Crypto vs. Stocks: What is More Popular in 2022?

Emmanuel O.
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Updated: 10.01.2023

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Many investors are drawn to the crypto market because of its potential for significant returns. Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, have seen meteoric rises in value, allowing investors to make substantial profits. These digital assets also offer anonymity, allowing them to invest without anyone knowing.

However, the stock market is still a popular choice for many investors. Unlike the crypto market, the stock market is highly regulated, provides price stability, and allows investors to diversify their portfolios. This reduces their exposure to the considerable risk seen in the crypto market.

Ultimately, it is difficult to say which market is more popular, as it depends mainly on individual investors. Those looking for quick profits may prefer the crypto market, while those looking for stability may prefer the stock market. Both markets offer different benefits, and it is up to the individual investor to decide which is right.

To answer the question of popularity, let us look at the market capitalization of both markets and how they've grown throughout their existence.

Crypto vs Stocks: Key Takeaways

Crypto Market Cap Went From $0 to $3 Trillion In 10 Years!

The crypto market capitalization has seen tremendous growth over the past few years as the demand for cryptocurrency has skyrocketed. In 2021, the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies reached an all-time high of about $3 trillion, surpassing the previous record set in late 2017. This unprecedented growth has been fueled by a surge in investor interest, adoption from major corporations, and an overall increase in the number of tokens and coins on the market.

The crypto market capitalization is expected to continue to grow as more investors enter the space, mainstream adoption increases, and more projects are launched. This growth could create a whole new breed of investors and products and provide a new asset class for investors to explore.

Cryptocurrency can best be described as a virtual asset fully decentralized and backed by cryptographic security. The concept of decentralization in crypto implies that it's not a regulated market, nor is supply determined by the central bank. Moreover, crypto prices are determined solely by demand and supply market forces.

How far the cryptocurrency market has gone can be attributed to the success of Bitcoin, the pioneer of cryptocurrency launched by Satoshi Nakomoto in 2009. Since then, many cryptocurrencies, including stables, tokens, and NFTs, have been released.

Statista reports show that the total crypto market cap was $0.03 on 28th December 2011; however, this value has grown to ~ $3 trillion in 10 years (2021). So what is this value likely going to be in the next decade?

According to the erstwhile Goldman Sachs hedge fund manager and Real Vision boss, Raoul Pal, the crypto market capitalization could grow 100-fold from its ATH by 2030. Such growth represents $250 to $300 trillion! Of course, this is a lot, but only if the network adoption models keep their current pace.

Data from shows that there were 295 million crypto owners in December 2021 compared to 228 million in July 2021, with a possibility of a 3% increase in 2022 due to the bearish market.

The market growth is anticipated to be propelled by the increasing demand for operational transparency, effective payment systems, better data security, and the eventual legalization of digital currencies' purchase, sale, and trading in several developed countries, such as the U.S. and the E.U.

Without BTC, What Does the Market Cap Look Like?

As of the time of writing, the total market cap for crypto was around $853 billion, including Bitcoin. The total market capitalization for decentralized finance (defi) is ~$43 billion, NFT is ~$14 billion, the metaverse is ~$10 billion, bitcoin is ~$327 billion, and others account for the rest.

Bitcoin (BTC) remains the largest and most valuable cryptocurrency in the crypto market. The total market capitalization without BTC is ~$526 billion. This implies that BTC accounts for ~38% of the entire crypto market, representing BTC's dominance in the market. So since BTC takes such a massive piece of the crypto pie, excluding it from making critical investment choices will be reasonable because it lets you see a clearer picture of where the crypto market is moving.

The Stock Market Worth $85 Trillion, But You Shouldn't Be Surprised!

The Stock market is an ancient market that has existed for about eight centuries! We are currently in the 21st century, implying that the market started as far back as the 1300s. Therefore, you shouldn't be surprised by its current market capitalization of about $85 trillion. Apple stock tops the chart with a market capitalization of ~$2.35 trillion; that alone is near the ATH market cap for crypto.

