Multinational financial services company Wells Fargo has conducted a poll of investors in the United States, revealing a skeptical 72% majority who “have no interest in ever buying Bitcoin” and 75% who find Bitcoin to be “very risky”.
The poll, which was conducted over a week in May 2018, consisted of 1,921 adults in the US who had USD 10,000 or more invested in stocks, bonds or mutual funds. It found that 72% had no interest in ever investing in Bitcoin, 26% were “intrigued” but won’t be buying soon, 2% owned Bitcoin and less than 0.5% would “probably buy Bitcoin in the near future”.
Naturally, the results display a contrast between age groups and genders with regards to cryptocurrency awareness; 22% of investors above the age of 50 knew of Bitcoin’s existence with that figure dropping to 16% for the 65+ age bracket.
Some 48% of those aged between 18 and 49 were aware of Bitcoin, with 41% of this age bracket being “intrigued” by Bitcoin, but would not be buying soon. Of the gender groups, 38% of men knew of Bitcoin as did 20% of women.
A factor that could have contributed to the “risky” consensus could be boiled down to a couple of particularly prominent issues. Firstly, the recent indictment of Russian hackers who allegedly utilized Bitcoin to fund their hacking attacks on the 2016 US elections is likely to play a big role.
Furthermore, according to previous Wells Fargo studies, US investors tend to avoid more risk adverse investments for retirement savings. Cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin alike are notoriously volatile markets and the 2014 study indicated that a higher guarantee of return on investment was more favorable than one with high growth potential.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have traditionally been viewed as unstable, potentially unsafe and linked to malicious intent despite evidence showing otherwise. These impressions may shift should industrial and governmental adoption grow in a positive manner.
Change on the horizon?
The Gallup poll reads, “Looking to the future, however, many younger investors who currently say they are intrigued may be converted to investors once the currency goes more mainstream.”
The results may be a reflection of the present institutional and governmental sentiments in the United States; for some time, cryptocurrencies have been observed with cautious scrutiny by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Nevertheless, efforts to bring the cryptocurrency and the underpinning technology of blockchain to mainstream prominence are underway with growing pressures from other governing entities in the United States who fear the US is falling behind, as well as from international participants and world-leading technology trade associations.
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