Eighteen percent of the US adult population—46 million consumers—said they will likely use cryptocurrencies to make a purchase this year, according to a recent study from PYMNTS and crypto payment service provider BitPay. The study found that about a quarter of crypto owners have used cryptos to buy groceries (25.3%), to make online gaming or gambling payments (25.1%), and for streaming purchases (24.1%). Generational differences exist among those interested in using cryptos to fund transactions, with millennials and Gen Zers being the most enthusiastic.
Cryptocurrencies have taken the payments industry by storm in the past year. More payments firms extended their reach in the space amid surging crypto valuations: Visa, for example, introduced new crypto card offerings, and both Visa and Mastercard announced plans to integrate crypto into their networks. Meanwhile, Square—which has had a hand in the crypto market since 2018—invested $50 million in Bitcoin, and PayPal launched its “Checkout with Crypto” feature. Beyond increasing valuations, consumers’ heightened focus on digital payments may have also led providers to dive deeper into cryptos—although Bitcoin’s recent wave of volatility could jeopardize its popularity.
Here’s how rising interest in crypto payments could affect payment providers: