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  • Nearly 20 million adults in America are planning to buy cryptocurrency over the next year, a study by crypto exchange Gemini found
  • The investor population in the cryptocurrency market could nearly double over the next 12 months.
  • The next wave of crypto buyers is also likely to skew older than current holders, with an average age of 44.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The ranks of retail investors in the cryptocurrency market look set to swell over the next year with nearly 20 million American adults planning their entrance into it, according to a study by crypto exchange platform Gemini.

The firm looked into the "crypto-curious audience," which it defines as people who don't own cryptocurrency but indicate either wanting to learn more about it or who are planning to buy it soon.

Among its findings, about 13% of adults in the US plan to buy cryptocurrency in the next 12 months and that figure translates to 19.3 million people. That amount of Americans picking up cryptocurrency would nearly double the current population of investors, Gemini said.

"Given what we know about the demographics of the crypto-curious audience, the profile of the average crypto holder could also soon be changing in a very welcome way," said the firm, which based its State of US Crypto Report on a total sample of 3,000 people ranging from 18-65 years in age with $40,000 or more in household income.

The snapshot of retail investors arrives at a time of growing institutional interest and exposure to cryptocurrencies, with Gemini calling interest in crypto, and its earning potential "higher than ever."

This year, Bitcoin sprang above $1 trillion in market capitalization and topped $64,000, with that move taking place the same day Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, began trading as a public company. Electric vehicle maker Tesla in February said it invested $1.5 billion in bitcoin and CEO Elon Musk said it would start accepting bitcoin as payment for its vehicles.

Meanwhile, MoneyGram said Wednesday customers will be able to purchase bitcoin with cash from its thousands of physical locations, and PayPal started allowing US consumers to use their cryptocurrency holdings to pay at millions of its online merchants.

The "crypto-curious" group comprises 63% of American adults and has the potential to disrupt the profile of the so-called average crypto holder, said Gemini. Its study showed women account for 53% of people interested in getting into crypto soon.

"The next wave of crypto buyers is also likely to be slightly older than current holders -- with an average age of 44," and are likely to have slightly less money to invest than current crypto holders. Gemini said its data show that the "average" cryptocurrency owner is a 38-year-old male who makes roughly $111,000 a year.

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