The State of Web3 perception around the world
Together with YouGov, Consensys conducted a global web3 perception survey in 15 countries across all continents. This multi-country study aims to provide a global and regional view of the perceptions people have around cryptocurrencies, NFTs, Web3, blockchain, and the metaverse. It also aimed to understand people’s feelings about the current internet and whether or not recent centralized financial crypto company bankruptcies have affected the sector. The full report and country-specific summaries are available for download below.
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While there’s strong global cryptocurrency awareness, there is much less awareness of web3
92% of respondents globally said that they have heard of crypto. However, there are still variations among countries, with Nigeria, South Africa, and Brazil leading in awareness. Despite global awareness of cryptocurrencies, only 8% of respondents consider themselves to be very familiar with the concept of web3, which highlights a disconnect between public perceptions of web3 and its potential as a solution to issues around privacy, identity, and digital ownership on the internet today.
There is a desire for more ownership and data privacy
Despite many respondents not being aware of web3, many support the underlying concepts. 50% believe they add value to the internet and 67% assert that they should own the things that they make on the internet. Additionally, only 38% of global respondents feel adequately compensated for their contributions. Furthermore, concerns about data privacy are prominent, as 83% of respondents prioritize data privacy, 70% believe they should share in the profits companies make from their data, and 79% desire greater control over their online identities. These findings emphasize the importance of helping people understand how web3 can give them more ownership of their identity and ownership on the internet, as well as empower users with greater privacy guarantees and a share in the profit that companies currently make through users’ web activities.
Another noticeable divide surfaces when comparing behaviors across countries. European nations exhibit a greater degree of skepticism towards crypto, a behavior that is often mirrored in countries like Japan and South Korea. In these countries, the association of crypto with negative concepts such as scams, money laundering, and speculation is stronger. In contrast, most countries in Southeast Asia, South America, and Africa generally exhibit more enthusiastic attitudes toward crypto and web3. Accordingly, in these countries, associations with concepts like the future of money, digital ownership, or alternatives to the traditional financial ecosystem are stronger. Also, in countries like Argentina and Nigeria, where the local currency is unstable, crypto is seen as an important way to access global capital and protect against inflation.
From “Users” to “Builders”: A Paradigm Shift
The results of the survey reveal a gap in the desire for an Internet that provides more control over data and identity and more equitably shares profits with creators and awareness of web3 as one potential solution. Many respondents felt they are building value online but not compensated fairly. We see an opportunity for users of the internet to adopt a “builders” mindset where they leverage web3 products to solve problems around ownership on the web, identity, privacy, and creator monetization.
Note on Methodology32 questions were administered to a representative sample of each country's population between April 26th and May 18th, 2023. Altogether, YouGov interviewed 15,158 people online across 15 countries: Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, South Korea, The Philippines, the UK, the US, and Vietnam. The data collected was weighted based on sex, gender, and region to ensure representation of the national populations, and it was analyzed by YouGov consultants.
Download the report and country summariesThe full report, along with country-specific summaries, are available for download at the bottom of this page.
Are people concerned about their data privacy? Globally, 83% think that data privacy is important. Countries with strong data protection laws, such as Germany (58%), UK (57%) and France (63%) were less likely to strongly agree that data privacy is important. While data privacy is important to the majority of respondents, only 45% of them trust how the current Internet services (social media, emails, games, etc.) use their data and personal information.
Did you know
Respondents in Japan are the least likely to think that data privacy is important.
Identity on the Internet
Every aspect of your life involves identification of some kind—from housing to employment, to education, to your medical history. Identity on the web today involves proving you are who you say you are. Our digital identity is owned and controlled by the services and social media platforms you use on the web, and typically not all stored in one location and owned by individuals themselves. When asked whether or not respondents want more control over their identity on the internet, a large majority agreed.
Did you know
Respondents aged 55-65 were more likely to strongly agree that they would like to have more control over their identity on the internet.
