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HODL or not?

Crypto Investing with i360

About i360’s Consumer Pulse: The Consumer Pulse asks 1,000, of the 2.5 million US adult panelists, over 150 questions daily. Questions center around key topics such as economy, lifestyle, real estate, automotive, shopping, employment, political opinions, and more.


i360’s Consumer Pulse survey, is a longitudinal survey reaching 1,000 new respondents daily. With increasing client demand for insights on investors participating in the cryptocurrency market, i360 began asking investors about their participation in the market in December 2021. To get a better understanding of the evolving market Consumer Pulse asks two questions:

  1. How familiar are you with cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin or Ether/Ethereum?
  2. Which of the following best describes your investment level in cryptocurrency?


Toplines from the survey results find that crypto market participants, which overall represent about 10% of the US population and are defined as those with reported levels of ‘some’ crypto exposure (based on sample size of 76,000 US Adults), are:

  • 2 x as likely to be men than women
  • 5 x as likely to be Gen X and Millennials than baby boomers and older
  • Equally as likely to hold or not hold a college degree

The second question on the market in our longitudinal survey asks participants if they hold a ‘significant’ amount vs. a ‘small’ amount of crypto and respondents can only answer one or the other—not both. Structuring the question in this way helps us to identify who are most likely to be ‘HODLers’ in the US market.

HODL—a term invented by a drunken crypto blogger that berated himself for being a poor trader, refers to ‘buy and hold’ investors. These investors say they will never sell. The term became popular and was developed into a meme. The crypto community adopted Game of Thrones’ character Hodor, famous for his line ‘Hold the Door!’, as its mascot.


According to our Consumer Pulse results, HODLers, those holding a ‘significant’ amount of crypto (roughly 4% of the US population), were found to broadly mimic those who reportedly own a ‘small’ amount. They are:

  • 3 x as likely to be men than women
  • 7 x as likely to HODL if Gen X or Millennials than baby boomers and older
  • Slightly more likely to HODL if they hold a college degree than if not
  • 4 x as likely to HODL if living in dense urban areas than those in rural areas


The start to 2022 was tough on broader markets, and crypto suffered as well. Our survey attempts to identify potential new investors, because they could support the crypto market when prices are falling. Unfortunately for the HODLers, the number of people that don’t currently own crypto, but are considering it, is falling with the price of cryptocurrency. However, those considering crypto could double the size of the market today, as they represent 11% of the US population—more than double the current 10% already investing. So, while the market overall has dropped significantly, ‘crypto-curious’ investors do exist and could show up to buy if the carnage continues.

A key takeaway is that crypto exchanges and the crypto industry broadly could greatly increase their addressable market of investors by targeting Baby Boomers, who have a lot of savings but very little crypto exposure. Further, they could target rural based investors, since current investors more often live in urban areas. In addition, they could work to bring women into the investor base. Finally, given that 10% of US adults own some crypto, and a little less than half of those own a “significant” amount, there is still 90% of the US population WITHOUT any exposure to crypto.

Crypto is often marketed to those who distrust the government, distrust banks, and who fear fiscal and monetary malfeasance. While the number of people who are interested in crypto, but don’t yet own, is currently waning, there is still low hanging fruit in the US to increase interest in the industry and investments in crypto. The number of people who don’t trust Washington, begrudge their bank, and fear inflation only seems to rise every day.

Disclosure: The information in these blog posts, based on i360’s Consumer Pulse, is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice on any matter.


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