HomeInternet vs Crypto Adoption: How Do Their Adoption Curves Compare?

Internet vs Crypto Adoption: How Do Their Adoption Curves Compare?

The curve that describes the acceptance of the internet into everyday life seems to have repeated itself with the crypto adoption curve. The famous S curve is marked by a long period of slow growth, followed by an inflection point (possibly happening now), rapid growth, and finally, the slowdown.

Exciting Numbers About Crypto vs Internet Adoption

While individuals are still slow to accept crypto, institutions and companies are racing to employ the advantages of the blockchain. If crypto adoption is following the S curve, we could be at the beginning of exponential growth in the cryptocurrency adoption curve. So let’s look at these exciting numbers for a glimpse into the future.

In the first six years of the WWW (1990-1996), less than 1% of the world used the internet.

The internet’s adoption curve was marked by a really slow beginning when it was only interesting to tech experts. This is similar to the early days of Bitcoin. We can observe the growth of Bitcoin through its value as the number of holders increases the currency’s worth. Sixteen months after Bitcoin was created, its value was still at only $0.004.

(World Bank, Wells Fargo)

Between 1996 and 2000, the number of internet users grew from 77 million to 412 million in 2000.

At this point in internet adoption, the percentage of the world that used the WWW rose from 1% to 7% hitting its inflection point. In 2010, the number reached 1.98 billion, growing to 5.7 billion users in 2022. However, it seems that crypto is growing faster than the internet, as the number of crypto users doubled within only four months in 2021, from 100 million to 200 million.

(Wells Fargo, Data Reportal)

At this point, there are around 320 million or 4.2% of crypto users in the world.

The crypto adoption curve in 2022 shows further signs of expansion, with global crypto ownership reaching 4.2%. Throughout the year 2021, the number of crypto users grew by 178%. Being in the early stage of adoption, crypto is accelerating quickly, while the internet’s growth is at the flatter end of the S curve at 3.5% a year.

(TripleA, Data Reportal)

The percentage of the world that owns crypto is expected to reach 10% by 2030.

According to Blockware, crypto is growing at a CAGR of 60%, meaning that the 10% milestone could be reached by 2030. With most technology adoption curves observed so far, parabolic growth is observed around the 10% mark, meaning that the highest pace of growth is expected after 2030.


The market crashes in 2018 and 2022 haven’t truly affected crypto’s resilience, proving again that crypto is not a fad.

Similar to the dot-com crash of 2000, many altcoins with low market capitalization lost all value in the 2021 crash. However, the overall crypto market remains healthy. The strongest players, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, retained their largest holders through the bear market, showing they are confident their assets will regain their value. Similarly, after 2000, the strongest players on the web grew further despite the market downturn.


Crypto vs Internet Adoption: The Takeaway

With 4.2% of the world using crypto and 63% using the internet, the technologies are at very different stages of adoption. However, as the internet provided the infrastructure for its adoption, crypto’s adoption is expected to happen at an even higher pace.

Thanks to the direct monetary incentive that previous technologies did not have, crypto is growing faster than all other technologies, with the number of users increasing at around 60% per year (by conservative estimates). When comparing internet vs crypto adoption, we can see that crypto may soon hit an inflection point changing the finance world for good.


Here Are More Crypto Guides

Dunja Radonic

Dunja Radonic

Dunja is an English Literature graduate with years of experience as a writer and translator. She doesn't mind diving into as many reports and numbers as she can—especially about topics like crypto that still need some translating to the public—’cause she loves to get the message across. When she's not working, you'll find her running wild with her pack of dogs, playing board games, or bingeing on pop science videos.