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Bitcoin Awareness, Ownership and Use: 2016–20

Daniela Balutel, Marie-Helene Felt, Gradon Nicholls and Marcel Voia

No 2022-10, Discussion Papers from Bank of Canada

Abstract: Since 2016, the Bank of Canada has conducted annual surveys to monitor awareness, adoption and usage of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (Henry et al. 2018, 2019a, 2019b). This report incorporates results from the 2019 Bitcoin Omnibus Survey and the November 2020 Cash Alternative Survey. We find that between 2018 and 2020, the level of Bitcoin awareness and ownership among Canadians remained stable: nearly 90% of the population were aware of Bitcoin, while only 5% owned it. We find that about half of Bitcoin owners stated they usually obtained their bitcoins through mobile or web exchanges, while one-fifth used mining. Bitcoin owners were susceptible to certain risks, as evidenced by the fact that about half of current and past owners stated they had been affected by events such as price crashes, losing access to funds, scams or data breaches. The most commonly cited reasons for owning Bitcoin were related to its use for investment or based on interest in the technology. Bitcoin owners displayed greater knowledge about the Bitcoin network than non-owners, yet they scored lower on questions testing financial literacy.

Keywords: Bank notes; Digital currencies and fintech; Econometric and statistical methods (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C12 E4 O51 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 32 pages
Date: 2022-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ban, nep-fle, nep-mac and nep-pay
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Journal Article: Bitcoin awareness, ownership and use: 2016–20 (2024) Downloads
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