Bitcoin News

Nearly Half of Millennials Trust Crypto More Than US Stock Market: Survey

Image: Cryptocurrencies, GoodFreePhotos

Nearly half of millennial online traders have more trust in cryptocurrencies and crypto-assets than the US stock market, according to a new survey from eToro, an investment platform. Even among millennials who do not trade crypto, one-third said they would trust crypto over the stock market, indicating the beginning of a generational shift in trust, according to Guy Hirsch, managing director of eToro US.

“At the heart of this change are the asset classes themselves,” Hirsch said.

“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. Trust further eroded when Americans saw how hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money are funneled to the largest financial institutions while their savings evaporated and how banks get free money through quantitative easing while their cost of living continued to rise.

“Immutability is native to blockchains and that makes real-time audit to be 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.”

As more investors become educated on blockchain and crypto, we will continue this trend play out, Hirsch predicts.

The US-focused online survey, conducted by Provoke Insights, also found that investors across all age groups including millennials are enthusiastic about the prospect of traditional financial institutions offering crypto assets, showcasing rising demand for institutional crypto offerings.

Among investors across all age groups that do not trade crypto, 59% said they would invest in crypto if it were offered by a traditional financial institution. Meanwhile, 92% of current crypto traders would invest more money if a conventional financial institution provided this investing option.

Another key finding of the survey is the growing demand for alternative crypto products with half of investors surveyed expressed interest in a crypto allocation in their 401k plans.

Though demand for crypto-assets in 401k portfolios is clearly on the rise, a number of regulatory and market changes must occur before this becomes a mainstream offering, Hirsch said.

“We would need to see more advisors become educated on crypto assets and getting comfortable recommending their customers to shift into crypto markets from traditional equity markets,” he said. “Mainstream traction will also be aided by the approval of ETFs that track crypto assets. At that point, we could see crypto offerings in 401k portfolios.”

Other popular alternative crypto products cited by respondents include crypto loans, with 76% of online investors expressing keenness in gaining interest on crypto assets, and 47% interested in taking out a loan in crypto. As for crypto traders, 96% said they would like to gain interest on crypto assets and three quarters said they would take out a loan in crypto.  

The eToro survey results echo a study published in December 2018 by Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance which found that despite the severe bear market, the number of verified users of cryptocurrencies almost doubled in the first three quarters of 2018, showcasing rapid adoption of cryptocurrencies.

According to the report, total user accounts at service providers now exceed 139 million with at least 35 million identity-verified users, the latter growing nearly 4X in 2017.

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Economist Behind Claim Russia Will Buy $10 Billion Worth of Bitcoin Said Price Would Collapse to $100 Last Year

Over the past week or two, a story about Russia adding bitcoin to their foreign currency reserves has been reported in a variety of media outlets such as The Daily Telegraph, Fortune, and ZeroHedge. All of these stories cite Vladislav Ginko, who is an economics lecturer at the state-funded Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA).

According to Ginko’s comments on Twitter and in interviews, he believes the Russian government will add $10 billion worth of bitcoin to its foreign currency reserves early this year. The move is said to be a reaction to sanctions imposed by the United States.

When this story was first reported, not many people paid attention or took it seriously, but things started to get interesting as more credible media outlets published articles around the story. Some people thought it was an elaborate hoax, while others have questioned Ginko’s credibility.

The Twitter Account Appears to Be Legitimate

In response to the likes of The Daily Telegraph reporting on this story, some skeptics shared their belief that the source of the news was a fake Twitter account that was not actually owned and operated by Ginko.

Looking at the Twitter account’s history, it appears authentic. For example, there is this tweet from 2012 where the author claimed to be a finance professor who works in New York and Moscow. Additionally, Archive.org’s Wayback Machine shows Ginko was in control of the account in 2014, when he was associated with a Russian financial news outlet.

Bitcoin to $100 or $2 Million?

To be fair to the skeptics, Ginko’s Twitter account is all over the place with bizarre claims being made left and right. For example, the account has recently retweeted a number of photo-including tweets from a local dentistry.

For someone who is supposedly trying to get the Russian government to stack bitcoin as part of their foreign currency reserves, Ginko was not very bullish on the bitcoin price in May of last year when he tweeted that it would dip below $100. By November, Ginko was predicting the price would go to $2 million in 2019.

More recently, Ginko has been tweeting conspiracy theories related to convicted Ponzi scheme operator Bernie Madoff.

So, Will, It Happen?

So, what should everyone make of Ginko’s claims? Well, it is true that Russia has already shown signs of moving away from the US dollar in their foreign currency reserves, and when asked to comment on this topic by The Daily Telegraph, the Central Bank of Russia stated that it “publishes information on the foreign assets management with a six-month lag.”

Having said that, Elina Sidorenko, who runs a working group on the potential risks of cryptocurrencies for the State Duma, does not see any merit to Ginko’s claims.

“Under this statement there is no common sense, let alone ideas that would be considered in the power circles. Today, the Russian Federation, like any other country in the world, is simply not ready to somehow combine its traditional financial system with cryptocurrencies. And to say that this idea can be implemented in Russia is unlikely to be possible in the next 30 years,” Sidorenko told Russian cryptocurrency news outlet Forklog (translation via DeepL).

Combining Sidorenko’s comments with Ginko’s bizarre Twitter antics indicate there is not much credibility to the idea that Russia is about to buy a whole bunch of bitcoin to hold in reserve.

Note: While writing this article, the author realized he is blocked by Ginko on Twitter. It’s possible the block was in reaction to this tweet.