Research conducted by crypto wallet and payments platform Zumo suggests Gen Z buyers have made good on their intentions to buy crypto in 2021 - and are driving growth in the ecosystem.

When Zumo, a high-growth Scottish-headquartered crypto start-up founded to deliver ‘smart money for everyone’, sat down at the beginning of the year to canvas public attitudes to crypto, finance and digital assets in general, it discovered a familiar trend.

Young people, increasingly dissatisfied and underserved by the prevailing financial system, were the most positive about crypto and its long-term outlook. The survey, conducted in collaboration with research data platform Focaldata, also foreshadowed a further development: the sizeable majority – 57% – of those in the 18-24 Gen Z age bracket were ‘quite tempted’ or ‘very tempted’ to buy cryptocurrency in the future.

Fast forward to today, and the Gen Z age group is Zumo’s biggest customer segment across the board in a year that has delivered explosive growth, both for the company and for the crypto sector as a whole.

“Gen Z has been a huge part of the success story this year, which has both seen the global crypto markets exceed the $3 trillion dollar mark for the first time and, for Zumo, allowed us to deliver continued 25% month-on-month growth and 100X our customer base over a 12-month period,” says Zumo CEO Nick Jones. “This is the year we really saw crypto open up to the mainstream, and we see Gen Z as a key driver in that.”

With ‘NFT’ freshly minted as Collins Dictionary word of the year amidst the general NFT/blockchain gaming boom of 2021, this was the year crypto and culture really began to intersect, with Gen Z firmly at the wheel.

In a year in which crypto advertising has appeared on sports fields to race tracks, with celebrity endorsements from Matt Damon to Snoop Dogg, crypto has become increasingly tied to lifestyle, brands and prominent celebrity influencers – and reflective of a new, young, culturally attuned style of crypto user.

And yet, this has also been the year of the ‘great resignation’ – again, spearheaded by the younger worker. Younger generations including Gen Z remain among the most pessimistic in their assessments of their economic outlook and prospects; and crypto, though high-risk, is still viewed as a potential financial lifeline for those with limited wealth building opportunities – and little to lose.

Aside from the headlines of memecoin millionaires, the question remains how a sustainable economic future can be guaranteed for all. And again here, there are signs that Gen Z, with its entrepreneurial spirit and ready embrace of technology, stands to gain and play a major role in the systems of the future.

Amelie Arras, Zumo Marketing Director, comments: “The long-term prospects for this industry are hugely promising. We know how much Gen Z loves the side hustle – so many of them are independent creators and that’s where we see real options with Web 3.0 technologies to allow for a more equitable spread of ownership and revenue. Heading into 2022, we’ll be continuing to prioritise education and good-quality information to make sure everyone can benefit from this technology and see what it can do from the financial wellness, inclusion and equality perspective.”


For Gen Z at least, it appears the future is already here.