Grim Confidence Outlook Hits Crypto, Pew Says

Using cryptocurrency is not reliable or safe, according to 75% of people polled in a Pew Research Center survey of 10,071 respondents living in the U.S. in April, according to CNBC. Just 6% said they felt very confident investing or trading in the digital currency.

Feelings of insecurity increase with age, according to the survey, from 66% in people below age 50 and 85% above.

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That crypto investments haven’t performed as well as expected hasn’t raised enthusiasm, traders reported in the survey. About 45% of traders said their investments did worse than they had anticipated, and around 30% said they fell out where they expected. Just 15% reported that their crypto investments fared better than they originally thought they would.

In 2022, the crypto market lost about $1.4 trillion in value when several companies filed for bankruptcy and one of the largest exchanges, FTX, collapsed. Also that year, hackers cost investors about $4 billion, the blockchain analyst firm Chainalysis reported.

Despite the dismal data, the most popular digital coin, bitcoin, has performed well in 2023, surging by about 80% since January and hovering at $30,000 in mid-April. At its peak in November 2021, it reached $68,000.

Consumer confidence is particularly important for virtual currencies, since value isn’t derived from an underlying asset, and they are worth only what investors will pay. Their prices are also volatile.

“Crypto is not an investment,” Bankrate Reporter James Royal told CNBC, “but rather a trade to make money from the next guy coming in the door.”