A report published on Thursday (July 1) by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has interesting findings regarding the characteristics of cryptoasset investors.

BIS was established in 1930 and is based in Basel, Switzerland. Its aims are “to serve central banks in their pursuit of monetary and financial stability, to foster international cooperation in those areas and to act as a bank for central banks.”

BIS Working Papers No 951, which is titled “Distrust or speculation? The socioeconomic drivers of US cryptocurrency investments”, was published by the Monetary and Economic Department of the BIS and was written by Dr. Raphael Auer, who is the Principal Economist in this department, and David Tercero-Lucas, a PhD candidate in Applied Economics at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

This paper had three objectives:

  • to “examining the hypothesis that cryptocurrencies are sought out of distrust in fiat currencies or regulated finance”
  • to “study the broader socioeconomic characteristics of U.S. retail consumers and disentangle the role of knowledge acquisition and investment decisions conditional on knowledge”
  • to “examine the evolution of patterns of cryptocurrency investments across time and cryptocurrencies”

Here are two of the more interesting findings of this report:

  • Higher educational attainment is associated with more knowledge about and likelihood of owning a cryptocurrency.
  • Owners of ether and xrp are the most educated in our sample, followed by bitcoin cash and bitcoin users. Conversely, those owning litecoin are the least educated.

On July 1, Dr. Auer sent out a series of tweets that highlighted a few of the charts from the report:

Lats month, in its Annual Economic Report (2021), the BIS criticized crypto in general and Bitcoin in particular:

By now, it is clear that cryptocurrencies are speculative assets rather than money, and in many cases are used to facilitate money laundering, ransomware attacks and other financial crimes. Bitcoin in particular has few redeeming public interest attributes when also considering its wasteful energy footprint.


The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptoassets comes with a risk of financial loss.


Photo by “WorldSpectrum” via Pixabay