Most Americans still don’t know anything about DeFi, Web3 and CBDC
The survey was conducted from 16 to 23 February this year
A new study shows that cryptocurrency adoption and DeFi usage among ordinary Americans is deceptively low. A survey conducted by Morning Consult showed that less than a third of ordinary Americans have heard of DeFi, but 77% of cryptocurrency owners are more aware of it.
Considering that about 87% or 290.9 million Americans did not yet own a cryptocurrency before 2021, according to Statista, decentralized finance (DeFi) awareness among non-owners is limited to about 90 million Americans, and they still have a long way to go.
The Morning Consult survey also showed that the level of awareness of central bank digital currencies (CBDC) and Web3 is even lower, at 30% and 21% of non-owners, respectively.
The survey was conducted from 16 to 23 February this year. It included 4404 adult respondents from the United States.
While discussions in the crypto industry often highlight the rapid growth of the DeFi space compared to traditional financial service providers, it’s easy to overlook the echo chamber effect.
However, the most optimistic result of the survey was that 91% of Americans had heard of cryptocurrencies, a number temptingly close to representing the entire population.
The report, written by Morning Consult analyst Charlotte Principato, said that 40% of respondents agreed with the lack of innovation in existing traditional financial services and are actively diversifying the financial services and providers they use. While there is demand for more services, this is not necessarily a factor that drives users away from traditional finance.
However, thanks to the availability of smartphones, people are accustomed to managing more aspects of their lives with a single touch. Principato believes that this idea is applicable to the decentralization of own finances among several service providers. She claims that “using products from multiple vendors provides superior service and is more cost-effective than using just one.”
This familiarity with self-government can carry over into the financial realm. While this may not lead to automatic DeFi adoption, the report says that financial service providers need to keep an eye on changing behavior and attitudes or they risk falling behind.
“Industry leaders need to pay attention to these changes in attitude and behavior – but more importantly, they must continue to offer innovative products that can compete with those of their counterparts in the DeFi sector.”
Traditional banks such as Goldman Sachs and Bank of America have begun to explore the crypto services they can offer their customers to try and showcase the best innovations. Principato believes that the combination of cryptocurrency awareness with traditional crypto services and the demand for financial decentralization could eventually push consumers out of the traditional financial sector entirely into DeFi.
For now, the status quo remains largely unchanged as the vast majority of Americans rely on traditional banks for their financial needs, with only a small minority owning cryptocurrencies.