From the moment it entered the public spotlight, Bitcoin (BTC) became synonymous with internet money, one that relies on immutable laws of math and cryptography instead of government issuance. As such, the public’s perception of Bitcoin casts a useful forecast on the adoption of FinTech products and services as well. According to a recent Bitcoin survey by The Tokenist, the emerging digital asset is seeing a notably higher adoption when compared to that of three years ago.
The Origins of Bitcoin’s Legitimacy
Bitcoin signified quite a departure from what people view as a legitimate unit of exchange. Not many people would be compelled to grasp the intricacies of blockchain and why its primary product – cryptocurrency – is secure enough to use as money. Fortunately, the 2008 financial crisis, in which banks were bailed out by tax-payer money, propelled some enterprising minds to develop an alternative to the established financial regime.
A coin made out of digital bits – Bitcoin – soon took the stage and forever changed the way we view money. Nowadays, corporations and governments – from the United States to Venezuela to China – do not shy away from taking the best features of digital currency while stripping away the rest in order to retain full control of the flow of money.
Unfortunately, Bitcoin has an ecosystem of its own — untethered to physical assets like stablecoins. As a result, it is plagued by volatility.
Nonetheless, Bitcoin enjoys a steady growth from its 2009 inception, but it transitioned from a cryptocurrency used mostly by hackers and cyber-geeks, to today – a reliable form of payment used by everyone from large banks to major online accounting providers. Throughout this transformation, bitcoin has slowly gained mainstream acceptance as a financial asset with long term value. In this light, we should view a survey which compares Bitcoin’s adoption rate from 2017 to 2020, devised by The Tokenist.
Intransigent Elderly and Eager Millennials
Encompassing 4,852 respondents from 17 countries, The Tokenist survey confirms previous trends while revealing new ones. The first data point that stands out is the contrast between age demographics. While millennials are the most receptive to using Bitcoin, the elderly (over 65) are the most reticent, despite all demographic groups gaining better familiarity with Bitcoin.
Predictably, those over the age of over 65 have almost no intention of investing in Bitcoin. Those that are somewhat likely to buy Bitcoin constitute only 3% in that age range and 0% likelihood for the very likely option. This is despite Bitcoin familiarity increasing significantly across all age groups.
Interestingly, millennials answered they are very familiar with Bitcoin, at the same percentage as the respondents older than 65. Yet, the elderly show no sign of actually using Bitcoin. We can only contribute this to life-long habituation in which money belongs to the domain of the government exclusively.
Case in point, while the younger age cohort is more optimistic about the use of Bitcoin in the next 10 years, the older generation is more pessimistic. Thus, somewhat diluting the upward positivism trend.
However, the major striking result coming out of The Tokenist comparative survey is that the trust in the banking/traditional sector is slowly waning. Almost half – 45% – of the respondents would prefer Bitcoin ownership against traditional assets such as gold, real estate, and government bonds. This constitutes an increase of 13% from the 2017 findings.
We can contribute this decrease of trust to the long-standing and still growing chasm between Main Street and Wall Street, further exacerbated by miraculous and immense cash infusions by the Federal Reserve. As the Fed continues to bring into existence trillions of dollars, people are filled with confusion if this is a sustainable strategy or something done out of sheer desperation.
Therefore, even Bitcoin’s volatility doesn’t detract it from becoming a viable investment alternative for the future given that Bitcoin is detached from such a dubious financial system that the Fed represents.
Do you think Bitcoin will reach the magical $100,000 threshold in the near future? We’d like to know what you think in the comments section below.