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Awareness of Bitcoin is on the rise among the U.S. population, according to America’s leading crypto exchange. And that awareness, Coinbase claims, is being reflected in increased attention from U.S. legislators across the country, and—perhaps more importantly—a strong “intent” from average Americans to buy into the market.
The data in the report is derived from Coinbase’s own internal analytics of customer activity (collected anonymously in aggregate form) and a survey of 2,000 U.S. internet users over the age of 18 conducted by polling company YouGov in December 2018.
The report claims that more than half of all Americans—58 percent—now say they’ve heard of Bitcoin “when given a list of cryptocurrencies to choose from.” That number, however, dropped to 37 percent when those surveyed were not prompted with a list—though more than a third of your average Tom, Dick, and Harrys with some knowledge of crypto is arguably still nothing to sneeze at.
“Bitcoin is going mainstream in America,” Coinbase’s report says—a claim its study contends is supported by current trends in Google searches as well. “In late June, as crypto prices climbed, Google searches for Bitcoin surged to almost three times higher than searches for [Kim] Kardashian,” it states.
It's true that a search for “bitcoin + Coinbase” within the last few days would turn up less cheery results. On Wednesday, the Coinbase website crashed when the price of bitcoin sank by more than $1,700 in less than 15 minutes. “The running theory is that its website buckled under the weight of traffic caused by the sudden price drop,” according to eToro senior market analyst Mati Greenspan, who described the panicked scenario in his daily newsletter to subscribers.
And yes, the rollercoaster ride that’s been the crypto market in the last week—reaching highs not seen in more than a year—has led some to raise questions regarding persistent concerns over the use of the Tether stablecoin to potentially manipulate the market.
It’s a question that might eventually raise the eyebrows of U.S. lawmakers, who—for better or worse—have also been paying closer attention to crypto these days, according to Coinbase’s report.
Still, the world of crypto appears to be evolving—and healthily for the most part. According to the report, as of June 2019, “more than 70 percent of U.S. states have enacted regulations that account for cryptocurrency or blockchain technology.” Coinbase’s study highlights the work done in Wyoming as particularly positive for the crypto industry.
Wyoming legislators, led by co-chair of the Wyoming Blockchain Task Force Tyler Lindholm, have made a deliberate attempt over the last year to make the Cowboy State the most crypto-friendly jurisdiction in the entire country—and Coinbase isn’t the only high-profile crypto company to have taken notice.
New York, on the other hand, which ranks in the top 5 in both “participation” and “interest” among U.S. states as measured by Coinbase, is widely regarded as one of the least crypto-friendly states in the US. Its notorious “BitLicense” scheme, in place in the state since 2015, is considered one of the most rigorous regulatory regimes in the country.
Strict regulation, however, doesn't appear to have adversely affected crypto ownership among New York residents, according to Coinbase's figures. “Crypto is becoming an increasingly important part of local economies” across a growing number of states, claims the report, including New York.
The northeast, in fact, is where Coinbase identified a large number of average Internet users with an above average interest in investing in cryptocurrencies. In New Jersey, close to a quarter of those polled said they were “very likely” to buy crypto in the next six months. And across the U.S. broadly, more than 15 percent of Americans reported that they were either “somewhat likely” or “very likely” to take the plunge into crypto.
While that figure might not jump off the page, the idea that more than one in every 10 people in a population of over 300 million have the intention to buy bitcoin in the near future sounds like the kind of thing that'll make HODLers pop fireworks.
If accurate, that’s a lot of satoshis. And, potentially, a very festive 4th of July for those that sell them.