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New Survey Shows Mixed Sentiments in Bitcoin, Crypto Mood in the US

A recent survey from YouGov reveals widespread knowledge of cryptocurrencies in the United States, the report also shows mixed sentiments toward the technology.

Contrasting results

YouGov, an international market research and data analytics firm, gathered data from 1,202 participants at the end of August; the poll results showed an interesting disparity in knowledge of cryptocurrency and the actual adoption of it.

The poll found that 79% of Americans were familiar with at least one cryptocurrency with Bitcoin being the most prevalent among 71% of people who said they knew of it. Ethereum came in second at 13% with Litecoin and others trailing behind.

With a vast majority of respondents knowing about cryptocurrencies, a greater disparity is revealed. Of those who said they knew of Bitcoin, 87% said they had not interacted with it; this includes buying, selling and mining.

Some 49% of the Bitcoin-aware group said, “I’m glad I didn’t buy Bitcoin earlier, and I don’t plan to buy it”, while another 15% wish they had bought earlier and now feel it’s too late. In contrast, a South African poll showed that 38% of its respondents wished they had invested sooner.

Despite this, 36% of people in the YouGov poll thought that it cryptocurrencies will eventually be more widely accepted as a means to purchase goods and services legally within ten years,  while 34% disagree and don’t think this will be the case. In this group, millennials made up the majority of those who believed in crypto acceptance with 44% polling favorably.

About 25% of poll respondents think cryptocurrencies are used mostly for illegal purchases, which is a traditional but waning view. However, this skepticism does hold ground in America due to the connections found between Bitcoin and the 2016 election hacking scandal.

With regards to cryptocurrency acceptance, a positive sentiment towards cryptocurrencies is growing in the states, just over a third of those who believe in wider crypto acceptance say they have interest in primarily using crypto over the US dollar.

The article reporting the survey results writes, “However, a majority (57%) say they would not be interested in converting away from the US dollar. Millennials are almost equally split between being interested (48%) and not interested (50%).”

The bigger picture

In July, a Wells Fargo Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index poll gathered data from 1,921 investors over 18 years of age with at least USD 10,000 in traditional investments. It revealed that 2% of respondents owned Bitcoin, and younger investors were keener to adopt Bitcoin should cryptocurrencies become more mainstream, a growing sentiment among millennials.

Other polls found that 50% of participants from a 2,000 person survey “would like to try out Bitcoin“, with millennials of low income being the most likely to invest. In South Korea, surveys show that cryptocurrencies are rising in popularity, and in the United Kingdom, it was reported that 3 million people have invested in Bitcoin.

 

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tZero to Receive Largest Recorded Investment for Blockchain Startup

Chinese private equity firm GSR Capital has confirmed it signed a letter of intent to invest USD 270 million in blockchain startup up tZero, making it the largest recorded investment to such a company, according to Forbes.

Atypical investment structure

The USD 270 million investment came with an 18% stake in tZero, a platform for trading blockchain-issued securities, with GSR confirming it will spend another USD 104.55 million for approximately 10% of the platform’s parent company Overstock’s shares. Additionally, the private equity firm has pledged another USD 30 million in tZero’s initial coin offering (ICO).

This funding would bring the aggregate investment past USD 404 million, pushing tZero’s company valuation to USD 1.5 billion, surpassing its parent Overstock.com (USD 1.07 billion) despite the flagship product not even having been launched yet.

Independent letters of intent were configured and signed by all parties to secure the deal.

Sonny Wu, GSR Capital’s chairman and founder, told Forbes that his company has a long-term view on scaling the platform globally. This investment is GSR Capital’s first public blockchain venture, with its previous history focused on electric vehicles and clean energy.

tZero executive chairman and CEO of Overstock.com, Patrick Byrne, said that the money would be used to open more tokenized securities exchanges internationally for uses such as his SEC-licensed US platform. He envisions tZero’s token to be listed on each of these exchanges.

Byrne noted that raising capital from the businesses home in the US was proving challenging, hence they had to look further abroad. He told Forbes, “US capital is, to be honest, they’re gun shy on this whole blockchain issue… I’m sorry to say the US is not the leading country in the world.”

