Global Blockchain Business Council and Survey Monkey teamed for an appraisal of American attitudes toward the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, bitcoin. Awareness of the decentralized currency is way up, but those who actually own the digital asset remains relatively low.
Americans More Bitcoin Aware, But Remain on Sidelines
During the second week of this year, 5,761 adults were polled about their attitudes toward bitcoin. Survey Monkey, one of the partners, selects “from the nearly 3 million people who take surveys on the Survey Monkey platform each day,” their methodology website tab explains. “Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 2 percentage points.”
The last time such a large survey was conducted, back in 2013 by the firm On Device in preparation for a London conference, bitcoin awareness by americans languished at 25%. True enough, the first decentralized virtual currency was only about four years old, but there seemed at the time to have been sufficient press coverage warranting greater familiarity.
By 2018, not quite a decade into its tenure, bitcoin awareness has jumped by more than twice that number according to Survey Monkey and Global Blockchain Business Council. And though brand acknowledgement is growing, actual participation seems somewhat low. Nearly six in ten respondents revealed they’d at heard of bitcoin, up some 33 points from 2013’s measure (the two surveys are not linked). More than 5,000 people participated in the current questionnaire.
More Trust Bitcoin Than Government
A fraction of that number actually have bitcoin, be it on a wallet or an exchange. According to the survey, only 5% hold the digital asset; 21 percent of that number claim to be “considering adding it to their portfolios.” A supermajority of holders are male, under 34 years of age (58%), white. One analyst phrased the results as basically admitting ten percent of millennials own bitcoin while older Americans barely break one percent. Bitcoin holders’ politics are politically independent by half: less than 20% trust their government more than the Bitcoin network (almost a quarter).
A third of holders “use it to avoid government regulation,” 28% “see it as a store of value,” and 63% “see it as a growth investment.” Revealingly, little-to-no discussion about bitcoin’s medium of exchange use case seemed pressing. Holders were three times more likely than their nocoiner counterparts to claim they’d purchase more bitcoin if they had an extra $1,000 USD.
“But risk remains as bubbles are in the eye of the beholder,” the survey continued. “Asked about possible 2018 asset crashes, 38 percent of all Americans (and 41% of Bitcoin owners) see Bitcoin as a bubble poised to pop this year. Some 31 percent say the same about U.S. stocks and 27 percent say so about housing prices.” Still, the survey did note almost 70 percent expect bitcoin to increase in value over the coming half of a decade. A little more than 10 percent believe it will die out.
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