Survey finds race gap in attitudes toward crypto

Quick Take

  • A new survey from Plaid shows that there are gaps in attitude toward crypto based on racial groups.
  • With definitive data depicting racial wealth gaps in traditional finance, crypto adoption among Black communities is shown to be higher than in white populations.

Nearly half of Black Americans believe that crypto is more accessible than traditional finance, according to a new survey published by San Francisco-based fintech company, Plaid. Less than a third of white people agree.

With a racial wealth gap deeply in place — in the U.S. and around the world — advocates for crypto often claim that one of its advantages is providing better access to finance for marginalized groups. Plaid’s study, based on around 2,000 U.S. citizens over the age of 18 conducted over the summer of 2022, wanted to find out if crypto’s role in financial inclusion is reflected in the perceptions of different groups. 

The results show that 46% of Black people and 44% of Hispanic people believe that crypto is more accessible than traditional finance, compared to 29% of white people.

When asked if they believe that crypto will have an impact on their future finances, 54% of Hispanic people and 43% of Black respondents said yes. Again, a smaller percentage of white people agreed, at 33%.

“Whether marketing driven or not, crypto’s financial inclusion narrative has made an impact on consumer expectations and beliefs,” the report said. 

The racial wealth gap in the U.S. is a deep-rooted problem. Black Americans held only 3.8% the in U.S. wealth pool in 2021, Bloomberg reported, and Black communities were shown to be "underserved and overcharged" by financial institutions in a 2019 McKinsey report.

This may be why many researchers are picking up on the trend linking America's Black population to crypto. The Economist came out with a study in May showing similar statistics, with almost 40% of Black Americans under 40 years old owning cryptocurrency, with their white counterparts at 29%. Pew Research found in a 2021 study that Black, Hispanic and Asian communities are more likely to have invested or traded in crypto. Nasdaq also reported that Black wealth is "on the rise" through crypto.

Within the crypto community, Black-centered initiatives — like The Black Wall Street and Guap Coin — work toward increasing Black communities' participation in the sector. Meanwhile Isaiah Jackson's 2019 book, "Bitcoin & Black America," sets out to illustrate the connection between the new world of finance and Black economics.

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