By Bill Taylor/Fintek Capital
A new Wells Fargo/Gallup poll revealed that only 2% of U.S. investors owned Bitcoin, BUT 26% are ‘intrigued’ by it. These results show two major things. First, it certainly shows the huge potential upside to bitcoin as more and more investors (retail and institutional) become more aware and comfortable with investing in cryptocurrencies. Second, the poll reflects the lack of U.S. investors knowledge and acceptance of bitcoin (cryptocurrencies). Even though there are only 2% actual investors (according to the poll) 26% are “intrigued” (Tempted? Curious? Spooked?), reflecting a huge potential market that has yet to participate in bitcoin.
So, what actually did the poll find? The actual name of the survey was “the Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index” (whew!) and was completed in the second quarter of this year. Investors polled were adults that had at least $10,000 in stocks, bonds or mutual funds. And while 26% did express interest in the digital currency, a whopping 72% of the group was entirely uninterested (or, Hell No) in buying bitcoin. Not surprising 3% of respondents 18-49 owned bitcoin while only 1% of people over 50 had bought bitcoin. Those particular figures are incontrast with geographies with younger populations (Asia, China, Africa, Latin America), where adaptation to the new world of cashless societies and cryptocurrencies has been much more robust. Or, in other terms, the U.S. is aging and stubborn. As an example, we recently wrote that in Brazil, investors actually bought more digital assets than equities or bands.
It is obvious that the U.S is far behind the rest of the globe in accepting and investing in bitcoin, digital assets and virtual currencies, but WHY? Well, a very limited awareness coupled with a strong perception of risk associated with bitcoin seems to be the culprit. Again, WHY? The spotlight shines on the regulators, meaning the SEC. The SEC has yet to decide what bitcoin really is so it basically warns investors that bitcoin is scary, highly risky and……”evil”. With that fear factor instilled in investor’s minds institutions and exchanges are very reluctant to educate investors, thus dampening awareness.
The Wells/Gallup poll certainly reflects that there is a huge potential group of younger investors that with proper regulation will invest in bitcoin (and other digital products) in the future. Indeed, institutions are already gearing up for this underfunded huge market segment. Go Bitcoin!
Bill Taylor is Managing Partner at Fintek Capital & a frequent contributor to FintekNews