Crypto: Has it really gone mainstream and what does this mean for marketers?

Written by
Tori McBride

Insights by
Ben Montagu-Scott

25 Jan, 2022

‘Crypto has gone mainstream’ is a phrase we’ve all heard a lot over the past year, and with 2.3 million people in the UK now thought to own a crypto asset, this is hard to contest. And yet, labelling this audience as ‘mainstream’ offers little to no value to marketers trying to understand and reach them.

At Fifty, we are able to understand online communities in tremendous colour by segmenting users engaging with specific topics, verticals or industries. We used our unique technology to break down the crypto audience into 32 key tribes, and aggregated these into 5 key themes to help define what ‘mainstream’ really means for this community. Here’s what we found:

Want to learn how your brand can activate these insights and reach your target audience in 2022? Book a demo with our team.

The ‘Crypto Bro’ is real

For a long time, Crypto was considered ‘edgy’ for forming its own alternative culture. More recently, the crypto community has grown significantly, as indicated by the largest audience segment in our audience; Young Males. Unlike the early crypto adopters interested in finance and technology, this broad audience is passionate about sports and gambling - a far cry from the anti-establishment computer geeks associated with early crypto culture.

Figure 1: The most influential voices across our Young Males tribe, including Lad culture, boxing, UFC, football and comedy.
Figure 1: The most influential voices across our Young Males tribe, including Lad culture, boxing, UFC, football and comedy.

Contemporary, not mainstream, for Gen Z

For Gen Z, mainstream is perhaps a misnomer, since it implies it’s lost its edge and contemporaneity. Contemporary may be a better way to describe this demographic where we are seeing a young, trendy, outgoing crowd emerge. They are interested in dance, hip-hop and grime music, as well as fashion, highlighting that trading crypto has become a cemented part of the ‘on-trend’ lifestyle for younger generations.

Affluence holds the key for older generations

Whilst crypto naturally skews towards young, new-wave culture, our study shows that it has also reached audiences from older generations with more traditional cultural interests. High-fashion, theatre and fine dining emerged as some of the largest secondary interests within the UK crypto community, with senior business professionals such as ‘directors’ and ‘executives’ also indexing highly, which suggests that those investing in crypto have both experience and expensive taste. This discovery indicates a strong correlation between affluence and crypto engagement amongst older generations, and further highlights crypto’s far-reaching potential beyond youth culture.

Figure 2: 3 large segments focused on more traditional culture and creativity in the form of design, film and luxury fashion.
Figure 2: 3 large segments focused on more traditional culture and creativity in the form of design, film and luxury fashion.

It’s no longer just for the Tech wizzes…

The world of crypto has traditionally been an exclusive club for technologists, but this is clearly not true anymore, and engaging with blockchain technology no longer requires the need to truly understand blockchain technology. There are two reasons for this: (i) younger generations are innately tech-savvy and tech-trusting, meaning they harbour less scepticism towards crypto to begin with; but more importantly (ii) crypto has received a real cultural and social stamp of approval over the past year, thanks to a number of high-profile celebrity endorsements and a general institutional adoption of crypto. For this reason, today’s crypto marketers should aim to target beyond just the exceptionally tech-savvy.

…But technologists still reign supreme

Despite not requiring technical expertise at the adoption level anymore, there certainly is immense technicality at the sharp end of innovation. While beginning to reach out beyond the world of technology, crypto has truly saturated the world of technology, and anyone from CEO down to Developer will be aware of and understand the promises of Cryptocurrencies. The Technologists are still your low-hanging fruit.

Figure 3: The most influential voices across our Tech tribe, which reveal a clear intersection between the general Technology scene and the Cryptocurrency crowd.
Figure 3: The most influential voices across our Tech tribe, which reveal a clear intersection between the general Technology scene and the Cryptocurrency crowd.

How crypto brands can use Fifty

Here at Fifty, we are experts at running digital campaigns for anything on the blockchain, achieving consistently outstanding results for a wide array of brands, tokens and exchanges across the Crypto, NFT and De-Fi markets. Here's how: 

1. Granular audience understanding - As we’ve established, today's crypto culture is far from homogenous. Given the vast array of audiences and subcultures engaging with it, understanding where your brand sits within this space is crucial to ensuring your campaigns are optimised for your target audience.

2. Bridging social and open web - Fifty’s ability to use social data to power open web targeting means crypto communities can be understood in their natural habitat and effectively targeted programmatically.

3. Understanding of opportunities & restrictions - Fifty’s expert trading team understands the nuances and restrictions facing crypto brands across the advertising landscape, as well as how to leverage our relationships with platforms to maximise the potential of all options and opportunities.

4. Building Brand Relevance - As awareness around cryptocurrency grows, associating your brand with this virality will prove vital. FiftyAurora allows for dynamic ad placements across all new and trending content around the crypto market, ensuring your brand is associated with the most up-to-date news and evolutions in the space.

Are you a crypto brand looking to understand and engage new crypto audiences this year? Get in touch with [email protected] to find out how Fifty can help you activate these insights, or book a free demo with our Sales Team.

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