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What Motivates Gen Xers and Baby Boomers to Adopt Cryptocurrency


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Most people will think of a young man when you ask them to picture a typical cryptocurrency fan. And for the most part, they would be right. Even though women are more involved than ever before, 90% of all Bitcoin is held by men. Research also shows that Gen Z and Millennials make up 94% of people who buy cryptocurrencies. But the situation is much more complicated than that in reality.

For example, that same piece of research shows that Gen X buyers of cryptocurrencies have invested much more aggressively than their younger peers. According to another survey, nearly half of all Baby Boomers and Gen Xers already own cryptocurrency. In 2021, the number of people over 60 and 65 who bought Bitcoin on an Australian exchange went up by 15%. Some investors have even called Bitcoin, which is the oldest and most popular digital currency, “Boomer Coin.” This is partly because the currency is old, but it’s also because people think it’s not as “cool” as other, newer cryptocurrencies.

One thing is clear, though: cryptocurrencies are much easier to get than they used to be. This is especially true now that FinTech platforms like upnup make cryptocurrency available to anyone who swipes a bank card to buy something. With that, there could be a shift between generations that leads more Boomers and Gen Xers to use cryptocurrencies.

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Digging into investment patterns

Before trying to figure out what that might look like, it’s a good idea to look more closely at how investments are made now.

Take the fact that Gen X investors put more money into crypto than Gen Z and Millennial investors. According to the study it comes from, Gen X investors bought an average of $9,611 worth of cryptocurrency in 2021, while Millennials bought $8,596 and Gen Z bought $6,120. In some ways, that’s not all that strange. Gen X investors are likely to be further along in their careers and have more money to put into cryptocurrencies just because they are older.

It does, however, go against some ideas about why younger people shouldn’t invest in cryptocurrencies. The theory is that because traditional investments don’t give younger investors the same returns as they used to for older investors, they are much more willing to try out alternative investments. The amounts Gen X investors have spent show that they are just as willing to take risks and get rewards as younger investors, if not more so.

It’s also important to remember that at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, investors from the Boomer and Gen X generations increased their Bitcoin holdings by nine times.

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An easier buy

There are a number of reasons why more older people are investing in cryptocurrency now. One reason could be that, over time, cryptocurrencies have become more accepted by the general public. Because of this, they have become a good part of a diversified portfolio.

As regulators have learned more about cryptocurrencies, this sense of being okay with them has only grown. Early crypto-utopians hoped that it would never be regulated, but if that were true, it was never likely that a lot of people would use it. Before making an investment, most people want to know that they are protected in some way.

Regulators have also been good for businesses in the cryptocurrency space. The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) telling banks not to close the accounts of cryptocurrency exchanges is one of the most obvious signs of this.

But maybe the biggest change is that cryptocurrencies are now easier to get. At the beginning of the 2010s, it was not easy to buy Bitcoin or do anything with it once you did. Today, you can do it in a few seconds with the help of an app.

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One reason we were able to start upnup was because of this better access. People can buy cryptocurrency by “rounding up” their spending on things like groceries and gas, or by transferring a set amount from their bank accounts every month. It’s an approach that doesn’t require any more technical knowledge than any other app, and we hope it will make owning and investing in cryptocurrency much more common in all parts of South African society.

The spread of cryptocurrency

It might take a while (if it happens at all) for Gen Xers and Boomers to reach the same level of cryptocurrency ownership as Gen Z and Millennials. What should be clear, though, is that things are changing quickly and that people of all ages are becoming more likely to own cryptocurrencies. And this is something that people who really believe in the power of cryptocurrencies to change the world should be happy about.

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