In a recently released survey, the Bank of Canada showed that public perception of Bitcoin is shifting. In the most recent survey, a solid majority of Canadian Bitcoin owners bought the cryptocurrency as an investment. This is in stark contrast to previous iterations that viewed the cryptocurrency as a means for transactions. Overall, 58% of respondents stated they purchased Bitcoin for an investment – up from 12% the prior year. This is a considerable increase with wide ranging implications. The study goes on to say that the number of Bitcoin owners increased from 2.9 to 5% – nearly doubling over the course of a year.
The Bank of Canada study is a fairly progressive project aimed at understanding the Canadian public’s use of the cryptocurrency – as well as their knowledge. As a regulatory body, the Bank of Canada is responsible for much of the information provided to lawmakers. Their relatively light regulations and consistency have allowed Canada to become a major blockchain hub.
Canada and Cryptocurrency
Unlike their neighbor to the south, Canada’s laws are much more consistent across province borders. Rather than attempting to comply with a makeshift conglomerate of state’s laws within the US, companies can focus on adhering to the much clearer Canadian regulations. As a result, teams like Ethereum finds greater freedom in Canada – with founder Vitalik Buterin living in Toronto.
Further, the infrastructure is highly suited to both development and mining of cryptocurrencies. The province of Quebec produces some of the cheapest electricity in the world – making the area a hotbed of cryptocurrency mining farms. However, this boon may be in peril – the sheer number of mining operations resulted in higher electricity costs for everyone in the area. Locals are not thrilled about this turn events, and pressure is on to limit new expansion.
Transitioning Perceptions across the Market
The shifting viewpoint on Bitcoin is not a solely Canadian mindset. Throughout the entire cryptocurrency market, investors are looking at Bitcoin as a store of value. Much like gold in traditional assets, Bitcoin sets the standard for the rest of the industry. The transaction infrastructure is insufficient for use as an everyday currency – with late 2017’s traffic slowdowns indicative of this. While the Lightning Network team is making great strides in off-chain channels to alleviate this problem, it does not stop the perception shift itself.
Instead, investors are looking to a variety of altcoins for their transaction needs. Many of the top cryptocurrencies by market cap tout better speeds and more reliable infrastructure, despite much lower average value. Bitcoin’s place may be as the legacy blockchain and a market health indicator. Other projects seem poised to take the role of chief digital currency.
Article By: Adam Stone