Hitting into US economics harder, Byrne said that he started the venture to undo what he called the ”original sin” of Wall Street – separating the trade of a stock and its settlement. tZero’s tokenized securities are designed to enable real-time, transparent lending of securities.

Such sentiments have led Byrne to be called the ”scourge of Wall Street” by those whose practices he criticizes, but this does not trouble him. Instead, he believes that the significant investments to tZero show that the tides are turning on traditional Wall Street practices.

 

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Ripple Books Bill Clinton for Keynote Speech at Fall Conference

Global payment blockchain solution Ripple has managed to secure former US President Bill Clinton as a speaker for its autumn technology conference, Swell.

Clinton is set to deliver a keynote speech followed by a Q&A at the San Francisco event on 1 October, as outlined in a blog post from Ripple on Tuesday. The post commends Clinton on his handling of the internet phenomenon during his time in office, as well his endeavors to make technology accessible for underprivileged communities internationally.

Comparing the current period of technological advancements with that of the 1990s ushered by Clinton, Ripple cites his credentials as valuable for interpreting the climate of today which requires a similar ability to balance risk prevention without stifling innovation.

Clinton received a physical Bitcoin from entrepreneur Matt Roszak back in 2016, although his wife Hillary Clinton refused to accept campaign donations made with Bitcoin during her two presidential runs.

Swell will be moderated by Gene Sperling who served as the National Economic Council Director and Adviser for Clinton as well as former President Barack Obama.

Crypto and politics coming to head

As politicians globally have begun demanding some form of regulatory control over the cryptocurrency industry, politics has drawn much closer to the field over the year. While in the US, the Securities and Exchange Commission is tightening its stance on ICOs and has even employed its first ‘crypto czar‘, companies themselves serving the industry are becoming more politically active.

Recent documents show Coinbase as the first of its kind to form its own political action committee (PAC), which would allow the exchange to donate to candidates in the US running for public office that accept crypto donations. As of yet, the PAC has listed no affiliations or lodged any donations, nor did it wish to respond to press requests for comment.

It will be interesting to see in the future if the industry may develop political power via these crypto-friendly PACs.

 

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McAfee’s Bid For POTUS Race Stirs Crypto Community

Hundreds of cryptocurrency enthusiasts have reacted to John McAfee’s Sunday night Twitter announcement of his intention to run for the US presidential elections in 2020. The Tweet has currently generated almost 800 comments, generally positive, and over 5,800 likes.

In spite of past refusals, I have decided to again run for POTUS in 2020. If asked again by the Libertarian party, I will run with them. If not, I will create my own party. I believe this will best serve the crypto community by providing the ultimate campaign platform for us.

— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) June 3, 2018

In 2016, he was nominated for the Whitehouse race by the Libertarian party. He lost to Garry Johnson; the New Mexico governor.

In his Sunday message on Twitter, McAfee openly expressed his love for the cryptocurrencies, saying he aims at serving the crypto community if he is elected as the president of the United States.

While some criticized the decision, many applauded him for his decision. A quick scan of the twitter comments indicated that many within Twitter would back him for the upcoming election.

The self-styled ‘Crypto Dad’ has a recognized influence within the crypto community, with past analysis showing that a single tweet from John McAfee has managed to move markets. Thus, the hypothesis that crypto fans will vote for him because of his apparent interest for cryptocurrency over fiat money seemingly holds true.

Although it would appear unlikely for McAfee to ever be American president, he might improve his chances if he uses his crypto-campaign strategy well. His 2016 campaign strategy was quite argumentative, using the premise of “a paradigm shift” with a manifesto based on free trade and acceptance of the use of cannabis.

Now, he has identified cryptocurrency and its growing community as a unique ticket to the upcoming election. His campaign focus for the 2020 presidential race will be mostly about cryptocurrencies, which have a growing community. McAfee seems to have his facts right, and if Americans begin to favor Bitcoin, a people network strategy could work in his favor.

 

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons – NullSession

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