Senior Generation and Crypto: What Is Their Interaction Like?

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There’s a visible gap in how much different age groups know about crypto and tend to buy. According to research by Galaxy Digital, based on many surveys, older generations have at least 3 times lower adoption and acceptance rates of crypto than younger ones. This article takes a look at the interaction between seniors and the crypto industry.

A Quick Look at Age Differences and Crypto Investments 

People in the same age group often have similar views on different topics, and finance is one of them. Changing times, economic challenges, the work market, technology, and other aspects of life shape our thoughts and experiences. In the financial context, this is seen in setting priorities, spending, and making investment decisions. 

For example, Generation Z, people born between 1997 and 2012, and Millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, are more open to investing in crypto. The group that includes teenagers, and people in their twenties, thirties, and early forties, are often described as digital natives. They grew up alongside the internet, and financially unstable times, including the housing market crisis. As a result, younger generations don’t have much trust in traditional institutions. They prefer alternative investment options, and digital assets fit their needs. A study by a US-based financial company Stilt shows that 94% of crypto investors are Generation Z (17%) and Millennials (76%). 

Generations older than Gen Z and Millennials are less likely to invest in crypto. Among the reasons for this are their relative unfamiliarity with new technologies, lack of trust in digital assets, and more conservative attitudes. 

Middle-aged people who represent Generation X have different financial concerns. They were born between 1965 and 1980, and are around 40 and 60 years old. Many Gen X people pay for mortgages, education for their children, or support their parents. At the same time, they are planning for retirement and considering long-term investments. But only 4.93% of Gen X invests in crypto. However, this generation leads by the size of crypto investments, spending the most on average. 

Generations older than Gen X are Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) and Silent Generation (born between 1925 and 1945). The majority of the group are in their sixties or older. In general, seniors are the most secure financially, as they mostly have lower or no debts and own their homes. Compared to younger generations, they have more faith in financial institutions and are more likely to invest in traditional assets like gold. People over 60 typically have conservative views, are less likely to invest in crypto, and are often skeptical of the industry. 

Traditional Institutions’ Crypto Offerings Increases Adoption by Older Generation 

Over the years, the number of crypto investment products and services offered by financial institutions has increased. Although the picture is different by country the change is noticeable. Major financial institutions, like Fidelity, SEBA Bank, and Goldman Sachs have introduced their crypto products. In January 2024, the US approved Bitcoin ETFs, investment funds that track Bitcoin price. 

Regulated crypto investment options provide more easy access for older investors and create more trust among them. For seniors, crypto is an option to diversify their investments, and for the crypto market, their participation means more inclusivity and growth. According to Mike Novogratz, the CEO of Galaxy Digital, baby boomers’ adding crypto to their portfolio will have a great impact on the market. In an interview with Bloomberg, he said: 
If platforms like BlackRock and Fidelity, largely powered by baby boomer wealth, encourage their clients to allocate a minimal 1% to 3% of their assets to the cryptocurrency, that amounts to trillions in new liquidity.

Focus on the Older Generation 

According to The Wall Street Journal, after the US SEC’s approval of Bitcoin ETFs, there was a targeting shift in crypto marketing. Institutions started to promote advertisements focusing on seniors. The largest asset manager, BlackRock, took an interesting approach here, including educational materials in its ad campaign. Baby Boomers seem to appreciate the traditional approach to Bitcoin. Investor Fred Krueger, for example, tweeted that his generation doesn’t like to listen to how the old traditional financial system needs to disappear. 
Beyond financial institutions, the older generation is a target for online financial criminals. There are many stories about 60-year-old people falling victim to fraudsters, including crypto criminals. FBI reports that this age group reported the highest number of tech support scams. In 2022 alone, over 60-year-old US citizens lost more than $3.1 billion to fraud cases. Often, scammers steal the whole savings from seniors, which is critical for them as at their age, income sources are limited. 

Different public programs now aim to increase cybersecurity awareness among seniors by providing necessary information to protect their savings and financial well-being. And, with institutions entering crypto, older generations now have more investment and educational resources tailored to their needs. This can be a positive change that allows more people to benefit from crypto at less risk. 

Web3 writer and crypto HODLer with a keen interest in market trends and recent technologies.