Crypto apps have been enjoying a high level of global demand and usage, with new installs of the top 20 apps for crypto wallets and exchanges growing 902% year-over-year in Q4 2021, according to a new report by Apptopia and Adjust.
The US saw the highest growth in crypto apps in Q4 (645%), followed by Asia-Pacific (475%), Europe, Middle East and Africa (284%), and Latin America (182%).
Overall, adoption of crypto apps grew significantly in 2021. Installs increased by over 400% compared to the previous year, while the number of sessions increased by over 500%.
The number of crypto app downloads and sessions correlate with crypto’s overall market performance. Between Q2 and Q3 of 2021, downloads dropped nearly 50%, before seeing a 106% increase in Q4. These moves coincided with price movements involving bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies, indicating that new price highs attract new user interest.
Bitcoin reached new all-time highs twice in 2021. The first boost took place in April at nearly $64,000, followed by a decline over the summer and then a new peak of around $69,000 in November – with increases in downloads reflecting these moves.
It’s worth mentioning here that as crypto app downloads increase when prices move up, that means a lot of the new users are buying crypto at a high price. And since prices have been down for the last few months, many of these new users may have sold their assets and lost significant amounts of money as a result.
Crypto app sessions followed a similar pattern to downloads. Sessions rose 63% from 2019 to 2020 – mirroring growth in installs – before seeing a 567% growth in 2021.
The number of crypto apps in the App Store and Google Play Store also seems to follow external industry trends. This number rose dramatically in 2017 and 2018 (coinciding with the crypto bull run at that time), dropped sharply in 2019 and early 2020 before rising again, and is currently close to its previous high.
Crypto apps vs stock trading apps
The report also compares crypto apps to stock trading apps that have a similar audience, functionality, and user experience.
In 2021, crypto apps outperformed stock trading apps on engagement metrics such as daily sessions per user, session lengths, retention rates, and stickiness, indicating a more engaged user base for crypto apps.
Retention rates for crypto apps remained steadily higher than stock trading apps in the second half of 2021. For example, in Q3, average crypto app retention was at 32% on the day after install, while stock trading apps had an average of 19% over the same period.
Crypto apps also performed better in terms of the number of daily sessions per user. For example, in Q3, the median number of crypto app users per day ranged from 2.3 to 3.8, while for stock trading app users, this figure was between 1.6 and 3.1.
The average length of each session for a crypto app (over 15 minutes) was also higher than that of a stock trading app (under 12 minutes), and much higher than that of a banking or payment app (around 5 minutes).
Crypto apps are also stickier. As shown above, they outperformed stock trading apps throughout 2021. Crypto app stickiness reached its peak in Q4, with a ratio of 33%.
An earlier Apptopia study found that in 2020, the top three crypto apps totaled 18 million downloads worldwide. Last year, this figure jumped to 145 million.
The most downloaded crypto app in 2021 was Binance, up from third place in 2020. The company processes an estimated $76 billion in crypto trades every day, making it the biggest crypto exchange in the world.
The second most downloaded app in 2021 was Crypto.com. Meanwhile, Coinbase – the most downloaded crypto app of 2020 – came in third last year, while the fourth and fifth spots were claimed by Trust Wallet and eToro.
Chart of the week
A recent Finder survey reveals that 5% of American adults – an estimated 13 million people – currently own a credit card that allows them to earn cryptocurrency through eligible purchases or redeem earned points on crypto.
An additional 13% don’t currently have a crypto credit card but said they were interested in getting one. This means that almost one in five (18%) American adults either already has or would like to have a crypto credit card.
However, it also means that over 80% of American adults are currently not interested in credit cards with crypto rewards, which may suggest the need for card issuers to market their crypto-based offerings better or provide more attractive rewards offerings.
As an early proponent of crypto, Visa has lent its network to several crypto credit cards. More than 65 crypto platforms and exchanges have partnered with Visa to date, and consumers spent $2.5 billion on Visa crypto cards in the company’s first fiscal quarter of 2022 that ended on December 31. This payment volume already makes up about 70% of the total amount for the entire fiscal year of 2021.
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