The findings of the Wells Fargo/Gallup poll, published July 27, suggests that only 2% of U.S investors own Bitcoin, but 26% are intrigued by it. This online survey was conducted in May 7-14, 2018 on U.S investors with more than $10,000 in stocks, bonds or mutual funds. This sample query ensured that the survey population was well aware of financial institutions or had some understanding of what investment entails. This sifts the people who might be interested in making risky value and financial decisions. The survey population sample is synonymous to the target retail customers of digital currencies. And yet, 5% of these people have not heard of them.
The results showed that only a 2% of people said that they currently own bitcoin and less than 1% plan to buy it in the near future. Three in four, who have heard of bitcoin, call it “very risky”.
This can be owed to a lack of information on the subject and constant targeting and bashing of the currency on television and other media. “only about three in ten investors (29%) say they know something about digital currencies,” People who might have taken a chance at it are scared off by the public image created by biased and poorly informed, change resistant mediums. Making them prefer traditional currency and investment options over digital. 72% have no interest at all, perhaps because the market is still too young. Once matured and the word spreads just enough, people will not resist the move away from traditional currency towards virtual.
Bitcoin investments and understanding was more popular amongst:
- Of younger age groups
They already knew about it, wanted to learn more and found it more interesting than to say they’re certain they will never buy it. The sample size of the survey was carefully selected trying to test the potential target market for bitcoin and other virtual currency awareness and demand. This trend also helps in drawing a conclusion that Bitcoin is men’s choice of investment whilst women may have other option – such as using gold as a store of value. Also that it is easier for Millennials to understand the functioning of crypto currency, as they understand the internet, than their older counterparts.
According to the report: ‘Bitcoin has yet to make significant inroads into any major subgroup of U.S investors. Just 3% of men, 1% of women, 3% of those aged 18 to 49 and 1% of those aged 50 and older report owning it.’ While ownership is more common among wealthier investors, just 3% of those earning $90,000 or more report owning bitcoin, compared with less than 1% of lower-income. These demographics have helped identify the bigger market gaps of people who may wish to invest but do not have access to the mediums to. This is where the bitcoin and crypto literature, instead of coming in handy, do the opposite (scaring them)
Even though the initial intention behind Bitcoin involves its use as a means of payment, or “electronic cash”, it’s high volatility has made it “more popular as a high-risk/high-reward investment than as an online currency.
The price of bitcoin has been on a rise after wild crashes earlier this year. People argue that its value will only accelerate as more merchants inevitably adopt it. While 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. This calls for more mainstream targeting and opinion shaping if crypto is to succeed.
On technical grounds, Gallup is one of the most widely accepted research organization. The survey says:
For results based on this sample, one can say that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±5.4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. Margins of error are higher for sub-samples. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error and bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
Another study on Americans and cryptocurrencies, commissioned by Finder.com is also an insightful tool to understand the market trends and gaps. In February, it showed that 8%, or around 26 million of Americans have already purchased cryptocurrency.
A recent Cointelegraph report on the top ten crypto projects that raised a minimum of $1 million in 2017, revealed that on average, each showed a return on investment of over 136,000%. This means the market is growing at a highly profitable speed.