Please note: This article was updated on November 26th, 2017 with Part #2 of our November survey. The Part #2 survey of Bitcoin investors was conducted to the same grouping of 564 respondents.
The price of Bitcoin has risen dramatically since the start of the year. The virtual currency now trades at $9,349 (as of 11/26), up from $997 at the start of 2017. While the price of Bitcoin is slightly off its high of $9,478, there have been no signs of slowing media coverage, headlines, or new investor demand.
In September, LendEDU asked 1,000 Americans a series of questions about Bitcoin as both an investment opportunity and as a currency. In October, we asked 1,000 Americans a series of questions related to Ethereum, Ripple, and Initial Coin Offerings. Over the last couple of months, our data has shown that many Americans are excited by cryptocurrency, and have invested through some of the top bitcoin exchanges.
In November, we commissioned a new poll of 564 Americans who have invested in Bitcoin. Our goal was to test the current sentiment and future expectations of a specific sub-section: Bitcoin investors. We released Part #1 of the poll on November 15th, 2017. On November 26th, 2017 we released Part #2 of the poll conducted to the same respondents.
What is the average investment amount? What is the typical investment timeline? What about capital gains taxes?
Part #2 – Survey Results (Published 11/26/17)
1. Have you invested in other cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin? Note: Please select all that apply
a. 30.15% of respondents answered “Yes, Ethereum”
b. 15.60% of respondents answered “Yes, Ripple”
c. 21.28% of respondents answered “Yes, another crypto currency besides Ethereum and Ripple”
d. 48.40% of respondents answered “No, as in I have not invested in other crypto currencies.”
2. If possible, would you rather own Bitcoin through an exchange traded fund (ETF) that accurately tracked the actual price of Bitcoin?
a. 49.49% of respondents answered “Yes”
b. 16.31% of respondents answered “No”
c. 34.20% of respondents answered “Unsure”
3. If possible, would you rather own Bitcoin through futures contracts?
a. 42.55% of respondents answered “Yes”
b. 23.22% of respondents answered “No”
c. 34.23% of respondents answered “Unsure”
4. In 5 years, do you think Bitcoin will be the largest crypocurrency in terms of market capitalization?
a. 84.40% of respondents answered “Yes”
b. 15.60% of respondents answered “No”
5. Do you use a physical device to store your Bitcoin?
a. 45.04% of respondents answered “Yes”
b. 54.96% of respondents answered “No”
6. Do you believe that increased regulation and oversight by U.S. government agencies would be a good or a bad thing for the price of Bitcoin?
a. 31.21% of respondents answered “A good thing for the long term”
b. 38.48% of respondents answered “A bad thing for the long term.”
c. 23.40% of respondents answered “Unsure”
d. 6.91% of respondents answered “Neither good or bad”
7. Do you have multiple Bitcoin wallets?
a. 46.63% of respondents answered “Yes”
b. 53.37% of respondents answered “No”
8. Do you think increased presence and participation from financial institutions (ex. Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan) would have a positive impact on the price of Bitcoin?
a. 53.02% of respondents answered “Yes”
b. 23.58% of respondents answered “No”
c. 23.40% of respondents answered “Unsure”
9. Do you believe Bitcoin should be classified as a commodity or a security?
a. 31.56% of respondents answered “Commodity”
b. 39.54% of respondents answered “Security”
c. 28.90% of respondents answered “Unsure”
Part #1 – Survey Results (Published 11/15/17)
1. Which of the following best describes the reason you invested in Bitcoin?
a. 21.81% of respondents answered “Bitcoin is a long term store of value, like gold or silver.”
b. 40.78% of respondents answered “I believe Bitcoin is a world changing technology.”
c. 14.01% of respondents answered “I believe that the price of Bitcoin is too low, and will only go higher.”
d. 15.25% of respondents answered “A friend, family member, or another trustworthy source convinced me to invest.”
e. 8.16% of respondents answered “I plan on using Bitcoin for transactions or purchases, and less of an investment.”
2. What is the current value ($) of your Bitcoin investment?
On average, respondents reported that the current value of their Bitcoin investment was $2,930.85. At the time of the survey completion, the price per Bitcoin was $6,490.
