Bitcoin has struggled over the last year as the market nurses a hangover from its epic 2017 bull run that saw the bitcoin price explode from under $1,000 at the beginning of the year to almost $20,000 in fewer than 12 months.
The bitcoin price has so far failed to break out of its long-running bear market in 2019, with investors and traders desperately trying to call a bottom to the tumbling market that’s seen the value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies fall by more than $400 billion in a little over a year.
Now, a new survey suggests there’s a growing interest in bitcoin and cryptocurrency investments amongst millennials and younger generations as they deal with the long-term effects of the global financial crisis and a lack of trust in the traditional financial services sector.
Almost half of millennial online traders (43%) have more trust in crypto exchanges than the U.S. stock market, according to a nationwide survey of 1,000 online traders from U.S. brokerage eToro, compared to 77% of Gen X respondents who have more trust in stock exchanges.
In addition, 59% of survey respondents across all age groups that don’t trade crypto said they would invest more money in crypto if it were offered by a traditional financial institution.
Almost all (92%) of current crypto traders would feel more comfortable investing in bitcoin and crypto if it were offered by a traditional financial institution.
“We’re seeing the beginning of a generational shift in trust from traditional stock exchanges to crypto exchanges,” said Guy Hirsch, eToro’s U.S. managing director. “Younger investors’ experience with the stock market has seen a great deal of loss of trust, with the fall of Lehman Brothers because of irresponsible practices followed by the worst recession since the Great Depression.
“Trust further eroded when Americans saw how hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayers money are funneled to the largest financial institutions while their savings evaporated and how banks get free money through quantitative easing while their cost of living continued to rise.”
The bitcoin price bear market, labeled “crypto winter” for its debilitating effect on the nascent industry, was sparked by traders and investors fretting that long-awaited institutional investment and mainstream adoption of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies will fail to materialize.
The survey is good news for bitcoin investors and traders who are looking toward things like the highly-anticipated Bakkt bitcoin platform and a potential U.S. bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) to boost the price, though those expectations have been somewhat dampened lately as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission frets over potential price manipulation.
The Bakkt bitcoin platform, which is being developed with New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange as well as partnerships with coffee shop chain Starbucks and PC giant Microsoft, plans to offer bitcoin futures trading from the first quarter of this year and open bitcoin and cryptocurrencies up to a wider retail market.