67% of Crypto Investors Would Use Retirement Funds to Buy Bitcoin, Survey Finds

A futuristic illustration shows a Bitcoin. It also includes text that says 2022 Survey of Crypto Investors.
Getty Images and Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Cryptocurrency investors are planning for the long term, targeting their digital assets toward retirement and future generations.

According to a new survey by The Penny Hoarder in partnership with The Kim Komando Show, nearly seven out of 10 cryptocurrency investors said they would invest some of their retirement funds into crypto if given the opportunity.

The survey — which polled 2,003 regular and occasional crypto investors — also found that nearly 4 out of 10 with children under 18 have invested in digital assets on behalf of their kids, with another 41% interested in doing so.

“You have more institutions and hedge funds saying cryptocurrency is viable, which gives a lot of people the ability to feel comfortable investing in it long-term,” said Adam Blumberg, a Certified Financial Planner and co-founder of Interaxis, a cryptocurrency education platform.

Investors Plan to Buy and Hold, Despite Price Swings

Even as Bitcoin’s price has dropped (and dropped again) from its nearly $69,000 peak late last year, investors seem unshaken by cryptocurrency’s trademark turbulence.

According to the survey, a majority of cryptocurrency investors — 56% — said they would hold or buy more bitcoin if its price dropped 50%.

This behavior differs from traditional stock investors, who are prone to panic-sell shares after a big drop. When cryptocurrency prices drop, many regular investors smell a bargain.

And when times are good? Bitcoin investors are still committed: Nearly 75% of survey respondents said they would hold or put more money into bitcoin if the coin’s price increased 50%.

Deeper analysis reveals that men are more likely to buy/invest more after a bitcoin price spike, while women are more likely to hold.

About 75% of all cryptocurrency investors plan to hold their digital assets for at least a year, with 34% planning to hold for three years or more.

These and other findings suggest that investors view cryptocurrency as a store of value — not a passing fad.

“Bitcoin has weathered several downturns and come back,” Blumberg told The Penny Hoarder. “Bitcoin lost 80% of its value in four months at the end of 2017 and beginning of 2018. Many people thought it was all over, it would never come back. But it did. It’s proved it has staying power.”

Investors’ faith in that staying power was tested once again after a cryptocurrency market crash in May triggered by the collapse of the stablecoin terraUSD and its sister token luna.

But a majority of cryptocurrency investors seem willing to stomach roller-coaster price fluctuations in exchange for big potential payoffs: 53% of survey respondents perceive cryptocurrency as a high-risk, high-reward investment.

Need a refresher? Check out our guide on how to invest in cryptocurrency for beginners. 

Cryptocurrency for Retirement

Investment decisions once considered radical and reckless — like buying cryptocurrency with retirement funds — are gaining traction with both consumers and major financial institutions.

Two-thirds of crypto investors — 67% — said they would invest some of their retirement funds into cryptocurrency if given the opportunity, according to survey data.

Consumer interest in using 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts (IRA) to buy bitcoin is growing — and major financial institutions are taking note.

On April 26, Fidelity Investments announced plans to offer bitcoin as an investment option in its 401(k) retirement plans later this year.

While consumers have been able to invest in cryptocurrency using self-directed IRAs for years, the process was complicated and time-consuming.

It’s one of many signs that cryptocurrency has elbowed its way into mainstream finance: Coinbase, the nation’s largest crypto exchange, now has twice as many accounts under management as Charles Schwab.

An endorsement by Fidelity — one of the nation’s largest retirement plan providers — suggests that cryptocurrency isn’t too big to fail, per se, but it is too big to ignore.

Investing in Cryptocurrency for Kids

Another signal that cryptocurrency investors are serious about the future: They’re willing to buy digital currency for their kids.

About 38% of crypto investors with children under 18 said they’ve already invested in digital assets on behalf of their kids. Another 41% of parents said they would consider doing so.

Parents have different goals and objectives when buying cryptocurrency for their children.

Of cryptocurrency investors with children:

  • 52% want to create a general savings account for their child.
  • 40% are investing to help save for their child’s future college expenses.
  • 33% want to teach their children about investing in digital currencies.

Most parental custodial accounts aren’t currently designed to accommodate cryptocurrency, so parents investing on behalf of a child are likely earmarking funds in their own account or offloading digital assets to a cold storage wallet for safekeeping.

But this area of personal finance is also evolving. EarlyBird, an investment firm known for stock and bond custodial accounts for kids, announced plans in late 2021 to add bitcoin and ethereum to its offerings.

The platform will soon make it easier for parents to purchase and hold cryptocurrency for their kids, with other companies likely to follow in the future.

Bitcoin as a Widely Accepted Form of Payment

Despite growing popularity, bitcoin is still only accepted by a small group of online merchants, making it far from a widely-accepted form of currency in the United States.

Until U.S. regulators outline clearer guidance and/or the price of bitcoin stabilizes, crypto is more likely to remain a speculative asset class than a popular form of currency.

Still, a majority of crypto investors — 54% — said they’ve made a purchase using cryptocurrency in the past, according to the survey.

And 58% of crypto investors said they expect digital currency to become a mainstream form of payment within the next decade.

More consumers are using digital assets to buy NFTs, swap tokens with friends and purchase real-world goods, The Penny Hoarder survey found.

Rachel Christian is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance and a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder.

About the Survey

The Penny Hoarder partnered with Pollfish to conduct a random national survey March 15-18, 2022.

Pollfish screened respondents by asking how often a respondent invests in cryptocurrency:  4,322 people responded to the screening question with 2,003 people who occasionally or regularly invested in cryptocurrency advancing to the survey.

Responses were weighted for age and gender so that each response is representative of the U.S. population, reducing the total respondents to 2,001.

The Penny Hoarder conducted statistical testing using weighted and unweighted data to confirm that weighting does not change the survey’s overall results. The overall survey’s margin of error is +-2% at a 95% confidence interval.