Binance Research Releases First-Ever Global Report on Crypto User Motivations, Behaviors, and Preferences


As mass adoption of retail investment in cryptocurrencies becomes more accessible, confidence in cryptocurrencies is growing across the world, according to new insights from Binance Research’s “2021 Global Crypto User Index."

The first-ever report examines data from over 61,000 crypto users around the world, shedding light on the motivations, behaviors, and preferences of this growing audience. 

According to the findings, there is near-unanimous confidence in cryptocurrencies (97%) amongst users. More than half (52%) do not consider crypto investing as a hobby, but instead as a means of income; for 15% of users, crypto is considered their primary source of income. Meanwhile, the top three reasons users invest in crypto are (1) to own crypto as part of a long-term investment strategy (55%), (2) distrust of the current financial system (38%), and (3) short-term trading opportunities (31%).

“We are seeing accelerated adoption of cryptocurrencies as more major players show support and provide additional channels for people to invest. It’s increasingly important for us to understand crypto users as well as their corresponding attitudes and behaviors,” said a spokesperson from Binance Research. “The aim of our 2021 Global Crypto User Index is to understand the commonalities and differences between retail crypto users across the different profile types, as well as across different countries and markets.”

Key insights from the report include:

  • Bitcoin continues to reign: Bitcoin, which is held by 65% of users who own any crypto, continues to be the most popular cryptocurrency. 30% of Bitcoin owners allocate 1-20% of their crypto portfolio to BTC.

  • Top uses for cryptocurrencies: even though most cryptos are holding (39%), users also use their digital assets for staking & lending (22%) and payments (11%). And while using crypto as a medium of exchange may not be perceived as the most important use-case (21%), actual usage (38%) suggests that crypto is taking the function of money more than users anticipate. 

  • Exchanges are the most popular place to store crypto: 60% of users keep their digital assets within exchanges. Users cite security (28%), followed by UI/UX (25%), and available trading pairs (23%) as the most important factors when choosing an exchange. 

  • Users tend to use disposable funds (63%) to buy crypto. Users in the Netherlands are least likely to buy crypto with borrowed capital (3%) while users in China are most likely (23%). 

  • DeFi is picking up speed. 66% of all users said that they are using DeFi applications. DeFi is most popular in Southeast Asia, where more than 54% of surveyed users use dApps. 

  • Users believe in the freedom of money. Lower institutional trust correlates with higher confidence in crypto: 17 out of 20 markets represented have less than 50% trust in the local institutions.

For the full “2021 Global Crypto User Index report”, visit:  

About the data: All figures in the “2021 Global Crypto User Index” report, unless otherwise stated, are from Binance Research. The total sample size was 61,073  adults across 178 countries and regions. The survey was made available in eight different languages. Fieldwork was undertaken between 15 September and 25 October 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of active crypto users in the respective markets (aged 18+).