Canada study: Bitcoin rather investment as a medium of exchange

In July, the Bank of Canada published a study on the use of Bitcoin in Canada. The study was carried out from 12 to 15 December 2017 and is based on the Bitcoin Omnibus Survey (BTCOS) of 2016.

In 2016, the Bank of Canada conducted a study on the evolution of cryptocurrency use for the first time. In two rounds, the researchers asked questions about ownership of Bitcoin and public awareness of the cryptocurrency. Due to the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies in 2017, the bank conducted a new study. The main goal was to measure the impact of Bitcoin on the financial market.

The results of the study show that the awareness of the Bitcoin from 2016 to 2017 has increased rapidly. In 2016, while 65 percent of the participants in the study knew the digital currency, the share in 2017 rose to 85 percent. In addition, the number of Bitcoin users increased within a year from 2.9 percent to 5.0 percent.

The reasons for owning Bitcoin in 2016 were above all the transaction advantages and the interest in the new technology. Only 12 percent of study participants saw ownership of the digital currency as an investment. By contrast, 58 percent of 2017 study respondents cited the investment as the primary reason for owning Bitcoin. As a second reason, “My friends own Bitcoin” was mentioned by 12 percent of the participants. Transaction advantages and the interest in new technologies, however, was only 10 percent.

Within one year, the motives for owning Bitcoin as a means of transaction (39 to 10 percent) change to use as an investment (12 to 58 percent).

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The results of the 2017 study show that interest in Bitcoin has grown across all demographic groups. Above all, the residents of British Columbia (93 percent) and Canadians with an income of more than 70,000 Canadian dollars (92 percent), show a greater awareness. Quebec recorded the largest increase within a year, from 49 percent to 77 percent.

The strongest increase in Bitcoin users is still recorded by 18 to 24-year-olds. Interesting is the increase in the use of Bitcoin in the age group of 45 to 54 years. The number of uses increased by 2.6 percentage points.

In addition, the Bitcoin owners know better than in 2016 better. However, the study shows that there is a need to catch up with regard to knowledge about the safety of Bitcoin. Only 13 percent of Bitcoin owners and only 3 percent of respondents who do not own Bitcoin were able to properly answer the question about Bitcoin security.

The results of the study show that the reasons for using Bitcoin are changing. It remains to be seen how these dynamics and the increasing awareness of cryptocurrencies will affect the financial system in the future. As an investment, however, the ownership of Bitcoin still seems very attractive.

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