What in your personal experience do mainstream people know about blockchain technology other than Bitcoin?
Given the context of your description, I had to use the past few days to properly observe people's reactions and organise the results of my observations.
It is important to note that my survey was conducted in a developing country, amongst two demographic groups; the elderly and the youths, who were not involved in the crypto scene in anyway.
As implied by the description of your question, this survey is confined to the circle of my acquaintances — a small circle for that matter. Hence, my sample size is 20 persons; with an equal ratio of youths to the elderly; uneven distribution of sexes.
What do they know about it [crypto currency] in your circle of acquaintances?
60% of the elderly have heard about crypto currency, at least once in their life, and 40% haven't heard about it before. 20% confuse internet banking as crypto currency. 40% know about bitcoin. And only 10% knew two other crypto currencies, namely; Ethereum and Ripple.
90% of the youths have heard about crypto currency, at least once in their life, with 10% not knowing what it is. The percentage of youths that have heard about crypto currency all know about bitcoin, including the ladies. Only 40% know about other crypto currencies, namely; Bitcash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, BitShares, EOS, STEEM and Ripple. With the males making up the majority.
Conclusion: There are more crypto knowledgeable youths than the elderly. I also noticed that a majority of the sample size that knew about Ethereum thought it is a cryptocurrency. Which is wrong because Ether is the crytocurrency and Ethereum is a blockchain platform that generates Ether.
What kind of attitudes do people have toward the blockchain and cryptocurrencies?
The elderly seem to be complacent about their current financial situations and do not intend to invest in cryptocurrencies as they believe it is mostly fraudulent. One elderly woman specifically told me that the internet is filled with fraudsters and she wouldn't want to throw her hard earned money in the trash.
However, the youths seem to be less risk-adverse. And more willing to invest in cryptocurrencies. That explains why there are more youths on steemit than the elderly in my country.
Conclusively, I believe proper sensitisation of people about crypto currencies would minimise the crypto stereotype.
Have you observed any changes in knowledge of these topics among the general public in recent times or over a long period of time?
I first heard about bitcoin in 2013, you can find the details of my experience in a previous post on my steemit blog. If I had conducted this survey during that period, I don't think anyone would have known about it in my community. I was told about it by a friend of mine living abroad.
I believe within the past five years, more people have become aware of this innovation. My guess is, by 2030, 20% of the current world's population would be crypto investors. That is over 1.6 billion persons. This may seem unrealistic, as less than 1% of the world's population currently invest in crypto. Trust me, a lot can happen in 12 years time.
This would relatively hike the prices of cryptos. And hopefully, more enlightenment would reduce the percentages of fraud. But sadly it won't. Keeping the software in regulatory compliance, with new functionality to meet the demand pull, may create several vulnerabilities in its interface.
Last December's bull run burnt a lot of inexperienced crypto investors. Such abnormal hikes may be less prevalent in the nearest future, when cryptos have fully gone mainstream. As investors would be more inclined to sell, rather than buy in those periods.
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