The stock market is the combination of buyers and sellers of stocks, representing ownership claims on different businesses across the globe. These may include securities on public or private stocks generated through equity crowdfunding operations of private companies, including Apple, Saudi Aramco, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon.

The stock market is one of the veritable ways companies increase their financial footing and create sustainable wealth for individual investors interested in their stock. They carry out this operation by selling shares as stock.

Investors in these companies benefit by exchanging their money for shares on the global stock exchange market. They put their funds into the growth and expansion of their businesses. Investors reap the benefits because their shares of stock become more valuable over time, leading to capital gains. In addition, companies pay dividends (in %) to their shareholders.

Due to the peculiarities of companies & global economic dynamics, the Stock market performance varies over time. However, historically, the stock market has a 10% average annual returns rate, making it one of the viable investment options.

The stock market hasn't been without its fair share of troubles, too, because the post-pandemic declines in stock fortunes and values have been a source of concern for the global stock investment community. Moreover, stock woes are further aggravated by tightening monetary policy measures propelling high-interest rates.

A clear example is the U.S. stock market; markets were steady last month after U.S. inflation surprisingly came down below expectations for October, prompting investors to bet that Federal Reserve policymakers would soon have to slow or stop the monetary policy tightening measures they have deployed to try to bring down inflation.

Even though the new U.S. policy portends figments of peaking signs, strategists are still determining if its bounce has legs. However, the S&P 500 made its most significant single-day gain since the early 2020 pandemic rebound rally.

What Google Trends Says About the Two Markets (2018 – 2022)

Cryptocurrency and stock markets are popular markets for investing but have different characteristics.

Google Trends provides a helpful comparison of how these two markets have evolved. For example, the graph below shows that stocks (red line) have seen much faster growth than cryptocurrencies (blue line) between 2018 and 2021.

Google Trends Interest OVer Time: Crypto vs Stocks

However, the graph reveals that the popularity of "cryptocurrency" has grown much faster than "stocks" over the past 2 years (2021 to 2022). In the same period, the keyword "cryptocurrency" has surged in popularity, while the keyword "stocks" has remained relatively flat. This is likely due to the rapid rise of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which has resulted in increased interest in this asset class.

Furthermore, we can see how a location's GEO affects its popularity. For example, "stocks" generates more interest in India and the US while crypto is more popular in other countries.

These data demonstrate that cryptocurrency and stocks are distinct markets with different characteristics and growth rates. Cryptocurrency is a much newer and more volatile asset class, while stocks have been around for much longer and tend to be more stable. Although crypto has become more popular in recent years due to the massive hype around it, investors still prefer traditional assets when it comes to market capitalization.

Data From Ahrefs Aligns With Google Trends, More Popularity for Crypto?

We have made a comparison based on search volume between the two keywords “crypto” and “stocks” using Ahrefs.

Stocks vs. Crypto by Search Volume

Data obtained from the website reveals that crypto has a search volume of ~1.7M while stocks have ~610k. This shows that more people are interested in cryptocurrency than counterpart stocks, which aligns with the data obtained from Google trends.

Of the total search volume for stocks, the United States represents 49% (303k); however, it only covers 23% (406k) for crypto searches. This suggests that the interest in stocks is more concentrated in the United States than other parts of the world. On the other hand, the interest in cryptocurrency is widespread!


The debate over which is more prevalent between the crypto and stock markets has been raging for years. However, both markets offer investors a variety of investment opportunities.

No doubt, the market capitalization of the stock markets is way greater than the cryptocurrency market, and people tend to trust more reliable investing instruments. However, Google trends show that from 2021 till the present, there has been a shift in interest from Stocks to Cryptocurrencies.

Emmanuel O.

Content Writer & Business Analyst & Crypto Enthusiast

Visits: 824

I am passionate about blockchain technology, and the potential it holds for our world. I have been researching and writing about cryptocurrencies since 2016, so in this blog post I'll be sharing the most recent news from within the crypto industry.

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