How has attitudes towards bitcoin changed over the past three years?

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Over the past three years, the number of people who are aware of bitcoin has grown by 30%, by 27% - who consider it a positive innovat...

Over the past three years, the number of people who are aware of bitcoin has grown by 30%, by 27% - who consider it a positive innovation, and by 29% - who trust it more than large banks. 43% of respondents (of whom 59% are millennials) believe Bitcoin will be massively used over the next decade. At the same time, 44% of millennials believe they are likely to buy Bitcoin in the next five years. These are the data of a fresh  study of the information platform The Tokenist. Experts analyzed the change in attitudes towards bitcoin that has occurred since 2017. The results are encouraging and inspire confidence in the imminent massive adoption of cryptocurrencies. In the article, we compare the data of several other surveys - they are not so rosy, but they also indicate an increase in confidence in digital assets.

The Tokenist survey methodology and data from previous studies

In April 2020, The Tokenist surveyed 4,852 people between the ages of 18 and 65 from 17 countries. The researchers asked respondents the same questions as the authors of the studies conducted by BlockChain Capital, BankRate, and eToro in 2017-2019.
BlockChain Capital survey . In October 2017, over 2,112 Americans over 18 were surveyed. Most of the data from this study was used by The Tokenist analysts to compare with the results of their own survey, which will be discussed below.
BankRate poll . In July 2018, the company surveyed 1,000 Americans over the age of 18. The results showed that only 2% considered bitcoin and cryptocurrencies to be the best investment, and 32% preferred crypto assets as a stock.
EToro survey . In April 2019, 1,000 Americans aged 20-65 were surveyed. The results of the study confirmed the widespread belief that millennials are the target audience of the crypto market. 43% of them said that they believe in cryptocurrency more than in the stock market (among people over 30, there are only 23%), 71% are ready to invest in cryptography through traditional financial institutions, and half of investors are considering adding digital currencies to their pension savings.
The authors of this survey cite a similar study by Provoke Insights, in which 59% of American respondents, including the older generation, said they are ready to invest in cryptocurrencies if offered by traditional financial institutions. As you can see, American private investors have long considered cryptocurrencies as a full-fledged asset, but they are ready to invest in it only subject to strict regulation and state protection.
The Tokenist analysts admit that the data is not complete. They rightly acknowledge the fragmentation and incompleteness of all available surveys, which is why they show such different data. Therefore, it is still difficult to get an accurate picture of changes in public opinion about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. But The Tokenist experts are confident that their data reflects general trends.

The Tokenist Poll Results

Let's consider the main results obtained by The Tokenist analysts during the survey.
  • Over the past three years, the number of people preferring Bitcoin to traditional assets has increased. More than 45% of those surveyed would prefer to have bitcoin instead of stocks, real estate and gold - this is 13% more than in 2017. Moreover, among millennials, their share is 92% - against 68% earlier.
Comparison of the preference for Bitcoin in the equivalent of $ 1000 to other assets (here and below, from left to right in the diagram): government bonds - increased from 18% to 38%, shares - decreased from 14% to 12%, real estate - increased from 12% to 17%, and gold - increased from 8% to 16%. Here and below, black - data for 2017, blue - 2020. Moreover, among millennials, these figures are higher. Source .
  • The number of people more or less familiar with bitcoin has increased from 30% to 61%, from 2% to 6% the number of respondents who own or owned it. Among millennials, the number of people familiar with BTC has grown from 42% to 78%, and the number of coin owners - from 4% to 14% (while 44% of millennials believe they will buy BTC within the next five years). Even more striking, there has been a 51% increase in the number of people over 65 who are familiar with MTC. The authors of the study suggest that this is due to the growing mention of bitcoin in the media and the growth of support for the coin from the trade.
Comparison of answers to the question "How well are you familiar with Bitcoin?" Answer options: "I own or owned military-technical cooperation", "well-informed", "a little familiar", "heard something", "never heard of it." Source .
  • The number of people who agree that bitcoin is a positive innovation in financial technology has grown from 33% to 60%.
Comparison of answers to the question "How much do you agree or disagree with the statement that bitcoin is a positive innovation in financial technologies?" Variants of answers: “strongly agree”, “rather agree”, “rather disagree”, “disagree”, “do not agree at all”. Source .
  •  The number of people who trust MTC more than large banks has increased from 18% to 47%. Among millennials surveyed, they are 51%, and among older people - only 7%. Analysts at The Tokenist speculate that this rise in bitcoin confidence is driven by the increased adoption of BTC and the recent volatility of the stock market.
Comparison of answers to the question "Which is more reliable: bitcoin or large banks?" Source .
  • Confidence that bitcoin will become a widely used currency has increased over the past three years. The number of respondents (from 44% to 60% among millennials) who believe that most people will use Bitcoin over the next decade has grown from 28% to 43%. These shifts are likely a result of increased support for the first cryptocurrency among retailers and, above all, large retailers. However, at the same time, the respondents remain biased about the nature of the first cryptocurrency. The number of respondents who believe that Bitcoin is a bubble has decreased from 46% to 37%. Moreover, among millennials, only 24% think so, and among the older generation - 50%.
In general, the authors of the survey assess its results as “amazing”.
“We found increased awareness and growing confidence in Bitcoin across all age and gender groups we surveyed. This effect was most pronounced among millennial respondents ... ”, the document says.
Analysts at The Tokenist believe that the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented measures to support the economy by the US Federal Reserve System (FRS) contributed to the growth of interest and confidence in Bitcoin on the part of Americans. The states are hard hit by the virus: unemployment rose from 3.5% in February (the lowest level in half a century) to 15% in April (a record since the Great Depression).