The Web Today
Today, the “creator economy” represents people only with their own brands and audiences and already is a $250 billion dollar market. Many people predict that this sector continues to grow, especially with new web3 business models emerging. Currently, only 38% of respondents globally believe they are adequately compensated for the value and creativity they add to the Internet. 67% of respondents in Nigeria strongly believe they add value to the internet, while only 5% of respondents in Japan do.
did you know
Goldman Sachs Research expects the 50 million global creators to grow at a 10-20% compound annual growth rate during the next five years.
Although cryptocurrencies keep appearing in the media and the public sphere, do people really understand what they are? In general, there is a very high level of awareness about cryptocurrencies: 92% of respondents globally have heard about them. 50% of respondents stated that they have heard about them, and also understand what they are. The proportion of respondents who affirm they understand what cryptocurrencies are is much higher in Nigeria (78%), South Korea (63%), South Africa (61%) Brazil (59%), and India (56%), while being much lower in Indonesia and Japan, with only 1 in 3 saying they know what crypto is.
did you know
Men aged between 25-34 y.o. are the socio-demographic segments with a better understanding of cryptocurrencies, while women and older respondents tend to have less knowledge.
Concepts Associated with Crypto
What concepts are associated with cryptocurrencies? Globally, cryptocurrency is seen as the “Future of Money,” and an “alternative to the traditional financial ecosystem.” While only 8% of respondents globally chose “crime and money laundering” as their top association with cryptocurrencies, European countries are more likely to associate it with negative aspects such as speculation (especially in France and Germany) or, scams/phishing.
did you know
31% of respondents globally chose “future of digital ownership” as a top association with cryptocurrency, yet only 1% of respondents globally chose “art” as a top association.
Regarding familiarity with NFTs, more respondents were unfamiliar with NFTs globally. The US, India, South Africa, and especially Nigeria are the countries that are the most familiar. On the contrary, South American and European countries together with Japan have the highest proportion of respondents who are not familiar with it.
did you know
56% of respondents in Argentina were motivated to own crypto “To store value because my local currency is too unstable,” the highest globally. Argentina’s annual average inflation is at 89.1% as of April 2023.
Overall, at a global level (all countries combined), most respondents are more familiar with all of the Web3 concepts tested in the survey. However, there are relevant differences: the most popular concepts are the Metaverse (36%) and NFTs (34%), while web3 is the least-known concept, with only 24% of respondents being familiar with it.
did you know
Half of respondents in the US, India, and Nigeria are aware of the concept of web3.
Recent News Cycle
2022 was the year when a number of cryptocurrency companies filed for bankruptcy. But did the public notice it? Did this impact the trust they had in the sector? Two third of respondents globally have heard about the recent bankruptcies of centralized cryptocurrency companies, with a lot of differences between countries. This series of bankruptcies of finance cryptocurrency companies have had an impact on the overall trust respondents may have had in blockchain, crypto and web3. The strongest impact has been perceived in South Korea and Nigeria (respectively 94% and 89% declaring it had a heavy impact). Respondents in Germany, Vietnam, India, and South Africa are more likely to declare that it had no impact on their trust in the ecosystem.
Respondents in Germany, Vietnam, India, and South Africa are more likely to declare that bankruptcies of centralized cryptocurrency companies had no impact on their trust in the ecosystem.
Do you think the 2022 bankruptcies of several centralized cryptocurrency companies impacted peope’s trust in blockchain, crypto, or web3?
did you know
Only 1 in 5 respondents in Japan heard about the recent bankruptcies of centralized cryptocurrency companies.
The results of the survey have revealed a promising shift in the prevailing attitudes towards a vision of the internet that grants individuals greater control over their shared online data and ensures fairer distribution of profits among creators. However, despite this positive trend, there remains a significant gap between awareness of cryptocurrencies and a practical understanding and utilization of web3 technologies. This disparity presents a valuable opportunity for mainstream web3 applications to bridge the agency gap that currently exists in today's internet landscape, characterized by limited privacy, control, and ownership.
We see the transition to web3 as an opportunity for users of the internet to take control: to find ways to channel their drive to build, belong, and shape their world in ways that add value to them. We can leverage the power of web3 to address issues related to ownership on the web, identity, privacy, and monetization for creators.
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