Monday, 3 September 2018

Survey Suggests Bright Future For Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies could be in for a boost with U.S. students twice as likely as the country’s average to own cryptocurrency, a survey by Coinbase and carried out by researchers Qriously has revealed.

18% of U.S. student respondents said they own (or have owned) bitcoin or some other cryptocurrency, which is twice the rate of the general population, suggesting cryptocurrency ownership and adoption could be about to rise.

Students are often seen as bellwethers of cultural and technological change. Facebook, now the world's largest social network, was initially open only to students and found mass adoption among the world's youth before spreading to older generations.

Before that, a much younger internet, back in the 1980s, was predominantly used by students, academics and universities to share research before it was later commercialized.

Among all students surveyed, 17% said they consider their knowledge of cryptocurrency and blockchain as very good, compared to just 9% of the general population surveyed at the same time.

However, the survey comes after a warning by Coinbase's chief executive earlier this month that suggested commercial bitcoin adoption for payments could take "quite some time."

The survey results do though chime with a paper from researchers at Imperial College London out in July that said digital currencies are primed for mass adoption.

According to the paper, cryptocurrencies will hit the mainstream as a way of paying for goods and services within the next decade, as many of those students surveyed by Coinbase become part of the working world.

Meanwhile, a quarter of those surveyed by Coinbase said that they would definitely take a cryptocurrency or blockchain-centric course. And universities are rushing to meet this demand.

Coinbase found that 42% of the top 50 universities around the world offer at least one class on blockchain or cryptocurrency, and 22% offer more than one. Only five of the 18 international universities on the list, or 27%, offer at least one class on blockchain or cryptocurrency. And only two — the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich and the National University of Singapore — offer more than one.

Coinbase reviewed course catalogs at the top 50 universities and found cryptocurrency classes across a variety of departments, including anthropology and finance — not only computer science.

In fact, the rise in offerings across disciplines maps to student interest: Students with a diverse set of majors say they’d like to take cryptocurrency classes. Nearly half of all social science majors expressed interest in taking a crypto class.


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