The bear market does not diminish the confidence in Bitcoin

The Tokenist data is in good agreement with the Harris Poll. The company's analysts surveyed Americans in  October 2017  and  April 2019  and compared the figures. Here's how the number of respondents and their attitude towards cryptocurrencies increased over the two years:
  • Bitcoin awareness has grown from 77% to 89%;
  • The number of MTC owners increased from 2% to 11%;
  • The number of respondents who consider bitcoin a positive financial innovation has grown from 34% to 43%;
  • The number of those who believe that Bitcoin will become widespread in the next 10 years has increased from 28% to 33%;
  • The number of respondents who believe that they will buy bitcoin in the next five years has grown from 19% to 27%.
Considering that the first survey was conducted during a bull market and the second during a bear market, the researchers were confident that they would note a decline in confidence in Bitcoin. However, despite a prolonged bearish period, the positive sentiment towards Bitcoin in the US has grown significantly across all age groups. But most of all, Bitcoin awareness and willingness to invest in it has grown among people between the ages of 18 and 34.

Europeans are wary of cryptocurrencies

In 2018, ING Group, a Dutch financial conglomerate,  surveyed  nearly 15,000 people in the US, Europe and Australia:
  • 55% of respondents have heard or were familiar with bitcoin, up to 10% owned or own cryptocurrencies (in Turkey - up to 18%).
  • 35% of Europeans believed that cryptocurrencies were the money of the future.
  • 25% were going to buy cryptocurrency in the future.
  • 23% were ready to use them in their daily expenses.
At the same time, the majority preferred traditional assets to digital ones, 30% would never invest in cryptocurrencies.
At the same time, a study by ING Group,  conducted  in August 2019 and covering 12 countries, noted a weakening of people's faith in cryptocurrencies. Residents of Austria trust bitcoin least of all - only 13% versus 20% in 2018, despite the fact that the country took first place in terms of awareness of the first cryptocurrency. Only respondents from Turkey, Poland and Romania remained optimistic about digital assets. So, in Turkey, 62% of respondents are confident in the successful development of bitcoin and 30% are ready to receive a salary in it.
Statistics of respondents by countries that trust cryptocurrencies, according to ING Group. Source .
BitFlyer Europe surveyed 10,000 Europeans from 10 countries in  2019  and  2020  . Over the year, the number of people confident that cryptocurrencies will not go anywhere over the next 10 years has grown from 63% to 66%. At the same time, only 49% believe in the long existence of bitcoin, and only 7% believe in its use for investment.
Statistics on respondents by country who believe in cryptocurrencies over the next 10 years, according to bitFlyer Europe for 2019 and 2020. Source.

