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A key survey tells a story of growing optimism about Bitcoin, particularly among the more educated.
Despite the official hostility from some national governments (China and Nigeria, for example), and the warnings of its imminent demise from Wall Street’s gerontocracy (Jamie Dimon, Warren Buffett), Bitcoin continues to outlast them all.
As it clawed its way back towards $30,000 last week, two crucial surveys paint a picture of optimism for the seminal cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin: Knowledge and Perception, a Block, Inc. Report released in 2022, surveyed 9,500 people in 14 countries and found that a large proportion of respondents see Bitcoin as a means of payment, sending remittances and buying goods and services.
Some 50% of higher-income respondents see Bitcoin as having the potential to make money, while among lower-income respondents, 41% appreciated it as a means of sending money to others, and 42% see it as a means of purchasing goods and services.
A closer analysis of the survey results shows it is performing exactly as intended by founder Satoshi Nakamoto: that it would become a private form of money, digitally transmissible without interference by national governments, and immune to censorship by lawmakers.
A second key takeaway from the survey is that optimism for the future of Bitcoin is highest among the more educated. People in Nigeria, India, Vietnam, and Argentina have the highest rates of optimism globally about Bitcoin’s future. These countries also have the highest claimed levels of cryptocurrency knowledge more broadly.
It’s interesting to note that South Africans (52% of respondents) are optimistic about Bitcoin’s future, only slightly behind Vietnam and Argentina.
It’s hard to avoid the observation that countries like Nigeria, Argentina and South Africa have declining trust in their fiat currencies (which have steadily depreciated over the last decade). Bitcoin offers an escape from that trap.
Higher-income people are more optimistic than lower-income people (46% vs. 37%), and this is true in every region.
Lack of knowledge about Bitcoin is the top reason people don’t buy it (something Warren Buffett admitted to earlier this year). Lesser concerns are Bitcoin’s volatility, cyber-security risks, and an uncertain regulatory outlook – though these fall some way behind lack of knowledge.
What this also suggests is that as Bitcoin continues to display its relative immunity to the Wall Street naysayers and hostility from national governments, more and more people are likely to attempt to understand it better and that in turn will lead to greater adoption.
Awareness of Bitcoin is higher than that of any other cryptocurrency globally — by far — with 88% of adults surveyed having heard of bitcoin specifically. Only 43% had heard of Ether, the second-largest crypto.
This survey is perhaps the most comprehensive yet undertaken across the globe, and it posits a bright future for Bitcoin as both a store of wealth and a means of payment. And no government edict is likely to change that. The survey results may not be that surprising to those who have backed it for several years, but its longevity is perhaps the most crucial test. This latest survey, and its illumination of public attitudes to Bitcoin, means it has passed another key test.
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