Millennials Inheriting Wealth Transferred From Baby Boomers Is A Boon To Cryptocurrency

There is data to support that the millennial and post-millennial generation is adopting cryptocurrency much faster than previous generations. In the next decade, there will be a large transfer of wealth from baby boomers to the next generation including millennials. This generation is also more likely to invest in cryptocurrency. According to a CNBC millennial millionaires survey, out of 750 investors polled, almost half (47% of respondents) have invested in cryptocurrencies. Only 10% of older millionaires were invested in any form of cryptocurrency.

The mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency is growing at a steady rate. There are now 46 million Americans, or 17% of US adults, who own Bitcoin in 2021 and growing (Based on a survey by NYDIG). Around the world, the Bitcoin (from network has 73 Million wallet addresses worldwide as of August 15, 2021 (source Statista). Ethereum, another cryptocurrency, has seen a rise in unique wallet addresses that shows heightened activity in the use of tokens.

The Greatest Wealth Transfer

Forbes Magazine is calling this the greatest wealth transfer to occur in modern times. According to Coldwell Banker, a value of $68 Trillion will be transferred from baby boomers to their successors within the next decade. Millennials will hold 5 times more wealth by the year 2030. Since millennials favor cryptocurrency investing more than traditional stock and bond markets, a significant inflow to the cryptocurrency market can further drive prices of digital assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum higher. An inflow of just 1% will be valued at $680 Billion, and that is just at the low end.

Millennials are also targeted to surpass the aging boomer population. According to the Wealth Engine Report (Coldwell Banker), in 2019, millennials already outnumbered boomers 73 million to 72 million (US data). The numbers are going to continue to change. The data classified millennials as those born from the year 1982 to 2000 (post-millennials are those born after the year 2000). In general, those born after 1982 and onwards will most likely be involved with cryptocurrency in one form or another. This is because of how easily accessible it is becoming, and it integrates with the modern digital lifestyle.

The Digital Lifestyle

Payments have shifted from cash currency and credit cards to online electronic payments thanks to digital technology. This is very apparent in e-commerce, with companies like Amazon and eBay showing that online shopping is big business. User preference is also shifting toward electronic and cashless digital transactions. Apps today make it easy to order and pay for food delivery or ride-sharing services through mobile devices (i.e. smartphones). Now that having a smartphone is essential for both work and daily life, it brings innovation to new ways to access financial services.

Cryptocurrency is one of those innovations that fit well with the modern digital lifestyle that most millennials and post-millennials lead. You have apps for sharing videos, streaming movies, posting photos, and messaging friends. Now there are apps that allow anyone to invest in digital assets like cryptocurrency without having to go through tedious processes. Onboarding new users to these digital investing platforms (e.g. Coinbase, Binance, Kraken) can take just a few minutes with identity verification (for KYC purposes). No need to declare bank statements, employment verification, or even hard assets to begin with cryptocurrency investing and trading. These apps are simple for computer-savvy younger generations but can be a challenge for older ones.

Digital Gold, Not Analog Gold

According to a report (World Gold Council study), millennials (called Gen Z) are less likely to invest in gold. It seems that millennials are more likely to invest in digital assets like Bitcoin (i.e. Digital Gold). Cryptocurrency is more likely because gold would probably be more complicated to own in terms of purchase or physical storage. A 20-year-old millennial can easily own Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies through a digital exchange, while it would have more legal requirements to purchase gold in the market. There are various instruments that allow access to gold, even if it is just a note on paper. It’s just not as appealing to most millennials, based on the data from studies.

The younger generation is also becoming more familiar with crypto. If you were to say invest in gold, it does not sound as interesting as Bitcoin or Dogecoin. Gold is associated with older technology that is more suitable to traditional investors, while cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin have a more popular appeal because of their association with public figures (e.g. Elon Musk). Millennials will also tend to see more about crypto than gold on their social media feeds (e.g. Twitter, TikTok, Instagram).

More On-ramps To Crypto

The younger generation will also have more onramps to cryptocurrency with regulatory clarity, making them more accessible than ever. Certain banks will begin allowing for custody of digital assets. That means users can add cryptocurrency to their bank account statement as part of a portfolio dealing with digital assets. The growth of Bitcoin ATMs also provides access to anyone, even if they don’t have a bank account. This is a more common problem in developing countries, where most people do not have personal savings or checking accounts with a bank. There are also more financial providers that are compliant with rules and regulations that allow purchasing and trading of cryptocurrency (e.g. Circle, Square, PayPal).

Many new innovations that are blockchain-based and cryptocurrency integrated are also emerging. One such market is in DeFi (Decentralized Finance), which includes NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens). These create new financial instruments that provide access to capital that would otherwise not be available in the traditional finance world. This includes access to loans that would normally require strict document requirements and credit scores for approval by a bank. With DeFi, users can use their cryptocurrency for collateral to getting loans.

Many millennials use DeFi to create digital ownership (for art, music, collectibles, etc.) by minting NFTs and monetizing it by selling their content directly to buyers. This market also opens up users to the metaverse, a virtual world that is based on blockchain technology and cryptocurrency payments. These are new markets that some find more interesting than what the traditional outlets offer.

Banks and other financial institutions are warming up to crypto. The approval of financial instruments to crypto from traditional markets can allow new investment opportunities for millennials. There are already multiple Bitcoin ETF applications to the US SEC, while Canada and Brazil have already approved Bitcoin ETFs. Other exposure to high net worth investors to crypto have been through funds like those owned by Grayscale (GBTC) and Ark Invest.

The amount of projects are also growing in the crypto space. This is attracting new developers and users as well, from among the millennial generation. The rise of DeFi in 2020 brought new ways to utilize blockchain technology. Another big craze is the meme coins. This was popularized by Dogecoin, thanks in part to Elon Musk’s tweets. While this cryptocurrency does not seem to have any utility, there are large communities around it that give it a purpose.

Concerns are that they are mostly pump-and-dump schemes, but millennials see otherwise. There are groups on Telegram, influencers on TikTok, and public personalities who promote these coins, and they are appealing to the younger generation who invest. While some projects are legitimate, some are questionable and can be considered in a gray area with regulators.


The younger generation that grew up during the Computer and Information Age are very familiar with using the Internet and digital technologies. This puts them at an advantage over baby boomers when it comes to understanding and using cryptocurrency. While the older generation prefers getting information from cable networks, newspapers, and television, the newer generation has more diverse sources ranging from social media, independent news, podcasts, vlogs, and blogs. These Internet-based mediums integrate well with mobile devices, which have become essential for daily modern living. This provides much easier access to digital asset investment opportunities compared to traditional investing.

The millennials are going to help the cryptocurrency market grow because of their participation. These create network effects that give utility to the cryptospace. Many analysts are probably wrong to call crypto as useless scams. When you have large communities of users, there is plenty of activity that sustains further growth and gives it its purpose. This is probably why there are also calls for regulations, in order to protect users from rug pulls or exit strategies.

The traditional finance world is highly regulated, so it would be the ideal place for millennials to put their money. Looking ahead, capturing the total addressable market value from the new generation seems to be more in favor of crypto than traditional finance. Millennials are the torchbearers who will inherit the wealth that can transform the finance industry. This wealth transfer is likely the driving force that will lead to greater cryptocurrency adoption, led by millennials.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not financial advice. It is for educational and reference purposes only. Do your own research always to verify facts.

First Published On The Capital (8/17/21)

( Cover Photo Credit: Helena Lopes )



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Vincent Tabora

Editor HD-PRO, DevOps, Cybersecurity, Blockchain, Software Development, Engineering, Photography, Technology