Hesse and Saxony, two states in Germany, recently conducted a joint survey of over 1,000 citizens as regards their feelings toward Bitcoin, a German news outlet reports.
The findings of the survey probably don’t surprise anyone: younger people were more receptive to the idea of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, with 28% of people aged 18 to 29 saying that purchasing them is “conceivable.”
Germans Understand There Are Risks in Crypto Investing
The survey did not target a specific group of people such as those that are “tech savvy,” where the rate of people favorable to the idea might have been different.
Respondents overall rightly found crypto investing to be “risky.” People aged 30 to 39 considered cryptocurrency investment “dangerous” more than 50% of the time.
Lisk head of marketing Thomas Schouten said of the survey:
A survey conducted by the German Consumer Centre shows a growing interest in crypto, with more than a quarter of young Germans saying they are willing to invest in cryptocurrency. This positive sentiment is evidence that global leaders and innovators of the future are aware of the potential the space has to offer. It is not surprising that a demographic whose lives have been characterised by smartphones, internet, and social media, see the attractive functionality cryptocurrency provides as an instant and decentralised means of transferring value.
Again, however, the survey highlights continued ambiguity in public perception of cryptocurrency and the utility of blockchain technology. Older demographics continue to perceive crypto investment as too “risky”, with just over 50 percent of people aged 30 to 39 adverse to any investment. Meanwhile, profitability is still a driving incentive for young people looking to become involved in cryptocurrency, as cited by about a quarter of those interested in investing. I think it’s clear we, as a community, need to work harder to educate people of the massive potential blockchain technology offers – cryptocurrency in itself is only the tip of the iceberg!
Tell Us Something We Don’t Know
The results of this German survey do not differ much from a survey conducted over 3 years ago on a global scale, in which it was found that the majority of Bitcoiners were young and had been involved in cryptos for less than two years.
At the time, this was understood to illustrate that the space was growing over the past several years, but now we can extrapolate from later findings that more mature groups of people still struggle with the concept of trusting cryptocurrency.
Another survey found that the crypto space was growing in Asia and Africa, where by necessity people are more open to alternative payment rails, faster than in Europe.
Factors That Older Groups Shy Away From
There are several factors that can be addressed as regards this.
First, volatility is a major issue for people that just want a means to transact digitally, as demonstrated by the number of people (70%) who reportedly said that they found it risky or dangerous. Unfortunately, it’s probably more of a feature than a bug as cryptos go, and unlikely to change anytime soon.
Second, lack of physicality. This might seem counterintuitive as most people have no issue using bank accounts where they cannot touch the actual funds without a process, but there you have it: there is a process by which they can touch their funds, and for many older groups that is important. Even as countries move to a completely cashless society, they have to account for this group of people – even with state-backed fiat digital currencies – as the Swedes developing the e-Krona have learned.
Third, scare tactics. While the efforts of the traditional banking system have dissipated greatly over the years in regards to scaring people away from cryptos, they still very much exist. This is best demonstrated recently in India, where a man was arrested for owning a non-functional Bitcoin ATM and the police reportedly warned people against Bitcoin.
There are, of course, other factors, but these seem to be the most obvious. People of a certain age, especially when retired and on pensions, have no true incentive to learn a new currency system or trust in something they struggle to understand – they are likely quite comfortable where they are.
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