A study recently conducted by the Bank of Canada, the country’s central bank, shows Canadians are increasingly more aware of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but aren’t getting it to use it.
The survey dubbed the “Bitcoin Omnibus Survey,” inquired 2,500 people in the country, and was conducted late last year when most cryptocurrencies were approaching their all-time highs. Bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, came close to the $20,000 mark, before entering its ongoing bearish trend.
According to the central bank’s survey, about 85 percent of Canadians are now “aware” of bitcoin, up from 64 percent in 2016. The results show that males are still more aware of the cryptocurrency ecosystem than females, although these suggest awareness will reach 100 percent this year if current pace continues.
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In terms of changes over time, Quebec saw the largest increase in awareness, as it rose from 49% in 2016 to 77% in 2017. Awareness among women rose to 80% in 2017, an increase of 26 percentage points. Awareness also increased across all age groups, from 62% to 68% in 2016 to 83% to 89% in 2017.
Notably about 5 percent of the country’s population said they hold bitcoin, up from 2.9 percent in late 2016. The rise was of only 2.1 percent, but shows cryptocurrencies are growing in the North American country.
However, most respondents stated they aren’t holding bitcoin to transact, but to hold it as an investment hoping its price rises, so they can make a profit. Last year, most owned the flagship cryptocurrency to transact with it, while this year only 10 percent claimed to actually use it.
Holding bitcoin as an investment, some argue, may hinder the cryptocurrency’s adoption, as compared to using it to buy goods and services from retailers who accept it. Bitcoin is significantly down from its all-time high, as it’s trading at $6,177 at press time, after falling 3 percent in the last 24 hours.
On controversial cryptocurrency exchange WEX, as CryptoGlobe reported, it recently hit $9,000, a premium that may show the organization is insolvent or may be about to pull an exit scam on users. WEX is a rebranded version of BTC-e, an exchange seized by US authorities for allegedly aiding money laundering.
The survey also found that Canadians have a deeper understanding of what a cryptocurrency is, as the amount of people that thought bitcoin was backed by the government went down by 40 percent, when compared to 2016’s results.