The Bank of Canada recently published its yearly Bitcoin Omnibus Survey, a report based on monitored trends in the adoption and use of Bitcoin, as well as other crypto-assets. The report states that the percentage of the Canadian population that is aware of Bitcoin has increased from 62 percent to 89 percent between 2016 and 2018. The report also stated that there has been a 2% increase in the number of people owning Bitcoin; from 3% in 2016 to 5% two years later.
The report began by claiming that its intent behind monitoring adoption was to understand how its usage by Canadians could affect the country’s financial system. Further, the report states that the survey will help the Bank of Canada to better understand Bitcoin’s potential impact on its core functions.
An interesting observation made in the report was that there was no change in Bitcoin knowledge from 2017 to 2018, a finding very different from the sizable increase previously observed between 2016 and 2017. Also, Canadians who were male, young, university-educated or had high household incomes were reported to have a higher likelihood of being aware of the cryptocurrency.
While ownership of Bitcoin increased over the two-year period, this was not maintained across all demographic groups. For example, male ownership remained constant at around 6.7 percent, while female ownership increased from 2.1 to 3.7 percent. Further, ownership tripled among those aged >55 from 0.5 to 1.7 percent, while ownership for those aged 18 to 34 remained relatively unchanged in 2018.
Another notable observation made in the report was that Bitcoin owners were more likely to have lower financial literacy than the overall population. The report found that 38% of Bitcoin owners had low financial literacy, as compared to 27% of the overall population.