More than 56% of American retirees over the age of 50 know what bitcoin is but refuse to invest in it. Meanwhile, less than 3% of this group own bitcoin already.
These are the sobering findings uncovered by Gold IRA Guide, a magazine about precious-metal investing.
1 in 3 Retirees Have No Idea What Bitcoin Is
Earlier this month, Gold IRA Guide surveyed 1,000 American retirees over age 50 to learn their thoughts about bitcoin.
The results are discouraging if you’re a crypto fan because it shows that retirees remain skeptical of crypto and have not bought into the hype of the past few years.
Here’s the breakdown of the key findings:
- I know bitcoin is, but am not interested in investing: 56.7%
- I already own some bitcoin: 2.7%
- I have no idea what bitcoin is: 32.9%
- I know bitcoin but don’t know how to invest: 3.4%
- I’m keeping an eye on it: 4.3%
Public Awareness of Crypto Remains Dismal
The results suggest that the crypto community has a lot of work to do with regard to educating the general public about bitcoin.
Retirees are an attractive target for investment managers because they generally have money to invest. Moreover, many retirees are looking for ways to diversify their portfolio holdings, Gold IRA Guide notes.
“This audience represents some low-hanging fruit for the Bitcoin community to go after. Retirees are always interested in alternative assets that can help diversify their portfolio against market fluctuations.”
“The IRS approving cryptocurrency IRAs is an indication that retirees are increasingly interested in including some cryptocurrencies in their retirement accounts.”
Crypto’s Generational Schism
For now, American retirees are sticking to traditional investments, like stocks, bonds and real estate.
In contrast, Milennials are far more open-minded about embracing new asset classes. Of course, the downside is that Millennials typically have less money to invest than Baby Boomers, so they’re less attractive a target for investment managers.
As CCN reported, almost half of Millennial bitcoin traders in the United States trust crypto exchanges more than the traditional stock market.
BITCOIN V. GOLD – When you look at chart below, you can see the huge gap between millennials & seniors on Bitcoin/other cryptocurrencies. It looks like Bitcoin will be to millennials what gold was to Baby Boomers who were disenchanted with stock market. https://t.co/pfciVwYGDe pic.twitter.com/dqdNnrRaG0
— Scott Stapf (@stapf) February 20, 2019
Guy Hirsch, the managing director of eToro US, says the research spotlights the schism between the younger generation’s embrace of crypto versus the skepticism of their older cohorts.
“We’re seeing the beginning of a generational shift in trust from traditional stock exchanges to crypto exchanges. Younger investors’ experience with the stock market has seen a great deal of loss of trust, with the fall of Lehman Brothers because of irresponsible practices followed by the worst recession since the Great Depression.”
“Immutability is native to blockchain, and that makes real-time audit sensible and cost-effective. And that is why Millennials and Gen X perceive crypto exchanges as less likely to be subject to manipulation and less likely to be a place where bad actors get rewarded with taxpayer money.”
Obstacles to Mainstream Bitcoin Adoption
Insiders say mass bitcoin adoption will not happen until the industry makes a concerted effort to educate the general public about crypto and dispel the festering negative sentiments about it.
Generally, crypto skeptics are leery about the market’s extreme volatility and the numerous scams that have roiled the industry.
Pierre Rochard, the founder of Lightning Power User, says educating the public and increasing awareness of bitcoin is the key to mainstream adoption.
“People just didn’t understand it. They didn’t understand why it’s valuable. They didn’t understand how to use it. I think we just need a lot more [education].”
Bitcoin Adoption Crippled by Public’s ‘Serious Mental Barrier’ https://t.co/4vgEHRTkb3
— CCN.com (@CCNMarkets) March 28, 2019
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