Over 2,000 US adults were quizzed by Harris Poll in one of the most wide-ranging bitcoin surveys to date. The poll, which was conducted between October 18th and 20th, provides a fascinating insight into how adults of all ages perceive bitcoin. It is among 18-34-year-olds however – millennials – that the greatest divergence from the rest of the population is seen.
Youth might be wasted on the young as the adage goes, but bitcoin doesn’t appear to have passed them by. Not only do twice as many millennials own bitcoin as the rest of the population (4% versus 2%), almost a third claim they’re likely to buy bitcoin in the next five years, versus just 19% of all Americans.
Spencer Bogart, managing director with Blockchain Capital, stated:
“The results of the survey reinforce our conviction in the massive opportunity that lies ahead for Bitcoin.”
Bitcoin still has some way to go before it overtakes other financial assets as a desirable store of wealth however; 30% of millennials surveyed said they’d prefer to own $1k of bitcoin versus $1k of government bonds. That figure falls to 27%, 22% and 19% respectively among millennials when bitcoin is compared with stocks, real estate and gold.
Divided by Decades
Not surprisingly, the survey shows a significant gulf between the youngest adults quizzed and those over 65. 16% of millennials say they’re very likely to buy bitcoin in the next five years – a figure which drops to just 2% among over 45s and to zero among those over 65. Over 65s are also ten times less likely to perceive bitcoin as a positive innovation than millennials and are significantly more inclined to view bitcoin as a bubble.
While bitcoin evangelists are swift to decry the machinations of central banking, the general populace have more faith in financial institutions it would appear. 92% of over 65s believe big banks to be more trustworthy than bitcoin (versus 73% of millennials), though 27% of males under 35 side with bitcoin.
Divided by Genders
The other major takeaway from the Harris Poll survey is the divide between the sexes when it comes to bitcoin enthusiasm. It is no secret that the cryptocurrency space is a male-dominated one, with Google Analytics results suggesting that less than 4% of all participants are female. This fact was reinforced by the survey, which revealed that twice as many men own or have owned bitcoin and are almost three times as likely as women to buy bitcoin in the next five years. Men also have a more positive view of bitcoin (17% versus 7%). When pressed on the likelihood that “most people will be using bitcoin in the next 10 years”, the disparity between the sexes diminishes, with 9% of all respondents strongly agreeing.
Custodians of Digital Currency
It would be hyperbole to suggest that millennial familiarity with bitcoin heralds a hastening demise for traditional currency. Nevertheless, the results of the survey add weight to the notion that using digital currencies comes naturally to a generation that has grown up with touchscreens, many of whom don’t recall the pre-internet age. If bitcoin is the future then millennials are its custodians. On this evidence, the world’s preeminent digital currency is in safe hands.