Last Updated: February 9, 2024
Without a doubt, one of the hottest topics right now are Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. For some, it’s still a foreign territory; for others, it’s a topic worth discussing all day long.
Suddenly, everyone seems to be getting involved in the crypto world, hoping to turn hundreds of pounds into more significant amounts of money. This article will explain how and why the UK is estimated to become the worldwide leader in blockchain technologies and the crypto economy. Also, if you wondered how many people own bitcoin in the UK, you’ve come to the right place.
Top 10 Statistics
- By late 2020, almost two out of 10 women in the UK held a cryptocurrency.
- In 2020, UK people aged 18–29 were twice as likely to own a cryptocurrency compared to 45–60-year-olds.
In November 2021, the cryptocurrency market reached an all-time high of $3 trillion.
- 20.3% of the UK respondents indicated that they had never heard of Bitcoin before.
- The Standard Chartered British financial institution predicts Bitcoin could reach $100,000 (roughly £72,000) in early 2022.
- In terms of Bitcoin ATMs, the United Kingdom is one of the leading countries in the world.
- Many coffee chains and restaurants in the United Kingdom accept Bitcoin as a way of buying gift cards, including Caffe Nero, Wagamama, Pizza Express, and Brasserie Blanc.
- Roughly 2.3 million Britons hold cryptocurrencies.
- London had the highest number of companies that accepted cryptocurrency in the UK in 2021.
- As of August 2021, PayPal users in the UK can use the platform to buy, hold, or sell cryptocurrency.
How Many People in the UK Own Cryptocurrencies?
Cryptocurrencies are held by roughly 2.3 million Britons despite warnings that they are risky
These warnings from regulators and the head of the Bank of England refer to the fact that people in the UK who own cryptocurrencies should be prepared to lose all their money. While most people said they bought cryptocurrency with their own money, 14% said they borrowed from friends, family, or a financial institution.
Furthermore, 2.3 million people (4.4% of adults) owned cryptocurrency in 2021, which means their number is up more than a fifth compared to the previous year when it was 1.9 million.
As of 2022, 34% of women in the UK either hold cryptocurrency assets or are eager to invest in them
Among UK adults, the number of owners had risen from roughly 1.9 million in December 2019 to roughly 10.6 million seven months later.
In 2020, Britons aged 18–29 were twice as likely to own a cryptocurrency compared to those aged 45–60
The source does not specify which digital coin this refers to — Bitcoin or an alternative like Ethereum, Dogecoin, or Ripple (XRP).
Approximately 1.9 million Britons owned cryptocurrencies in 2020
That means that nearly 4% of the adult population owned cryptocurrencies. Another 700,000 Britons, or 5.35%, have also held crypto at some point — an increase of 2.35% from the previous year.
How Many People in the UK Have Bitcoin?
According to the FCA research conducted in 2021, two-thirds of cryptocurrency owners held Bitcoin
It is estimated that the number of UK bitcoin owners has risen to 2.3 million in 2021. The next three most popular cryptocurrencies are Ethereum (35%), Litecoin (21%), and Ripple (18%).
5.3% of British investors between the ages of 35 and 44 owned Bitcoin, as of 2019
Moreover, 6.8% of UK citizens have stated they are planning to buy Bitcoin.
In 2021, most cryptocurrency owners in the UK (excluding Northern Ireland) held Bitcoin, most likely along with other cryptocurrencies
Therefore, if you have ever wondered how popular Bitcoin is in the UK, here’s your answer — it is extremely popular.
Highest Bitcoin Price to Date
In February, April, and November of 2021, Bitcoin (BTC) prices exceeded £47,952, again reaching a new all-time high
Bitcoin price in the UK rose to a record high of £50,166 in 2021
In the coming weeks, analysts predict that the world’s best-known cryptocurrency will grow even more. According to the graph, as of February 7 this year, Bitcoin stands at almost £49,944. Several other cryptocurrencies have also reached record highs, such as Ethereum, which climbed to £3,568.
Despite its volatility, Bitcoin remains the world’s largest digital currency, with a market value of more than $1.1 trillion (roughly £812.6 billion)
A single bitcoin was worth about £516 five years ago. As bond yields are declining, investors are purchasing it as a hedge against rising inflation and an alternative to gold, which is a traditional inflation hedge.
The Market Capitalisation of Bitcoin
In November 2021, the cryptocurrency market reached an all-time high of $3 trillion
Compared to 2015, the figure decreased from 86%. The total capitalisation of the crypto market is about two-thirds driven by Bitcoin.
Bitcoin has the highest cryptocurrency market capitalisation
As of mid-May 2021, Bitcoin had a cryptocurrency market cap of £651.66 billion. There are, however, smaller “giants” on the crypto market as well. For example, Ethereum, with a market cap of £311.90 billion and Binance Coin, with £65.59 billion.
Bitcoin Trading Volume in the UK
In 2020, the UK ranked as one of the countries with the most Bitcoin trading worldwide
As Bitcoin’s price climbed higher in 2020, UK bitcoin transactions increased steadily, although not as high as they were in late 2017
This conclusion is made after investigating the Bitcoin trading UK volume against domestic currencies used for the transaction of the virtual currency.
How Many People in the UK Have Heard of Bitcoin?
Approximately 80% of adults said they’ve heard of crypto, according to a YouGov survey in 2021. However, many of them admitted not fully understanding how it works
The number of adults who have heard of crypto has risen significantly from 42% in 2019 to 73% in 2020 and 80% in 2021.
