Typical bitcoin investor ‘young, rich and male’

October 05, 2018
Chris Wheal

The typical owner of and trader in bitcoin is a young, relatively well-off male and a big city dweller, a US survey suggests.

The true bitcoin fans are Millennial men earning more than $75,000 a year in urban areas, according to a survey of more than 1,000 Americans by Clovr. The company promotes the mainstream adoption of blockchain technologies and is one of the first comprehensive studies of who owns cryptocurrencies.

The survey results also suggest that the primary reason people invest in cryptocurrencies is the possibility of a huge return and less a belief that digital currencies are the future of money, putting them in the same speculative investment category as internet stocks in the late 1990s and marijuana stocks today.

Mainstream acceptance

Mike Cribari, a co-founder of Clovr, said he was surprised that eagerness to make a fast buck was the top reason for buying bitcoin. “A lot of people involved in speculative investments – going for long shots – don’t fall into high income brackets,” he noted, citing studies on how casinos, lotteries and other forms of gambling are often considered taxes on the poor.

“It’s hard for people to understand things like private keys and transfers,” Cribari added. “People need to be able to use cryptocurrencies more for things like buying their lunch.” However, several high-profile hacking incidents of bitcoin wallets could be scaring some people away from cryptocurrencies.

However, he’s optimistic that the wild price swings are over. After peaking at nearly $20,000 last December, bitcoin prices have stabilised this year in a range of between $6,000 and $7,000.

More average investors are getting comfortable with the thought of using bitcoin for everyday purchases and owning bitcoin for the long haul, a separate survey found. More than half of the Millennials and more than a third of the Generation Xers polled said they thought cryptocurrencies would become as widely accepted as cash and credit cards, according to BitcoinIRA.com, which lets people buy bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies for their retirement accounts.

Nearly 30% of the Baby Boomers surveyed indicated that they would consider investing in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies for their retirement.

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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