Survey: 18% of people would “invest in” Facebook’s stablecoin
The lack of appetite for Facebook's cryptocurrency is because it's crypto, not because it's Facebook's.
- Most people aren't interested in Facebook's cryptocurrency.
- The people who are interested are into crypto more broadly. Those who aren't interested aren't into crypto.
- The survey phrasing likely impacted the results, by describing the Facebook stablecoin as something to "invest" in.
A recent study by LendEDU surveyed 1,000 American adults and asked them about cryptocurrency and Facebook's crypto ambitions, to gauge their interest in the space and whether it would change with the entry of a giant like Facebook.
The survey generally found that the general enthusiasm for a Facebook cryptocurrency was lacking. Only 18% of people said they would "invest" in Facebook's "GlobalCoin", and there was a lot of overlap between that 18% and the 7% of respondents who said they already own other cryptocurrencies.
- 59% of the people who already own cryptocurrency said they would be interested in buying GlobalCoin.
- 67% of the people who do not own any cryptocurrency said they would not be interested in buying GlobalCoin.
When pressed further, Facebook's involvement was much more of a factor among those who said yes to "investing" in GlobalCoin.
- 57% of people who said yes to buying GlobalCoin said Facebook's involvement made it more trustworthy.
- 65% of people who said no to buying GlobalCoin said they just wouldn't be interested regardless of Facebook's involvement.
Basically, the results showed that people who are already into crypto are more likely to be into the Facebook coin, while people who are not into crypto aren't interested.
It looks like the reason for the lukewarm reaction isn't because Facebook is involved. It's because cryptocurrencies are still thoroughly tarnished in the public consciousness.
And in that context, the bizarre phrasing of those survey questions explains a lot. It's expected that GlobalCoin will be a stablecoin pegged to a basket of international currencies. It's intended to be a usable digital currency, not a hotshot investment vehicle.
When asked whether they'd "invest" in it, people are being invited to think about the bubbles and busts of cryptocurrency, not the actual applications. Even asking people whether they'd "buy" GlobalCoin is likely missing the point.
The average Facebook user skews older, at least in the USA, while the average cryptocurrency user skews younger. You can safely assume that Facebook has plans for onboarding users that don't involve them signing up at cryptocurrency exchanges.
Stablecoins going to the moon
One of the unintentional takeaways from the survey is crypto as a whole is firmly entrenched in the public consciousness as a thing to invest in, rather than something you spend or use.
Anyone "investing" in GlobalCoin with the expectation of gains will undoubtedly be disappointed to find out it's a stablecoin.
Or maybe not?
In fact, if you bought Bitcoin at its all-time high and then hodl'd up until now, eating a 55% loss in value in the process, you'd still be outperforming the Argentinian peso which has dropped a whopping 65% against the US dollar since the end of 2017.
But Bitcoin at its all-time high still can't match any Argentinian who made the choice of "investing" in Tether (or just US dollars) and holding it for a 65% increase relative to the local currency.
Similarly, if an Australian bought Tether on the day it launched (6 October 2014) and then just kept holding until now, they would have seen gains of about 20% relative to the Australian dollar.
Maybe the investment case for stablecoins isn't quite as goofy as it sounds. In many cases, it would be considerably cheaper to convert crypto to the local currency than to convert a foreign currency to the local fiat. And in this case, GlobalCoin will probably be significantly more accessible to the person on the street than other cryptocurrencies or a foreign currency basket ETF.
Maybe people will be "investing" in Zuckerbucks after all.
Disclosure: The author holds BTC, BNB, ATOM, IOTA at the time of writing.