Cryptocurrency: Is it ‘virtually’ inevitable?

Stack of cryptocurrencies

Standing in the grocery store line the other day, I overheard a conversation between a father and teenage son about a guy who bought two pizzas with 10,000 Bitcoins back in 2010. At the time, 10K in Bitcoin was only worth about $40. According to the son, if the man had just kept those 10,000 Bitcoins, they’d now be worth over $400MM. Yep. I said FOUR HUNDRED MILLION. The dad just shook his head. And I thought, same, man. Same. If only I’d bought just $5 worth back then myself and then left it alone!

So, this got me thinking, ten years later, what do people know about cryptocurrency? And, given there are a lot of different cryptocurrencies out there now, where do people learn about them? And just what are they investing in and where? For this month’s In the kNOW, we surveyed typical Americans (N=1,436) to find out what they know about cryptocurrency, where they learn about it and where they’ve invested.

While 10% of Americans claim to have never heard of it, about 1/3 have heard of cryptocurrency but know little about it other than what they hear reported in the news or see on websites/social media. Of those who’ve conducted some additional research on their own (32%), a slightly higher portion claim they’re thinking to invest or plan to in the next three months (12% and 6%, respectively), with the rest (14%) saying that they haven’t invested and probably won’t. Twenty-three percent of those surveyed have invested in cryptocurrency, of which only 3% claim ‘early investor’ status.

While age doesn’t seem to impact the level of knowledge and experience with cryptocurrency, gender does. Males over-index for cryptocurrency investment and considering/planning to invest compared to females.

Next in our survey, we provided a list of sources and ways to explore cryptocurrency. We then asked respondents to answer, “Which of the following do you use to learn about/research/get your information about cryptocurrency?” Google wins the search game yet again. People use Google as a starting point significantly more than other sources. They use Google to search ‘cryptocurrency’ in general and specific cryptocurrencies by name to find articles and sites where they can learn more. Another significant portion of people use the Crypto Exchange sites themselves to learn more.

While some respondents use publications and shows as information sources for cryptocurrency, neither traditional, well-respected, nor the emerging/new publications and shows get significant use compared to a simple google search. It seems cryptocurrency interest and learning bucks the trend of seeking ‘expert advice’ from more long-standing financial and investment sources. This counter-to-the-norm behavior warrants further research into cryptocurrency investor characteristics and habits for any business interested in targeting them.

Next, we were curious about which Crypto Exchanges people were using and in which cryptocurrencies they were invested. The most popular Crypto Exchanges were: 1. Coinbase, 2. Cash App, 3. Crypto. We also found that many investors choose to invest across different exchanges and in multiple currencies. The most popular cryptocurrencies respondents claim to have invested in are 1. Bitcoin, 2. Ethereum, 3. Dogecoin.

Whether you’re new to Cryptocurrency or have been at it for a while now, recent and ongoing attention to the subject is bound to increase interest and investment in it. Likewise, as more and more companies start accepting Cryptocurrency as payment for their goods and services, it seems inevitable that ‘virtual money’ is all but a forgone conclusion -going the way of the rest of our now ‘virtual’ lives. Ten years ago, apparel companies swore there was NO way people would buy clothes online. Just three years ago, most of us would never have thought we’d be buying groceries online, letting someone else pick out our produce, drive to the store and have it loaded in our cars for us. And who knew many of us would end up preferring it that way? But look at us now.

Will you do some investigating into Cryptocurrency now? Are you already an investor? Have you used Cryptocurrency to buy products at businesses like Amazon, Starbucks, or Home Depot? Have you used it via Paypal or Shopify? We’d love to know. Reach out to and share your experience.

And, as always, if you’d like to discuss a custom, holistic research strategy for your business or brand, feel free to contact us.


Our ‘In the kNOW’ series tackles the burning questions we all want to know about right NOW. If you have questions you think we should ask, topics we should explore, things you’d like to learn more about, shoot me a note at