New research provides insight into the current state of crypto adoption in the U.S., including data on which states are currently considered the most crypto friendly, as well as public awareness and participation in crypto technologies.

The December 2022 report, compiled by William Riggs and Vipul Vyas of the University of San Francisco School of Management, contained several key findings, including:

  • The most crypto-friendly states presently include California, Wyoming, Florida, Texas, and Colorado, which all rate high in wanting to attract the crypto industry.
  • More than 70 percent of states have enacted regulations that account for cryptocurrency or blockchain technology. Many of those policies represented positives for crypto adoption.
  • Several of the top states for crypto-owners (California, New York, and Washington) also have the biggest per-capita holdings—that is to say, they have a large number of people who not only own crypto but also have larger holdings. 
  • Upwards of 15 percent of Americans are “somewhat” or “very” likely to buy Bitcoin or some other cryptocurrency in the near future (according to Coinbase surveys)
  • Youtube searches for “bitcoin” reached an all-time high in 2022

When it comes to trying to attract crypto sector business, there’s currently no contest between California, the reigning tech capital, and New York, the capital of finance.

California is winning handily, according to the report, and ranks number one among states overall:

“California is working hard to attract the cryptocurrency industry. If Bloomberg’s analysis of crypto jobs is anything to go by, it’s succeeding. San Francisco and Los Angeles both had some of the biggest shares of total crypto hires this year. Popular cryptocurrency exchanges like Kraken and Coinbase are headquartered in San Francisco, though Coinbase has said it will close its San Francisco office in 2022.

“The Golden State also won the title of most crypto-ready state in research by Crypto Head. It has 2,473 crypto ATMs—more than anywhere else in the country. Californians also seem to have the most online interest in crypto.”

The paper noted that New York State’s financial regulatory agency has so far awarded eighteen of what it calls Bit Licenses to virtual currency companies that want to broker Wall Street-style trades or other deals on clients’ behalf.

Texas was cited in the study as being high on the list of crypto friendly states, for policies including pro-crypto laws and low energy costs that are particularly attractive to the Bitcoin mining industry.

In 2022, states including Ohio and Colorado opened the door to accepting cryptos like bitcoin for tax payments. Other states like Wyoming have introduced or enacted legislation considered crypto friendly, including recognizing crypto as money and allowing banks to “provide custodial services for digital assets.” 

Researchers said that “With these regulations, the mountain state hopes to become the legal home to banks that could offer asset management and other crypto services to customers nationwide.”

The full report, titled “Summary for Blockchain and Cryptocurrency of Current Analysis of USA States,” can be viewed and downloaded here.

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