GetWizer surveyed American consumers to see their awareness of the term crypto winter. Around a third of those 15-29 had heard of it, with a similar proportion of 30-44s. Awareness steeply leveled off among older consumers. 

Younger consumers are more bullish about crypto’s long-term prospects, with a third thinking the highs seen last year will be back. Older consumers, perhaps marked by experiences with prior bubbles popping, are much more likely to think the good times will not return. 

One thing all age groups can agree on is whether crypto is a safe investment. Under 1 in 10 of all four demographic groups looked at in the “Demographic Divide” rated cryptocurrencies as not risky — a very low proportion.  

Where differences emerge is the assessment of risk. While a majority of all ages rated crypto as being a high-risk investment, over a third of those 15-44 consider it to be just “risky,” with this falling to a quarter of 45-59s and less than 1 in 10 of those 60 or older. As the subscriber report notes, this falls in line with crypto ownership and awareness levels. 

This is also reflected when asking consumers whether or not they consider cryptocurrencies to be a scam. The 15-29s and 30-44s were more likely to say no than yes, with the inverse true for older consumers and 60+ twice as likely to say crypto is a Ponzi scheme than not.  

This points to a strong level of mistrust that must be overcome by the industry in order for it to reach its true potential. If it is unable to do so, then crypto may not ever reach the heights dreamed of just a year ago. 

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