Bitcoin (BTC)–Potential adoption for the top ranked cryptocurrency by market capitalization looks a whole lot better following the release of a new Gallup poll.
On Friday, the results of a Wells Fargo/Gallup poll revealed that while only a small percentage of Americans are currently invested in Bitcoin, over a quarter of investors are intrigued by the cryptocurrency. The study’s published results found that 2 percent of U.S. investors polled reported owning BTC, while 26 percent said they were ‘intrigued’ by the prospect of investing in the high profile cryptocurrency. In addition, three in four investors who had heard of Bitcoin reported it to be “very risky” as a source of investment, reflecting the typical sentiment of general media outlets that focus on the price volatility of the currency.
Gallup, Inc., an American research based company, is widely regarded as one of the most comprehensive analytics firms for public opinion polls across the globe. Between May 7 – 14 of this year, the company conducted an online survey among U.S. investors with more than $10,000 in stocks, bonds and/or mutual funds. The results of the poll reflected a general lack of understanding about cryptocurrency by much of the investment market, as well as the aforementioned fixation on price volatility. While 96 percent of polled investors had heard of Bitcoin, only 29 percent reported knowing something about digital currencies, with another two-thirds of investors reporting having heard of other cryptocurrencies but not knowing much about them. Price volatility and risk emerged in the poll results, with 75 percent of polled investors reporting BTC to be “very risky,” and another 23 percent calling it “somewhat risky.”
As the papers outlines, polled investors seemed to ignore or not be entirely aware of Bitcoin’s utility as a tool for digital payment, instead choosing to focus on the price volatility that provides potentially high reward but for a tradeoff in risk,
“[Bitcoin’s] more popular as a high-risk/high-reward investment than as an online currency — although acceptance of Bitcoin for electronic payments is growing.”
Younger males made up the largest demographic for being aware or invested in Bitcoin and other digital currencies, with a divide in age difference also revealing a similar statistic for younger investors with less capital,
“investors with less than $100,000 in investments (who tend to be younger) are more likely to be familiar with the innovation than those with higher asset levels.”
The poll concludes that Bitcoin, in large part due to 2018’s sharp decline in price, is still primarily viewed by many investors as a bubble, with the majority of uninvested respondents preferring to wait and see how the price swing plays out,
“The price of bitcoin is back on an upswing after crashing earlier this year, causing some to say its bubble is again about to burst and others to argue that its value will only accelerate as more merchants inevitably adopt it. For now, most investors are on the sidelines, knowing little to nothing about bitcoin. Few are already invested in it, and even fewer plan to jump in soon.”
Clearly education, particularly in the form of greater understanding about what cryptocurrencies are, how they function, and what the underlying technology provides to both the world and financial markets would help improve the adoption of the currency with well capitalized investors.