A survey among 3,864 respondents that is representative of the adult Internet population in Germany allows deep and reliable insights into the adoption and usage of cryptocurrencies. 87% of the population know about cryptocurrencies. 18% of all adult Internet users in Germany either currently own cryptocurrencies (9.2%) or have owned some in the past (9.1%), with Bitcoin being most well-known (83%), followed by Bitcoin Cash (27%) and Ethereum (23%). Most users first acquired or mined cryptocurrency in 2017 or 2018. Bitcoin.de is the preferred exchange of Germans, followed by Coinbase and Kraken. On average, €2,770 was invested and the current average portfolio value is €6,314 (+128%). Nearly two thirds of crypto users (62%) report their exposure to be ideologically motivated. The average age of crypto users is 39 years, they are very often male (68%), better educated, and have a higher income compared to non-users.
Overall, it can be concluded that cryptocurrencies have experienced considerable momentum in recent years and that an interruption of this trend is not yet discernible. Continued growth seems probable; we may expect the importance of cryptocurrencies in business and society to continue to evolve. Many questions remain unanswered and more in-depth research is required. A continuous review of the development of cryptocurrencies and their user structure is needed to keep abreast of further developments, to identify new trends, and to respond adequately – if necessary, by regulation. We thus aim to follow up with corresponding surveys in other countries, as well as with regular updates on the situation in Germany. This should help to build an important long-term knowledge base for the public discussion on cryptocurrencies and their socio-economic impact.