Friday, 05 June 2020

A look at who owns bitcoin (young men), and why (lack of trust)

Chances are, you've heard of bitcoin. But the odds are much smaller that you actually have a stake in it.
Nearly 60 per cent of Americans have heard or read about the world's largest cryptocurrency, according to a joint SurveyMonkey and Global Blockchain Business Council poll of more than 5700 adults conducted in January.

But only 5 per cent of people actually own the digital coin.

Those few bitcoin investors are of a fairly consistent demographic. An overwhelming 71 per cent of them are male. The majority - 58 per cent - are young, between the ages of 18 and 34 years old. And unlike the broader US population, nearly half of them are minorities.

When asked why they bought the crypto asset, investors answered that a combination of a lack of trust and an opportunity for return are at play.

Around 41 per cent of bitcoin owners see it as a bubble ready to pop this year.

About one-third of bitcoin owners said it was a means to avoid government regulation - 24 per cent also said they trust bitcoin more than the US government in a separate question - and about two in 10 saw it as a hedge against crashes in traditional assets.

More than 60 per cent also said that buying the digital coin was seen as a growth investment.

Last year, that investment largely paid off. The cryptocurrency skyrocketed more than 1400 per cent in 2017, reaching a high of more than US$19,500 (NZ$26,577) last month.

But much of that gain has been given back - bitcoin has fallen by almost half since December, now trading near US$11,000, according to Bloomberg composite data.

Roughly 70 per cent of those surveyed this month said bitcoin will be worth somewhat to significantly more five years from now. But 38 per cent also said they see it as a bubble that's poised to pop this year. Around 41 per cent of bitcoin owners said the same.


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