With so much of media coverage building around the Bitcoin ETF and institutional investment being in focus, a recent survey carried out by cryptocurrency app Gem and analytics firm Harris Insights reveals on 8% of Americans invest in cryptocurrencies.
Better Information is the key to increasing retail capital flow
The poll surveyed over 2,000 adults revealed that roughly only 8% of Americans invest in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin in comparison to 52% of Americans invests in stocks according to a Gallup poll from 2016. What was more alarming is that about 41% of those same adults say that nothing could motivate them to invest in such digital assets.
It’s the lack of easily understandable basic information about cryptocurrency is what is keeping the potential investors away from investing in cryptos. According to Gem founder and CEO Micah Winkelspecht.
“If these potential investors have access to better information and cut through a lot of this noise, that could be a big opportunity for crypto,”
Around 20% of respondents said more information could motivate more cryptocurrency purchases.
It’s Millennials where the hope lies
Another point to be considered from the research is that those earning more than $100,000 annually are less likely to invest in cryptocurrencies than those with lower earnings. As the survey results give out 6% of those with over $100,000 in annual household income own some cryptocurrencies. In comparison, about 11% of those earning between $50,000 to $74,900 can say the same. And an even higher percentage of those earning less than $50,000 claim to hold crypto: About 7%, according to the survey.
“We find that younger people with less income are more willing to put money in crypto,”
said Gem founder and CEO Micah Winkelspecht as reported by Fortune.
“My guess is that crypto is of the digital age. And the younger generation is of the digital age and used to doing everything on the internet.”
He also admits that the phenomenon of less wealthy investors entering the cryptocurrency fray may also be due, in part, to a “get quick rich” psychologically. A lot of behavioral finance studies reveal that people in lower income brackets are more likely to enter into riskier asset classes and penny stocks.
Not directly comparable but, the same was revealed according to 2011 research in the Journal of Gambling Studies—even when the likelihood of hitting the jackpot is minuscule.
Although there is hope that slowly but steadily the cryptocurrency investment would become mainstream as 50% of respondent did say they are willing to try out the asset class in the future.
Harris Insight had conducted a similar poll on behalf of Blockchain Capital in November 2017 which had given some similar states based on Millennials hold the key. The survey then suggested more than 1 in 4 millennials prefer Bitcoin to stocks: 27% of whom said they would prefer to own $1,000 of Bitcoin over $1,000 in stocks. The number was even higher for male millennials—38% of whom said they prefer Bitcoin. It was not just stocks many millennials would prefer Bitcoin to other traditional financial assets as well as 30% of millennials said they would choose Bitcoin over government bonds, 22% would choose Bitcoin over real estate, and 19% would choose Bitcoin over gold.
While the institutional investment is a good sign, the retail investors too are a big market and collectively have the strength to take Bitcoin to its highs. It just that someone has to clear the noise and provide the right information to them.
Do retail investors hold equally strong cards as institutional investors to make Bitcoin great again? Do let us know your views on the same.
Nilesh Maurya has been associated for past 8 years as an Investment Banker with Omega Capital, a bespoke Investment Banking outfit having offices in Mumbai, New York, Singapore, and Dubai. He has been a regular contributor to business publications such as Business India and Market Express and has been a mentor to many start-up companies. Nilesh Maurya has been associated for past 8 years as an Investment Banker with Omega Capital, a bespoke Investment Banking outfit having offices in Mumbai, New York, Singapore, and Dubai. He has been a regular contributor to business publications such as Business India and Market Express and has been a mentor to many start-up companies. Follow him on Twitter at @KoinKing1 or connect with me on linkedin.