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Canadians trail Americans in desire to use and invest in cryptocurrency, poll finds

·3 min read

Canadians are less likely than Americans to use or invest in cryptocurrencies, says a new survey released Tuesday.

The Ipsos survey conducted as part of larger social sciences and humanities funded research project says 24 per cent of Americans would use Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies to purchase goods and services, compared with 18 per cent of Canadians.

Americans would also be more likely than Canadians to use cryptocurrencies to avoid cross-border banking fees (19 per cent vs 14 per cent), shelter their wealth from taxes (17 per cent vs 11 per cent), and to send remittances across national borders (14 per cent vs 11 per cent).

The proportions are similar to those polled in Europe, but significantly lower than those in Latin America, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.

Globally, 35 per cent of internet users surveyed, but just 24 per cent of Americans and 17 per cent of Canadians, said they're likely to invest in Bitcoin and alternatives as a short-term investment.

"Given the big differences in attitudes between Canadians and Americans towards cryptocurrencies, there may be diminishing political capital in the Canadian population at large for those who want to promote the idea that consumers will use cryptocurrencies instead of the loonie," stated Fen Hampson, a chancellor's professor at Carleton University, in a news release.

"However, in the United States, it is a different story."

Sean Simpson of Ipsos said it is notable that interest is lower in Canada than most countries surveyed given that Conservative leadership hopeful Pierre Poilievre has advocated for cryptocurrencies and their ability to help users "opt out of inflation."

"He is preaching to a relatively small choir on this topic," said Simpson.

The online poll conducted in November of more than 14,000 internet users in 20 countries says potential use is significantly higher among younger generations.

One in four Americans and 29 per cent of Canadians aged 18 to 34 said they are somewhat likely to use cryptocurrency in the next year for purchases. That compares with 22 per cent of Canadians aged 35 to 49 and six per cent of those 50 to 74 years old saying the same.

"Today, many young people feel blocked out of economic opportunity. Cryptocurrencies offer a message of hope and economic inclusion to those who feel the current system is somewhat rigged against them," added Eric Jardine of Virginia Tech, who was part of the research team.

"This may be why Mr. Poilievre is using the issue to reach out to younger voters. It might be too early for crypto to become a winning political issue, in Canada or the U.S., but it may also be just a matter of time."

The survey was conducted in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Poland, South Africa, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States.

The online panel cannot be given a margin of error because internet panels are not considered to be truly random samples.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 3, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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