Generation Z: How post-millennial young people are engaging with blockchain

Feature In 2019, Gen Z surpassed millennials and baby boomers to become the largest generation in the world, making up a third of the global population. This demographic dominance alone makes those born between 1995 and 2010, an important consideration for cryptocurrency markets and blockchain tech firms. What’s more, Gen Z’s comfort with and strong preference for digitised transactions makes them an even more important demographic in these growing markets.

A Blockchain Capital survey of more than 2,000 adults in the US found that while only 9% of total correspondents owned Bitcoin, 18% of the 18-34 year olds surveyed had a stake in the digital coin. Although this incorporates both gen Z and millennials, it helps demonstrate that crypto knowledge and engagement is heavily skewed towards the younger generations.

While these young people are often acknowledged amid the conglomerate anonymity of national surveys and experts’ opinions, their voices can go unheard as to why and how they choose to engage with blockchain and cryptos. The Block spoke with an avid and successful young investor in cryptos, as well as the founder of a student-ran group exploring the legal applications of blockchain technologies, to try and rectify this.

Harvey, 21, who requested The Block did not use his real name, started investing in cryptos in mid-2017 after hearing about Bitcoin during his economics classes in sixth form.

“I used to stay behind after class to talk about cryptos with the teacher and one of my friends,” he says.

“My friend was big into computers at the time and had owned a fair amount of Bitcoin since it had been at the $1,000 mark back in early 2017. Seeing the potential of cryptos, I decided to put £700 of my savings into Bitcoin and Ethereum just before the summer holidays. By the end of that year I had over £5,000.”

Harvey diversified his portfolio during 2017, investing in currencies such as Litecoin, XRP, and Digibyte. Despite the crypto market crashing from its December 2017 peak of $19,000 (£13,700), he decided to hold the majority of his investments.

“Through what research I had done I strongly believed cryptocurrencies would be a major player in the future of digital payments, I didn’t see a reason to cash out having seen how massively they spiked in 2017,” he says.

Now a university student, Harvey is glad he did: “Ever since Covid-19 and the first lockdown in March, most major coins have been increasing in value at an astonishing rate,” he said.. “I think the pandemic has shown people the instability and uncertainty associated with having to rely on fiat currencies.

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