DP16518 Distrust or speculation? The socioeconomic drivers of U.S. cryptocurrency investments

Author(s): Raphael Auer, David Tercero Lucas
Publication Date: September 2021
Keyword(s): Banking, Bitcoin, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, Digital Currencies, digitalisation, distributed ledger technology, household finance, money, Payments
JEL(s): D14, D91, E42, G11, G12, G28, O33
Programme Areas: Financial Economics, International Macroeconomics and Finance, Monetary Economics and Fluctuations
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=16518

Employing representative data from the U.S. Survey of Consumer Payment Choice, we disprove the hypothesis that cryptocurrency investors are motivatedby distrust in fiat currencies or regulated finance. Compared with the general population, investors show no differences in their level of security concerns with either cash or commercial banking services. We find that cryptocurrency investors tend to be educated, young and digital natives. In recent years, a gap in ownership of cryptocurrencies across genders has emerged. We examine how investor characteristics vary across cryptocurrencies and show that owners of cryptocurrencies increasingly tend to hold their investment for longer periods.