In 2019, 20.3% of the UK respondents indicated that they had never heard of Bitcoin before
Also, 67.5% of UK citizens indicated that they don’t want to invest in Bitcoin. Nevertheless, 6.8% of respondents indicated they did not own any Bitcoin but were planning to acquire it.
Over a quarter of British male young professionals were unaware of Bitcoin in 2019
However, nearly three-quarters of Britons are now aware of it, compared to just 42% in 2019.
Is Bitcoin Accepted as a Payment Method in the UK?
London had the highest number of companies that accepted cryptocurrency in the UK in 2021
This data was compiled from open-source tracking, which kept track of which companies had in-store ATMs or accepted them for POS payments. In addition, compared to other cities of equal size, Manchester had a higher number of firms that accepted cryptocurrency.
As of August 2021, PayPal users in the UK are able to utilise the platform to buy, hold, or sell cryptocurrency
Bitcoin UK payments, however, are not possible through PayPal. To make a cash purchase, you will instead have to sell the cryptocurrency for traditional currency.
In this regard, PayPal supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. Also, the currencies cannot be sent to family or friends or transferred to or from another digital wallet.
In terms of Bitcoin ATMs, the United Kingdom is one of the leading countries in the world
In 2021, the majority of cryptocurrency withdrawal or payment locations in the United Kingdom were electronic stores. However, it is difficult to determine how many firms actually accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Ripple as a payment option.
When compared to global business types that offer crypto solutions, UK companies that deal with virtual currencies seem to be less convenience-oriented and more focused on digital products or services.
The Paypal team is working closely with regulators in the UK
The PayPal vice-president and general manager for crypto, blockchain, and digital currencies — Jose Fernandez da Ponte, revealed: “We are committed to continuing working closely with regulators in the UK, and around the world, to offer our support — and meaningfully contribute to shaping the role digital currencies will play in the future of global finance and commerce”.
Lush, one of the most renowned beauty retailers in the UK, accepts cryptocurrency payments on its website
Similarly, Shopify, the major marketplace payments network, accepts Bitcoin.
A lot of coffee chains and restaurants in the UK accept Bitcoin as a way of buying gift cards, including Caffe Nero, Wagamama, Pizza Express, and Brasserie Blanc
In addition, fast food restaurants did the same. Some of them are Domino’s Pizza and Pizza Hut, and takeaway platforms, such as Uber Eats, Deliveroo, and Just Eat. Moreover, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Asda, and Argos are some significant UK retailers that accept gift cards via Bitpay.
What Does the Future Hold for Bitcoin?
In the UK, central banks are considering launching their own digital currencies, which would be detrimental to crypto. Why? Well, because the new currencies would replace some of the perceived benefits of Bitcoin, such as speed and low transaction costs.
The Standard Chartered British financial institution predicts Bitcoin UK could reach $100,000 (roughly £72,000) in early 2022
Bitcoin skyrocketed from $100 to $1,150 in 2013. In addition, during 2017, the price increased from $800 to $20,000 and in 2018, the price plummeted below $4,000, losing 80% of its value. So, here’s hoping that this pattern won’t repeat itself in near future.
In 2021, Londoners were bombarded with a record number of cryptocurrency ads on public transport, fuelling calls for a ban to stop people from being tempted into risky investments
The increase in advertisements for unregulated crypto assets in the UK raises concerns about addiction and financial harm — especially given the extreme volatility of digital currencies like Bitcoin, which hit record highs last year before crashing again
Under the Freedom of Information Act, the Guardian obtained records showing that TfL services displayed 39,560 crypto advertisements from 13 firms in the six months between April and September 2021
It was the biggest advertising campaign in recent years, driven by advertisers taking advantage of smartphone apps and highlighting digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ether.
The crypto pundits on Twitter, who are often anonymous, confidently declare Bitcoin will be worth millions of dollars in the future
Many people who follow them suggest borrowing money to buy Bitcoin. This practice could lead to financial ruin in an unregulated market where there is no consumer protection if things go wrong.
Interesting Facts About Cryptocurrencies in the UK
Check out more interesting facts about cryptocurrencies in the UK below:
Cryptocurrency has gained favourable treatment from the UK government despite some governments enforcing strict regulations on its use.
In the next few years, cryptocurrency will become even more popular.
To support innovation and prevent criminal activity, the government of the UK intends to apply anti-money legalising regulations to cryptocurrency exchanges.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will set the rules for promotional activities for qualifying crypto assets, holding them to the same standards as financial promotions for stocks and insurance products.
The UK’s financial regulator called Kim Kardashian out in 2021 for her crypto promotion on Instagram.
The UK government published an official statement on digital currencies in April 2021, expressing its support for innovation in the sector. Major financial institutions in the region, like the Bank of England, have also embraced cryptocurrency.
As a result, it was concluded that Great Britain has all the required resources, as well as the industrial and government will to become a global hub for blockchain technology and cryptocurrency by 2022.
Since over 2 million Britons hold cryptocurrencies, we can conclude that this trend will continue on an even larger scale in near future. It has also been reported that the UK government intends to apply anti-money legalising regulations to cryptocurrency exchanges. Moreover, the United Kingdom is one of the leading countries in the world when it comes to Bitcoin ATMs.
Hopefully, this article gave you a better understanding of Bitcoin statistics in the UK. Whether you are new to the crypto world or have already taken a step into it, we hope you will feel more confident when deciding whether to invest in cryptocurrency or not.