Over One In Five Americans Now Own Crypto On Banking Uncertainty

Cryptocurrency adoption in the U.S. increased amid fears of a full-blown banking crisis, a new poll finds. According to Morning Consult, 22% of Americans, over one in five, said they owned at least one form of crypto in April, representing a four-percentage-point increase from January.

Not surprisingly, Bitcoin was the most widely held digital asset in April, with 16% of respondents saying they owned some of it. That’s up from 13% a year earlier. Ethereum was the number two asset, with 12% ownership in April 2023, followed by Binance Coin and Tether at 8% each.

Crypto Ownership among U.S. investors ticked up amid bank failures

I must point out, though, that many people would take issue with Bitcoin being labeled a “crypto”; even Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chief Rostin Behnam have both described the world’s biggest digital asset as a commodity.

Traditional Finance Under Pressure

Again, the increase in crypto ownership was likely tied to ongoing market jitters involving the banking industry—in particular, the failures of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank and the decapitalization of Credit Suisse and First Republic Bank.

Shares of First Republic plunged close to 75% this week and were trading at around $3.76 on Friday, down from the 52-week high of $219.16, after the San Francisco-based bank reported that depositors yanked out more than $100 billion in the first quarter. Receivership by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) now appears likely, and the Federal Reserve is reportedly considering tougher rules for midsize banks.

First Republic Bank's Share Price Plummeted ion Massive Deposit Withdrawals