Two-thirds of Americans don’t trust crypto: Pew Research

Quick Take

  • Among Americans who are familiar with cryptocurrency, three-quarters say they are not confident in the digital assets. 
  • Even for those who have invested in cryptocurrency, more than 40% lack confidence.

Americans don't much trust in crypto.

Price instability, a series of bankruptcies and regulatory uncertainty have left the majority of people in the U.S. with a lack of confidence in the reliability and safety of investing in and trading cryptocurrencies, according to a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center.

Among the vast majority of Americans who say they have heard at least a little about cryptocurrency (88%), three-quarters say they are not confident,” in cryptocurrencies, said Pew, which estimates that equates to about two-thirds of all U.S. adults.

The cryptocurrency market has deteriorated significantly over roughly a year’s time after an extended bull run that lured many investors, big and small, into buying digital assets. In recent months, big banks and cryptocurrency exchanges have folded amid scandal and a lack of liquidity. U.S. regulators have stepped up scrutiny in the wake of the turmoil, casting the future of crypto into further uncertainty.  

Nearly 40% of Americans who “have heard about cryptocurrency” said they are “not at all confident” or “are not very confident” in the safety of trading digital currencies, and 18% said they are “somewhat confident,” according to the study.

Despite the poor standing, crypto still polled better than the U.S. government. But only slightly. In Pew's most recent look at how Americans feel about their government, only two in ten respondents said they trust Washington to do what is right “just about always” (2%) or “most of the time” (19%).

Older skeptics


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Americans over the age of 50 are more skeptical than their younger counterparts. Among people who have invested in crypto, 43% lack confidence in the digital currencies.

Roughly three-quarters of the people polled who have invested in crypto said they did so for the first time between one and five years ago. And 69% of those who have invested in crypto still own some, Pew said.

Bitcoin, the biggest of all cryptocurrencies, has recently rebounded, rising to its highest level in nearly two years.

The Pew results seem to be at odds with other recent surveys. A Paxos-backed poll from earlier this year of 5,000 U.S.-based working-age adults showed 75% remain "confident or somewhat confident in the future of crypto." The survey occurred Jan. 5 and 6 and included adults earning over $50,000, who had a bank account and who purchased crypto in the past three years.

Another from Coinbase found that was released in February showed more than 50 million Americans own crypto and 67% of respondents generally found the overall global financial system to be unfair and in need of “major changes or a complete overhaul."

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

RT Watson is a senior reporter at The Block who covers a wide array of topics including U.S.-based companies, blockchain gaming and NFTs. Formerly covered entertainment at The Wall Street Journal, where he wrote about Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros. and the creator economy while focusing primarily on technological disruption across media. Previous to that he covered corporate, economic and political news in Brazil while at Bloomberg. RT has interviewed a diverse cast of characters including CEOs, media moguls, top influencers, politicians, blue-collar workers, drug traffickers and convicted criminals. Holds a master's degree in Digital Sociology.


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