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Bitcoin Awareness and Usage in Canada

Author

Listed:
  • Christopher Henry
  • Kim Huynh
  • Gradon Nicholls

Abstract

There has been tremendous discussion of Bitcoin, digital currencies and FinTech. However, there is limited empirical evidence of Bitcoin’s adoption and usage. We propose a methodology to collect a nationally representative sample using the Bitcoin Omnibus Survey (BTCOS) to track the ubiquity and usage of Bitcoin in Canada. We find that about 64 percent of Canadians have heard of Bitcoin, but only 2.9 percent own it. We also find that awareness of Bitcoin is strongly associated with men and those with college or university education: additionally, Bitcoin awareness is more concentrated among unemployed individuals. On the other hand, Bitcoin ownership is associated with younger age groups and a high-school education. Furthermore, we construct a test of Bitcoin characteristics to gauge the level of knowledge held by respondents who were aware of Bitcoin, including actual owners. We find that knowledge is positively correlated with Bitcoin adoption. We attempt to reconcile the difference in awareness and ownership by decomposing the transactional and store-of-value motives for holding Bitcoin. Finally, we conclude with some suggestions to improve future surveys on digital currency, in particular, to achieve precise estimates from the hard-to-reach population of digital currency users.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher Henry & Kim Huynh & Gradon Nicholls, 2017. "Bitcoin Awareness and Usage in Canada," Staff Working Papers 17-56, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:17-56
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ben Fung & Kim Huynh & Gerald Stuber, 2015. "The Use of Cash in Canada," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2015(Spring), pages 45-56.
    2. Wilko Bolt & Maarten R.C. Van Oordt, 2020. "On the Value of Virtual Currencies," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 52(4), pages 835-862, June.
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    4. Neil Gandal & Hanna Halaburda, 2014. "Competition in the Cryptocurrency Market," Staff Working Papers 14-33, Bank of Canada.
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    6. Athey, Susan & Parashkevov, Ivo & Sarukkai, Vishnu & Xia, Jing, 2016. "Bitcoin Pricing, Adoption, and Usage: Theory and Evidence," Research Papers 3469, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    7. Carlos Arango & Angelika Welte, 2012. "The Bank of Canada’s 2009 Methods-of-Payment Survey: Methodology and Key Results," Discussion Papers 12-6, Bank of Canada.
    8. Ben Fung & Kim Huynh & Leonard Sabetti, 2012. "The Impact of Retail Payment Innovations on Cash Usage," Staff Working Papers 12-14, Bank of Canada.
    9. Heng Chen & Marie-Hélène Felt & Kim P. Huynh, 2017. "Retail payment innovations and cash usage: accounting for attrition by using refreshment samples," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 180(2), pages 503-530, February.
    10. Geoffrey R. Dunbar & Chunling Fu, 2015. "Sheltered Income: Estimating Income Under-Reporting in Canada, 1998 and 2004," Staff Working Papers 15-22, Bank of Canada.
    11. Carlos Arango & Kim Huynh & Ben Fung & Gerald Stuber, 2012. "The Changing Landscape for Retail Payments in Canada and the Implications for the Demand for Cash," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2012(Autumn), pages 31-40.
    12. Christopher Henry & Kim Huynh & Rallye Shen, 2015. "2013 Methods-of-Payment Survey Results," Discussion Papers 15-4, Bank of Canada.
    13. Anneke Kosse & Heng Chen & Marie-Hélène Felt & Valéry Dongmo Jiongo & Kerry Nield & Angelika Welte, 2017. "The Costs of Point-of-Sale Payments in Canada," Discussion Papers 17-4, Bank of Canada.
    14. Lusardi, Annamaria & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2011. "Financial literacy around the world: an overview," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(4), pages 497-508, October.
    15. Paolo Tasca & Adam Hayes & Shaowen Liu, 2018. "The evolution of the bitcoin economy: Extracting and analyzing the network of payment relationships," Journal of Risk Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 19(2), pages 94-126, March.
    16. Ben Fung & Hanna Halaburda, 2014. "Understanding Platform-Based Digital Currencies," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2014(Spring), pages 12-20.
    17. Schonlau, Matthias & Liebau, Elisabeth, 2012. "Respondent-Driven Sampling," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 72-93.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Walter Engert & Ben Fung & Scott Hendry, 2018. "Is a Cashless Society Problematic?," Discussion Papers 18-12, Bank of Canada.
    2. Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald & Helmut Stix, 2018. "How Austrians bank and pay in an increasingly digitalized world – results from an OeNB survey," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue Q3/18, pages 52-89.
    3. Raphael Warren Jankeeparsad & Dev Tewari, 2018. "End-User Adoption of Bitcoin in South Africa," Journal of Economics and Behavioral Studies, AMH International, vol. 10(5), pages 230-243.
    4. Fujiki, Hiroshi, 2020. "Who adopts crypto assets in Japan? Evidence from the 2019 financial literacy survey," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 58(C).
    5. Juneman Abraham & Dian Utami Sutiksno & Nuning Kurniasih & Ari Warokka, 2019. "Acceptance and Penetration of Bitcoin: The Role of Psychological Distance and National Culture," SAGE Open, , vol. 9(3), pages 21582440198, July.
    6. Christopher Henry & Kim Huynh & Gradon Nicholls, 2018. "Bitcoin Awareness and Usage in Canada: An Update," Staff Analytical Notes 2018-23, Bank of Canada.
    7. Walter Engert & Ben Fung, 2017. "Central Bank Digital Currency: Motivations and Implications," Discussion Papers 17-16, Bank of Canada.
    8. Gandal, Neil & Gans, Joshua & Haeringer, Guillaume & Halaburda, Hanna, 2020. "The Microeconomics of Cryptocurrencies," CEPR Discussion Papers 14972, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Christopher Henry & Kim Huynh & Gradon Nicholls & Mitchell Nicholson, 2019. "2018 Bitcoin Omnibus Survey: Awareness and Usage," Discussion Papers 2019-10, Bank of Canada.
    10. Sejung Park & Han Woo Park, 2020. "Diffusion of cryptocurrencies: web traffic and social network attributes as indicators of cryptocurrency performance," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 54(1), pages 297-314, February.
    11. Anil Savio Kavuri & Alistair Milne, 2019. "FinTech and the future of financial services: What are the research gaps?," CAMA Working Papers 2019-18, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bank notes; Digital currencies; Econometric and statistical methods;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates
    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General

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