3. How long do you plan to hold your Bitcoin investment?
a. 16.49% of respondents answered “Less than 1 year”
b. 39.54% of respondents answered “1 to 3 years”
c. 22.34% of respondents answered “4 to 6 years”
d. 9.93% of respondents answered “7 to 10 years”
e. 11.70% of respondents answered “Over 10 years”
4. Do you routinely worry about the technological security of your Bitcoin investment?
a. 44.15% of respondents answered “Yes”
b. 55.85% of respondents answered “No”
5. The price of Bitcoin is currently near all-time highs. Have you sold some or all of your Bitcoin investment since investing?
a. 32.62% of respondents answered “Yes”
b. 67.38% of respondents answered “No”
6. Did you, or do you, plan on reporting your transactions(s) on your tax return as either a loss or a gain?
a. 64.13% of respondents answered “Yes, I plan on reporting gain or loss on my tax return”
b. 35.87% of respondents answered “No, I do not plan on reporting gain or loss on my tax return”
7. At what price per Bitcoin would you be willing to sell all of your Bitcoin investment?
On average, respondents reported that they would be willing to sell all of their Bitcoin investment at $196,165.79 per Bitcoin. At the time of the survey completion, the price per Bitcoin was $6,490.
Part #1 – Analysis & Graphics (Published 11/15/17)
Why Are Consumers Investing in Bitcoin?
There are a number of reasons that one may decide to invest in Bitcoin. In the first question of our poll, we wanted to find out why consumers are actually investing in Bitcoin.
The most popular selection, chosen by 40.78 percent of respondents, was “I believe Bitcoin is a world changing technology.” It is interesting to see that the plurality of Bitcoin investors are backing the technology as the primary reason for investing. Often, financial professionals speculate that Bitcoin investors are chasing a big payout.
The second most popular reason why investors liked Bitcoin, chosen by 21.81 percent of respondents, was for the possibility of long term storage of value of it. Many financial professionals often compare Bitcoin to precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum. For centuries, investors have used precious metals as a way to diversify away from government-backed currency.
We were surprised to find that 15.25% of Bitcoin investors reported that the primary reason for investing was due to a “friend, family member, or another trustworthy source” convincing him or her to invest. Bitcoin has become a media darling over the last few months. With the holidays ahead, Bitcoin is sure to be a conversation at family parties and work events. Bitcoin has a powerful word of mouth factor that has convinced a significant number of consumers to establish a position.
How Long Will Investors Hold Onto Their Bitcoin?
We next asked how long our respondents planned to hold their Bitcoin for.
Many financial professionals have commented on the speculative nature behind Bitcoin investors. In our third question, we worked to quantify the investment timeline of Bitcoin investors. In our thinking, a short investment time horizon would be negative for the price of Bitcoin. Alternatively, a long investment time horizon would be positive for the price of Bitcoin.
The plurality of respondents, 39.54 percent, are planning to hold their Bitcoin investments for “1 to 3 years.”
We thought it was interesting that 16.49% of Bitcoin investors are planning to hold their investment for “less than 1 year.” This data is clear in showing that a significant number of investors are in it for the short-term.
On the flip side, we found that over 21 percent of Bitcoin investors are planning to hold their investments for over seven years, with 11.70 percent of those planning to hang onto their Bitcoin for over 10 years.
Have Investors Sold Any of Their Bitcoin?
Bulls make money, bears make money, and pigs get slaughtered, right?
In the fifth question of our survey we wanted to see if current Bitcoin investors have taken money off the table.
At the inception of polling, the price of Bitcoin was trading at all-time highs. At the conclusion of our poll, the price of Bitcoin was still trading near the highs, just slightly lower. It would be logical to assume that the majority of our polled-investors have seen positive performance thus far.
We found that about a third, 32.62 percent, of respondents have sold some of their Bitcoin since investing. However, we found that the majority of investors, 67.38 percent, have not sold any of their Bitcoin investments since purchasing.
Have Investors Reported Transactions to the IRS?
Transacting in Bitcoin opens up a potentially complex tax situation. And, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), “virtual currency is treated as property for U.S. federal tax purposes. General tax principles that apply to property transactions apply to transactions using virtual currency.”
We found that the majority, 64.13 percent, of respondents are planning to report or have already reported their Bitcoin transactions to the IRS. Although, it was interesting to see that over a third, 35.87 percent, of our respondents are not planning to report their transactions to the IRS.
At What Price Would Investors Sell Their Bitcoin?
Finally, we asked our respondents, “At what price would you be willing to sell all of your Bitcoin investment?” We found that the average Bitcoin investor would be willing to sell all of his or her Bitcoin investment at a price per Bitcoin of $196,165.78, roughly 30x the current price of Bitcoin.
Based on the previous responses in our survey, a large portion of our group of Bitcoin investors are leaning towards the long term potential of holding onto their investment.
This poll was commissioned by LendEDU and conducted online by polling company Pollfish. In total, 564 American consumers ages 18 and up were polled. We instructed Pollfish to screen for consumers who invested in Bitcoin by passing though multiple screener questions. The poll was conducted over a five-day span from November 9th, 2017 to November 13th, 2017.
LendEDU was not compensated by a third-party for running this survey. LendEDU has no financial relationships with any companies who market Bitcoin or cryptocurrency products.
As of 11/14/17, none of the employees on LendEDU’s editorial team own Bitcoin.
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