U.S. Investors Divided on Outlook for Cryptocurrency: Survey

Americans are split almost evenly on the topic of whether or not cryptocurrency represents a promising investment class with a bright future.

A new Clovr research report sampling over 1,000 American adults found that roughly even segments of the U.S. population have strongly positive and apprehensive, bordering on hostile, views toward crypto assets, even as the total percentage of the population that is aware of cryptocurrencies continues to grow steadily. The report gathered responses to a number of questions from 1,004 Americans aged between 18 and 80 via Amazon‘s Mechanical Turk platform. The average age of survey respondents was 36.05, with a standard deviation of 11.86 years.

The survey shows that crypto awareness is longer a small niche, with 76 percent of the people surveyed professing their knowledge about it, and a further 20 percent indicating that they “sort of” know what cryptocurrency is. While these figures look good, a cursory dive into the data shows that the 76 percent drops to 62 percent when asked if they would be comfortable to explain what cryptocurrency is to others.

According to the survey, 69.8 percent of people expressed uncertainty about the cryptocurrency market while 28.1 percent are hopeful about crypto adoption and positive movement in the market. While 31.5 percent are excited about its usage, another 32.9 percent are confused, which is an almost even split.

Source: Clovr

A possible reason for this could be the fact that many people first experienced cryptocurrency as a speculative asset during last year’s record-breaking bull run, which made some see crypto as a means to get rich quickly. The bear market of 2018 soon followed, however, and burnt many fair-weather investors, coloring its perception by the general public. This is also reflected in the reasons given for investing or not investing in cryptocurrency, with 51.6 percent of respondents saying they would invest because of the possibility of outsized investment returns and 58.1 percent saying they would not invest because the crypto asset class is too risky.

The report also shows that crypto investment still remains an overwhelmingly male-dominated activity, with 43 percent of surveyed men having invested in a cryptocurrency before, against 23 percent of women. Unsurprisingly, millennials also led the generational statistics of cryptocurrency investors, with 41 percent of surveyed millennials responding affirmatively to the question, compared to 24 percent of Gen X respondents and 18 percent of baby boomers.

The main takeaway from the survey is that the subject of cryptocurrencies is still one of uncertainty and ignorance among many Americans, with many people possessing little more than a superficial understanding of what cryptocurrencies are.

The full Clovr report is available here.


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Author: David Hundeyin
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Coinbase Survey Shows 18% of US Students Now Own Cryptocurrency

University students are clamoring for more courses about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

That’s according to a nationwide survey of 675 students, commissioned by crypto exchange Coinbase and released today. According to the survey, 21 of the top 50 U.S. universities, as ranked by U.S. News and World Report, now offer a class on blockchain technology or cryptocurrency, and at least 11 colleges offer more than one.

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“Students today are really thinking deeply about economic issues and alternative economic futures,” Bill Maurer, the dean of the School of Social Sciences at the University of California Irvine, said.

He continued:

“Teaching about this kind of stuff now can be really powerful for students that are trying to find their own way and envision what kind of possible alternatives there might be to the prevailing economic system.”

And that interest in alternative economics isn’t just relegated to the expected departments, such as finance or business or even computer science.

Instead, the Coinbase survey found that there’s high demand for crypto and blockchain courses across a diverse spectrum of students.

While 34 percent of computer science and engineering majors indicated interest in learning about the nascent technology, 47 percent of social science majors are interested in the same, according to the survey.

Speaking to the enthusiasm within the social sciences, or those related to the study of human society and social relationships, Maurer said, learning about financial systems prepares students in all programs for the job market today.

“There’s a huge demand out there, especially in the design space, for people that have the skills that we train anthropologists with, understanding the human side of technology,” he said.

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Increasing interest

Meanwhile, universities like Cornell, Stanford, and Georgetown are beefing up their blockchain research opportunities to accommodate swells in curiosity.

And at New York University, David Yermack from the Stern School of Business said that to meet growing demand, his blockchain course will now be offered both semesters (when it was originally only taught during one), according to a blog post published by Coinbase outlining the results.

During the first session of the course in 2014, only 35 students enrolled. But in the spring of 2018, 280 students had enrolled.

Not only are students eager to learn, but an increasing number are also trying the technology out for themselves – 18 percent of respondents in the survey said they own some cryptocurrency.

Dan Boneh, a computer science professor at Stanford, who is also seeing rising demand for blockchain and cryptocurrency-related classes, told CoinDesk:

“It’s a pretty exciting time. It feels like the beginning of something.”

Marketable skills

The surge in interest in education surrounding the technology is, in part, a reaction to the broader job market.

Benedikt Bunz, a doctoral student at Stanford, who spoke to Coinbase about the survey results, said cryptocurrency experts have an easy time finding jobs after graduation since such skills are in high demand.

Case in point, Coinbase is ramping up its efforts to recruit college students and recent graduates throughout this academic year.

“It’s exciting to see widespread interest in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology taking off in the global academic community, including students attending the top universities in the world,” Nat McGrath, vice president of people at Coinbase, told CoinDesk. “That’s one of the reasons we’re focused on building partnerships with underrepresented student groups across college campuses, and we look forward to expanding these efforts in the spring.”

Beyond the Ivy League schools included in the Coinbase survey, Howard University, a historically African-American college, and the women’s liberal arts school Smith College are two notable additions to McGrath’s recruitment plan.

Given the high quality of students that are showing an inclination towards the field, Boneh said he’s sure something groundbreaking will emerge over the next few years.

He concluded:

“I think [demand] has to do with a lot of talent going into the space. Very smart people are working on blockchain projects.”


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Author: Leigh Cuen
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