Millennials, Money, and Bitcoin

Updated: Jan 3

Written by: Larry Goodfellow


Millennials are coming to be the largest purchasing group in the United States. While it has been clearly identified that their purchasing habits are different than past generations, companies need to understand what they want and value in order to cater to their needs.


A Propensity for Bitcoin


Six months ago my son began asking me what I knew about cryptocurrency; Bitcoin in particular. He knows that I read a lot of investment news during my free time, and to be honest I had seen some article headlines but had never ventured to read beyond that. Fast forward to today, and thanks to some discussions with my son and a little personal research, I feel I have a fairly decent grasp on the topic. I came across an article the other day on the Fortune website written by Spencer Bogart entitled, 7 Stats that Highlight A Millennial Propensity for Bitcoin. The article is based on a survey by Harris Polls on behalf of Blockchain Capital, which surveyed 2000 American’s, 347 of which were Millennials, to gage Bitcoin sentiment, and determine where it is on the adoption level. The interesting point in the whole story is that this new burgeoning purchasing group loves Bitcoin, yet many companies aren’t seeing this trend and preparing to cater to this trend.


No Longer Crypto Chat


The article by Spencer Bogart begins by citing how far Bitcoin has come over a very short period of time. In 2 years, Bitcoin has gone from $250 to reaching it’s high of $1100. What was once a subject relegated to cryptographers has now entered the public domain, but not without its fair share of criticism. While some hail it as the future of banking, others have harshly criticized it.  About a month ago, Bitcoin was called a “fraud,” and “worse than tulip bulbs,” by JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon. With Bitcoin threatening traditional methods of banking, it is no wonder the topic has become so polarizing. The interesting part of this story is not Bitcoin itself, but how new ideas, particularly radical ones, are seen and accepted by businesses.


How Far Will You Go to Cater to Your Clients?


With so much talk among companies to understand the Millennial and cater to their needs, as they become the largest buying demographic in society, you begin to wonder how serious companies are in their willingness to cater to this group. When you look at supporters of Bitcoin, the segment of society that has found its greatest support, is the American Millennial male who is the largest spender among this much coveted segment. Bitcoin illustrates the need for online research community software, as it highlights how a new idea that an older management team might scoff could be what your hard to reach customer might want. It removes the personal preferences aside and illustrates customer wants. 


While the actual ownership of Bitcoin is low, around 4% of Millennials own it, many say they would rather own Bitcoin than more traditional assets such as property, gold, stocks and bonds. According to Bogart, while Bitcoin is still in the early days, awareness and knowledge are high among Millennials. Due to this awareness Millennials are more likely than older demographics to view it as a positive financial innovation (48% compared to 19% of those over the age of 65). 28% of Millennials seeing it as more trustworthy than big banks.


You May Not See the Validity But Remember It’s Not About You!


With Millennials coming up as the largest purchasing demographic, businesses would be wise to consider how they will respond to Bitcoin. Bogart writes, “Given strong demand for Bitcoin among millennials—a notoriously difficult but important demographic to capture—major financial institutions would be wise to offer their clients access and services for cryptoassets like Bitcoin.” So what has the response been to this growing interest among the largest segment of customers? Jamie Dimmon the CEO of JP Morgan said that he would fire an employee for owning Bitcoin for being “stupid.” The comment illustrates the potential disconnect between senior level managers and the segment they are trying to go after. 

 

Market Research Online Communities as a Way to Connect


Market Research Online Communities continue to convince me of the need for companies to connect with their customers. In order to stay innovative and relevant with customers there needs to be connection, which communities provide. Harris Polls research on Bitcoin, and Bogart’s article highlight the continuous struggle companies have, to put aside their opinion and belief in a product, and ask their customers what they would like, and then tailor their service to the needs and wants of their customer. The question you need to ask yourself is whether research is driving your business or your personal opinion? We believe that MROC’s are the most affordable and effective way to do so.


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