Here's why Americans aren't buying cryptocurrencies: survey | finder.com

Here’s why Americans aren’t buying cryptocurrencies: survey

Peter Terlato 20 March 2018 NEWS

Most people haven’t bought into virtual currencies because of a lack of interest or practical need.

Cryptocurrencies continue to push their way into mainstream society, serving up attention-grabbing news headlines and stirring regulatory controversy at the highest levels of government and consumer protection.

Despite their sudden rise in popularity and constant discourse on social media channels and online forums, the overwhelming majority (92.05%) of Americans do not actually own any digital currencies, according to a recent survey of 2,001 American adults commissioned by finder.com and carried out by Pureprofile in February.

Of those respondents who haven’t purchased crypto, less than one in 10 (8%) have plans to do so in the future.

Two-fifths (40%) of those who haven’t bought virtual currencies revealed that they chose not to because they were disinterested in them or felt that there was no practical need to hold these types of assets.

A similar proportion (35%) claimed that the risks were too high, while a little over a quarter (27%) suggested that the industry and cryptocurrencies themselves were too difficult to understand. Almost one in five (18%) respondents were hesitant to buy into the current craze because they believed it was a scam or fraud.

Some Americans (16%) are waiting for what they believe is a bubble to burst. A number of economists have suggested that this theory will come to fruition at some point in the near future. Around one in 10 (11%) respondents said crypto was too complicated and fewer still (6%) think that there are too many fees involved.

However, the median transaction fee for bitcoin trades fell to a 10-month low of $0.52 towards the end of February, after peaking at an all-time high of $34.09 in late December last year. In response, a raft of popular exchanges trimmed their fees for bitcoin withdrawals, while blockchain congestion has also lessened.

Crypto is very much a millennial’s game, with almost one in five (17%) owning digital currencies. In contrast, only half as many (9%) Gen X respondents and a very small proportion (2%) of baby boomers can say the same.

Check out the chart below to understand the reasons why different generations don’t buy cryptocurrencies.

Reasons why people aren’t buying cryptocurrency Millennial Gen X Baby boomer
It’s too complicated to understand 31.18% 25.61% 26.43%
It’s too difficult to use 14.89% 9.01% 11.94%
It’s a scam 17.70% 16.17% 19.70%
There are too many fees 7.58% 5.58% 5.08%
There is no need or they are disinterested 37.36% 35.05% 45.62%
It’s a bubble 16.29% 17.74% 14.61%
It’s too high risk 33.71% 32.47% 37.87%

The most popular cryptocurrencies among Americans

The leading cryptocurrency is the most well-known – bitcoin – with 5% surveyed owning an average $3,453.89. The runner-up was Ethereum, with 2% of those surveyed owning an average $1,243.42 worth of the coin.

Cryptocurrency Proportion of people who own this currency Average amount people have purchased in USD
Bitcoin 5.15% $3,453.89
Bitcoin Cash 0.90% $636.22
Cardano 0.45% $84.22
Ethereum 1.80% $1,243.42
Ripple 0.85% $299.06
Stellar Lumens 0.40% $151.38
Other 0.75% $388.33

Of those respondents who do own cryptocurrency, more than half (54%) chose their particular coin or token because they did their own research. These same crypto owners are twice as likely to have completed their own research than rely on the coin’s social media sentiment or presence (27%). Two in five (40%) holders appear to have factored in their coin’s presence among news reports when making their decision on whether or not to buy, and a similar proportion (42%) simply followed the crowd and bought what was popular.

You can learn all about different exchanges, understand exactly how to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, calculate your taxes, discover digital wallets to hold assets and explore a list of all the alternative coins on the market.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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