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Home > Courses > Cryptocurrency Fundamentals > Cryptocurrency Community > Who Owns Bitcoin? | Bitcoin Awareness Worldwide

Who Owns Bitcoin? | Bitcoin Awareness Worldwide

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Who Owns Bitcoin? | Bitcoin Awareness Worldwide

Bitcoin is nothing if not controversial yet the figures show that a positive perception of the cryptocurrency is increasing for all age groups, except one. The percentage of 35 to 44-year-old Americans who believe Bitcoin is a positive innovation in financial technology fell by 2% to 50%.

With the bear market in its death, throes Bitcoin has never been more appealing. Even though the price dropped 80% from its all-time high (for 2019), and we went eighteen months without a higher high, a survey has revealed that Bitcoin awareness is up, and so is its public perception. In this article, we’ll pull apart some statistics from Blockchain Capital’s online poll. Blockchain Capital was founded in 2013 and has funded over seventy-five blockchain-related companies. They’re a crucial player in the cryptocurrency space, and the data we present in this article is theirs. The interpretation, however, is ours. How is Bitcoin doing? Let’s take a look and find out.


Who Has Heard of Bitcoin?


More people than ever! An earlier Blockchain Capital survey conducted in October of 2017 showed that 77% of Americans had heard of Bitcoin. By April of 2019, that number had risen to 89%. That means nine out of ten people have heard of Bitcoin, despite the bear market dragging down sentiment.  

Awareness is highest for those aged 18 to 34 (hereafter referred to in this article as the youngest age group), at 90%. However, the margins are not as disparate as they might be guessed. In no age group, even in the 65+ cohort, was Bitcoin awareness lower than 88%. One can only assume that understanding may reach as high as 95% across all age groups during the next bull market.


Who Knows What Bitcoin Is?


Where the numbers diverge is in an understanding of what Bitcoin is. 60% of those in the youngest age group reported familiarity with Bitcoin. Familiarity in this case meaning that the respondent was somewhat familiar, very familiar, or owned Bitcoin. That was an 18% increase compared to the fall of 2017, when only 42% reported familiarity with Bitcoin.

Unfortunately, there has not been a similar growth in the older age groupings. In 2017 only 15% of those in the 65+ age cohort reported familiarity with Bitcoin. That number has risen only marginally to 20% as of April 2019. One is reminded of Warren Buffet’s famous diatribes against the cryptocurrency that are not so much based on fact as lack of understanding. For the 35 to 44 age group, familiarity sits evenly at 50%. Not so bad that one in two middle-aged Americans has at least a basic understanding of Bitcoin.


What Do People Think of Bitcoin?


Bitcoin is nothing if not controversial, yet the figures show that a positive perception of the cryptocurrency is increasing for all age groups, except one. The percentage of 35 to 44-year-old Americans who believe Bitcoin is a positive innovation in financial technology fell by 2% to 50%. That, however, is the exception, and in every other cohort, the number of people who believe that Bitcoin is a positive technology increased. The poll showed that 59% of respondents view it as a positive technology for the youngest age group.

This data is what matters and is much more indicative than the current price action of the overall trend for cryptocurrencies. If the number of people who viewed Bitcoin positively was falling, it would indicate that the cryptocurrency had severe public relations problems. However, as the numbers are increasing, and significantly at that, it’s evident that the path is open for widespread adoption.


Who is Going to Use Bitcoin?


The percentage of people who believe that Bitcoin will be widely used in the next ten years grew by 5% from the survey in 2017. The number is still not high, notably among the older age groups. However, it is growing. It is highest amongst the youngest age group, where 48% of respondents stated that most people would be using Bitcoin in the next ten years. Even the 35 to 44 age cohort, whose perception of Bitcoin fell, were 1% more likely to believe that Bitcoin will be widely used in the future.

All these numbers aren’t worth a lot without action, however, and the next question posed by the poll was how likely a respondent was to buy Bitcoin at any point in the next five years. 42% of the youngest age group reported that it would be possible to do so. Up to ten base points from the 32% who said they might do so in 2017. This is fascinating given that the initial survey took place in a bull market and the later one after a drawn-out bear market. It does nothing to prove that Bitcoin’s fundamentals are strong and can succeed regardless of where the price goes.


Who Would Rather Have Bitcoin Than Gold?  


Overall, 21% of the poll’s respondents indicated that they would take Bitcoin over government bonds. 14% said that they would rather have Bitcoin instead of real estate, while the lowest number was 12% of respondents indicating that they would prefer Bitcoin to gold. That’s interesting given that the most common narrative of Bitcoin is that of it being digital gold. While this idea is still in play, the poll indicates that Bitcoin has a lot of catching up to do before it rivals that most traditional and hallowed store of wealth.


Who Owns Bitcoin?


At last, the most telling measurement, ownership. The overall number was 9% Bitcoin ownership, although that number varied widely between the age cohorts. 18% of 18 to 34-year-old respondents claimed to own Bitcoin, while the number was a mere 1% for those over 65. A stark contrast but one that could be expected as well.

Hopefully, as Bitcoin matures, becomes easier to use, and new onboarding platforms like Bakkt go mainstream, these ownership numbers will improve. While that might take time, the statistics so far tell a good story. Bitcoin’s positive perception is increasing, more people believe it will be widely used, and more people than ever before would prefer it over a traditional investment. Here’s to the decentralized digital revolution!

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