The Politics and Personality of Cryptocurrency Owners: Grant Ferguson
June 12 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm CDT
In the last several years, investing in cryptocurrency has become popular. Despite the prominence of cryptocurrency in American society and government, politicians and social scientists know almost nothing about the politics of cryptocurrency in the American public. This is remarkable because a central idea of Bitcoin, the world’s first and most valuable cryptocurrency, is limiting government’s monopoly control over currency due to lack of trust in government’s management of economic and monetary policy. Popular discourse on cryptocurrency owners notes their distinctiveness in personality, demographics (young men especially), and issue preferences, but provides little hard evidence for these claims. On the other hand, the increasingly common ownership of cryptocurrency today suggests that cryptocurrency owners might just be . . . normal.
We remedy this lack of knowledge by examining the personalities, demographics, and political attitudes and perceptions of cryptocurrency owners. By using a nationally representative survey of 2,500 Americans, we analyze ideas about cryptocurrency owners that have not been tested or have been tested only in small convenience samples.
We find that 1 in 7 Americans owns cryptocurrency. Crypto owners have distinct personalities, and look a lot like swing voters. The typical cryptocurrency owner is concerned about inflation. Americans who are experiencing hardship due to inflation are significantly more likely to own crypto, in line with the philosophy behind Bitcoin and the experience of people around the world who move their transactions and wealth into other currencies when they suffer from inflation. Until high inflation no longer creates hardship for Americans, cryptocurrency is probably here to stay, and may attract far beyond the 1 in 7 Americans who currently owns it.
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