Subway, Microsoft, Expedia.com, and Virgin Galactic.
What do each of these businesses have in common?
They each accept Bitcoin—a digital currency that allows anonymous ownership and purchases without the involvement of a financial institution.
Businesses aren’t the only ones taking notice. A growing number of Americans—58%—are familiar with Bitcoin, but far fewer are confident enough to invest in it.
Our survey results show that only a slim demographic of Americans own Bitcoin and that a host of negative perceptions about the cryptocurrency could hinder its adoption.
In partnership with the Global Blockchain Business Council, we surveyed more than 5,000 individuals on SurveyMonkey Audience—asking about their experiences with and perceptions of Bitcoin.
So who’s biting at the bit?
Our results show that Bitcoin investors have a pretty well-defined profile. Here are some key stats that define them:
- 71% are male
- 58% are a millennial—between 18-34 years old
- They trust Bitcoin 7% more than they trust the U.S. government
- If given $1000, they’re roughly 3 times more likely to invest it in Bitcoin than put it into their savings account
What do they see in Bitcoin? The top reasons people gave for investing in Bitcoin included seeing it as a growth investment, supporting the development of blockchain technology, and avoiding government regulation.
Given the narrow demographic of Bitcoin owners, you might be asking yourself, what does the wider population think of Bitcoin?
For many, Bitcoin needs a brand refresh and financial stability
As it turns out, the general population has a number of concerns.
When asked about Bitcoin’s legal status, over half of Americans either said it’s illegal or were unsure.
To others, Bitcoin is just plain risky. The famously volatile currency hit nearly $20,000 in late 2017, months before it tumbled to as low as $6,651.
That roller-coaster ride hasn’t inspired confidence in potential investors. When asked to predict which asset is most likely to see its value plummet during 2018, 38% chose Bitcoin, a rate considerably higher than U.S. stocks—31%—and housing prices—27%.
What do all of these data points mean? A hesitation to buy Bitcoin as a mere 21% of respondents would consider adding it to their investment portfolio.
Only time will tell
The perceptions and behaviors of the general population take time to evolve, especially when things as important and complex as financial assets are involved.
In the meantime, use your Bitcoins to treat a friend to a sandwich at Subway. Who knows, you might just inspire them to give Bitcoin a try.