Cryptocurrencies in Russia are still unpopular

As for Russia, there is a growing awareness of cryptocurrencies, but they are still unpopular.
In July 2017, according  to the  National Agency for Financial Research (NAFI), in Russia, only 28% of those surveyed had heard of cryptocurrencies. 38% of respondents considered their purchase a profitable investment, and among millennials such people are 52%, and among university graduates - 44%. 39% considered digital assets to be an unreliable acquisition, 47% believed that cryptocurrencies were just a tribute to fashion and a temporary phenomenon, but 31% saw them as money of the future. 48% believed that there was no need to ban cryptocurrencies.
In 2018, a  survey conducted by the private research holding Romir showed that 44% of respondents already have some idea of ​​digital assets, but only 13% can explain what this is (48% of whom are under the age of 31), and ready to buy - 11%, already own the asset - 2%. The survey revealed the relationship between the age and income of the respondents and their trust in cryptocurrencies: the younger and more prosperous the respondent, the more he is inclined to trust them. The authors of the study noted that Russians, despite the growing awareness, continue to maintain an annoying skepticism towards digital assets.
At the beginning of 2019, according  to of the information resource "Anketologist", 70% of the respondents have already heard about the cryptocurrency, 23% were familiar with it. Among respondents with income above 70,000 rubles a month, this share was 37%, and among those earning less than 10,000 rubles - only 15%. 54% of those who know about cryptocurrencies are ready to store their savings in them, but 49% of them are an insignificant amount, and only 5% are all savings. 14% of respondents had experience in trading cryptocurrencies, 10% owned them at the time of the survey. 36% perceived digital assets as a temporary phenomenon, the same number considered them an unprotected way of investing, 21% treated them as a fraudulent pyramid scheme, 13% as a means of money laundering. 65% believed that cryptocurrencies will not enter everyday life, 70% do not believe that they can replace fiat funds. It is encouraging that, at the same time, 29% believed
According  to  Kaspersky Lab, at the beginning of last year, only 37% of Russians knew what cryptocurrency was, although not everyone understood how it works. 42% of our compatriots did not use crypto assets and did not intend to do so in the future. Only 6% have ever owned cryptocoins.
However, according  to the  All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VTsIOM), in April 2019, 59% of Russians knew what bitcoin was, and another 18% had heard this term. Among people under 24 years old, with higher education and residents of capitals, there are up to 75% of them. However, factual knowledge about MTC remains weak. Unfortunately, the popularity of cryptocurrencies in Russia has not yet won: 65% of respondents consider investing in military-technical cooperation a bad idea (recall that according to NAFI in 2017 this figure was only 39%), only 2% bought the coin.
Data for 2020 is not yet available. But, judging by the trend, the majority of Russians still treat cryptocurrencies with distrust and are not very familiar with them.

Institutionals have recognized cryptocurrencies as assets

In 2017, institutions hardly cared about digital assets. Interestingly,  according to  a November 2017 survey by brokerage firm Triad Securities, 39% of institutional traders believed Bitcoin to be a bubble that would inevitably burst. But the development of the market has changed everything - the interest of the largest investors in cryptocurrencies is steadily growing.
So,  according to  a recent survey by Fidelity Digital Assets, the cryptocurrency arm of Fidelity Investments, conducted from November 2019 to March 2020:
  • 80% of 774 surveyed American and European investors consider cryptocurrency to be an attractive asset for investment;
  • 60% believe that digital assets can be in their portfolios;
  • Currently, 27% of US investors and 45% of European investors are invested in them.
It is noteworthy that 25% of European investors are positive about the fact that some digital assets are free from government interference, while only 10% of American investors are. A survey  conducted by  Fidelity a year earlier (excluding European investors) showed that cryptocurrencies were also considered attractive by about 80% of surveyed investors, 47% believed that they should be in their portfolios, but only 22% owned them.
In 2018, Fidelity  surveyed  905 institutional investors from 25 countries, and 80% of them expressed hope that blockchain and similar technologies will radically change the industry by 2025.
Unlike ordinary users and people far from the crypto world, changes in the attitude of institutions towards digital currencies are much easier to trace. Over the past three years, a regulated market has emerged for them, and infrastructure has also been developing: financial companies are racing to launch platforms and services for institutional reliable ways to buy MTC, the issue of launching a crypto ETF has been repeatedly raised.
Institutional investors themselves have ceased to view bitcoin as a bubble - now it is a tool for diversifying portfolios during a crisis and hedging inflation risks.

Finally

The above data inspires optimism regarding the massive adoption of cryptocurrencies. Young people under 30, as well as people with higher education and stable income are the most loyal and interested audience of digital assets. As regulatory issues are addressed and traditional financial companies enter the crypto market, they will use and invest in cryptocurrencies more and more.
It is also important that faith in the traditional financial system has been weakening for more than 10 years in a row, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated this process. Born in the wake of frustration with the banking system, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could be the main beneficiaries of this trend.
But the number of users speaks volumes about the growing trust in cryptocurrencies.
The chart shows the number of users of Blockchain.com wallets (in millions) worldwide from Q3 2016 to Q1 2020, according to Statista.com. Source .

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