The Current State of Worldwide NFT Adoption


By Richard Laycock

Crypto is big news. Whether it’s plaudits extolling the virtue of the technology or skeptics reveling in the recent market downturn, everybody has something to say about crypto. And one of the hottest topics in the crypto space is the relatively recent explosion of nonfungible tokens (NFTs).

However, even with all this media attention, the adoption of cryptocurrency and NFTs is fairly slow in the U.S. About one in 10 people in the U.S. report that they own crypto, with just 2.8% reporting that they have bought an NFT.

Almost Last in Line

Finder polled more than 28,000 Internet users across 20 countries in September 2020 and found the NFT adoption rate of 2.8% in the U.S. lags well behind all but two other countries: the U.K. (2.5%) and Japan (2.2%). The adoption rate in the U.S. is roughly a quarter of the global adoption rate of 11.6%.

An additional 3.9% of those surveyed said they plan to buy an NFT in the future. While these future buyers would increase U.S. adoption to roughly 7%, it pushes the U.S. adoption rate ahead of the U.K. and Japan only.

What’s holding back the adoption of NFTs in the United States is likely twofold. The first reason is that low adoption has a lot to do with awareness. Just under a third (29.4%) of those surveyed in the U.S. said they knew what an NFT is. 

Finder’s survey also found a very strong correlation between awareness rates for NFTs and NFT ownership. For example, awareness in Japan sits at roughly 10%, and fittingly, it ranks last in terms of adoption (2.2%). Compare that to the Philippines, which has one of the highest awareness rates at about 51% and the highest adoption rate (32%).

The Culprit: Americans' View on Crypto

The second reason adoption might be lagging in the U.S. relates to how Americans view investing in the world of crypto in general. In a separate Finder survey, we asked respondents in 27 countries whether they thought cryptocurrency is a good investment.

Responses were fairly split, yet the majority (55%) said they don’t view crypto as a good investment. By looking at the global results, we can explain why most Americans either don’t invest in crypto or are skeptical about putting their hard-earned money into crypto — and by extension NFTs.

Financial Status and NFT Adoption

Of the sample of countries looked at for our study, wealthier nations (in terms of per capita income) are largely less likely to view crypto as a sound investment. If we divide countries by sentiment into those that hold more positive views on crypto and those that hold more negative views, some 69% of those in the top 14 countries with a positive view of crypto say they think crypto is a good investment. This is more than double the rate of those in the bottom 13, where just 30% view crypto as a good investment. 

What’s interesting is that the countries in the bottom half have an average per capita income of $40,907 — almost 10 times higher than the average income ($4,515) of those in the more crypto-positive countries.

Reducing the Lag

The United States might be among the last countries to adopt widespread use of nonfungible tokens (NFTs), but as awareness and societal participation increase, the U.S. can be expected to swiftly move up in line. Already in 2022, prominent brands such as Gucci, Samsung and Lamborghini have dipped their toes into the NFT market. It’s only a matter of time until smaller brands jump on board.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


Finder is a global financial technology platform which allows members to save, invest and spend via the Finder mobile app and website. Finder’s mission is to help people make better financial decisions and work with partners to connect via API into the Finder platform to offer saving and investment services and products. Finder was founded in Australia in 2006 and now operates in 50+ countries with 2,600+ product partners and 10+ million visits every month, serviced by 500+ crew passionate about helping our members achieve their full financial potential.

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