Bitcoin Awareness and Usage in Canada: An Update

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To help monitor the adoption and use of Bitcoin, the Bank of Canada conducted a survey in late 2016 and then again in late 2017. The second survey took place during an interesting time, since Bitcoin prices were increasing and reached an all-time high on December 17, 2017. The level of awareness of Bitcoin rose from 64 per cent in the 2016 Bitcoin Omnibus Survey (BTCOS) to 85 per cent in the 2017 BTCOS, while ownership rose from 2.9 to 5.0 per cent. The main reason survey participants cited for owning Bitcoin changed from transactional purposes in 2016 to investment purposes in 2017. In addition, only about half of Bitcoin owners were regularly using Bitcoin to buy goods or services or to send money to other people. This provides empirical support for the notion that most of the fluctuations in the Bitcoin price are due to speculation. However, self-reported holdings of Bitcoin among users did not change remarkably during the period between surveys.