Survey: Millennials more pro-Bitcoin now than in 2017, age 65+ less
Are people warming up to Bitcoin or is everything else cooling down?
A recent large-scale survey of carried out by The Tokenist, featuring 5,421 respondents from 24 countries, aimed to take the world's temperature on everything Bitcoin. It compares the findings from this year's survey to an aggregate of three surveys from 2017, for a sense of how the world's attitudes towards Bitcoin have changed over the last three years.
On the whole, Bitcoin is somewhat hotter than it was in 2017 while many of the old common wisdom trends remain intact: Bitcoin is much bigger among millennials than age 65+ (which we'll call boomers for the sake of readability) and bigger among males than females (which we'll respectively call dudes and dudettes for the sake of amusement).
Some of the biggest changes appear to be the other asset classes and institutions Bitcoin is compared against. In a way, it's not so much that Bitcoin is becoming more popular so much as other options are becoming less popular.
Another clear trend is that millennials are overall more favourable towards Bitcoin now than three years ago, while boomers are less favourable.
A matter of faith
The biggest difference between Bitcoin and other asset classes was found between BTC and government bonds.
In 2017, only 18% of respondents overall would have preferred Bitcoin over bonds. In 2020, that number is up to 38% overall. In both years there was a vast difference between how millennials and boomers answered the question.
In 2017, 30% of millennials overall said Bitcoin over bonds, compared to 5% of boomers. In 2020, 53% of millennials overall said Bitcoin over bonds, compared to 3% of boomers.
One potential explanation for this change, which is borne out in some of the other results, is that the two age groups simply prefer to invest as suits their life stage. The younger respondents chase the gains, while the retirement-aged respondents prefer to invest defensively. Bitcoin, for all the safe haven narrative, appears to still be very much a risky gain-chaser's asset class.
And while it might not pay to read too far into it, both surveys also found a substantially stronger preference for Bitcoin among dudes than dudettes. This lines up with a vast body of research on investment behaviours by gender, which consistently shows that dudes take greater investment risks than dudettes.
Overall, we can reasonably assume that at least some of these survey results are the result of varying risk appetites among different ages and genders. This is hinted at by the changing preferences for stocks vs Bitcoin.
Compared to 2017, boomers are also less likely to take Bitcoin over stocks today, while millennials would be more likely to take stocks over Bitcoin these days.
With stock markets experiencing even more volatility than crypto of late, it's perhaps unsurprising.
Gold was the outlier, with boomers tilting more in favour of the shiny metal since 2017 and millennials leaning away.
Other massive shifts highlighted in the survey include plunging trust in banks, with 47% of respondents now saying they trust Bitcoin over big banks, an increase of 29% compared to three years ago.
Less than a quarter of millennials think Bitcoin is a bubble, the survey says, while over half of the over-65s do. But perhaps most tellingly, the number one thing most respondents of any kind would do if they were given Bitcoin, is immediately sell it.
That might also be a sign of the times. Who can afford to buy Bitcoin if the whole world goes broke?
Disclosure: The author holds BNB, BTC at the time of writing.