Who uses bitcoin and what are the most common types of people who own BTC?
First of all, it must be said that the main use of bitcoin is not as a means of payment but as a store of value. Therefore it is not worth focusing on those who use bitcoin as a transactional currency but on those who buy it as an investment, or as a protection against inflation risks.
From this point of view, three distinct types of users should be distinguished:
- private citizens,
- financial institutions.
As far as companies are concerned, there are reports of some buying BTC in large quantities during 2020 precisely as a store of value to protect against inflationary risks.
The best-known company that has decided to experiment with this solution is certainly MicroStrategy, which has even adopted bitcoin as its primary reserve.
Another company that has publicly stated that it has invested in bitcoin is Square, but it has only allocated a minority of its reserves in BTC.
So far not many companies have decided to take this route, but all those with large US dollar reserves are concerned about the risks of devaluation of their reserves due to inflation, particularly in the coming months or years.
So these include the first type of BTC investor.
As far as financial institutions are concerned, they are often not actually investors, but companies that have decided to offer bitcoin-related services, such as PayPal or Fidelity.
However, while many financial institutions are now offering bitcoin-related services, very few have decided to buy BTC and hold it in their wallets.
Perhaps the most famous case is that of MassMutual, which bought bitcoin as a long-term investment.
Again, these are probably companies that have large reserves of US dollars, and are looking for ways to reduce the loss of value that could be caused by a future surge in inflation.
Who uses Bitcoin, the identikit: men under 45
As far as private investors are concerned, a distinction must be made between financial professionals, or large institutional investors, and small retail investors.
There is little information on the former, but it is conceivable that investments in BTC are now quite widespread everywhere. Perhaps only the most traditionalists have not yet considered investing in bitcoin, but data regarding, for example, trading volumes on traditional markets, such as the CME, suggest that interest is likely to be widespread across the board.
As for retail investors, information can be extracted by analyzing online search data.
These clearly show that the most widespread interest among retail bitcoiners is in financial services and investments.
This not only confirms the hypothesis that bitcoin is primarily used as an investment, or speculative asset, but given the gap between this interest and others, it is possible to say that the typical retail bitcoiner is fundamentally a person interested in finance.
Even when analyzing related interests, the greatest similarity emerges with the world of investments, but in this case, there is no gap separating this interest from the others.
However, the picture that emerges from the other interests is too wide to be able to identify other characteristics of the typical bitcoiner, but one in particular appears to be recurrent: the interest in technology.
The retail bitcoiner is therefore often a person who is interested in finance, and perhaps also in technology.
85% of bitcoiners appear to be male, but although only around 15 per cent of bitcoiners are female, this percentage has been increasing lately.
When it comes to age, the verdict is also quite clear: 41% are millennials, aged between 25 and 34, while 20% are in the slightly older age group of 35 to 44.
In other words, more than 60% of retail bitcoiners are between the ages of 25 and 44. These percentages literally plummet for the upper age groups, while there are 16% of bitcoiners aged between 18 and 24.
So the average bitcoiner is a male under 45 who is passionate about technology and interested in finance.
The picture is quite clear, although a certain transversality of interests also emerges from this data. That is, while the response on gender and age is clear, the response with regard to interests is much more nuanced.