Despite this rapid change of technology and the fact that it has affected many things in our lives, one of the few tools that has not been affected by this change for centuries has been the fiat currencies we use. Years after the introduction of Bitcoin, the first example of this situation to change, digital/cryptocurrencies are now on our radar and seem to have the power to affect many things in the future.
Although in theory it has been in our lives since 2009, the new terms crytpocurrency, blockchain, bitcoin, ethereum, mining and many other that we have started to hear every day for the past few years are proof of how fast the technology is developing and going in a direction that many of us have a hard time even understanding. The cover art of this whole change is Bitcoin, the world’s first and best-known cryptocurrency, or in other words, a digital currency, created by an anonymous person named Satoshi Nakamoto.
Bitcoin, the largest player in this market where there are about 1800 different crypto coins, has a market size of $ 115 Billion as of October 2018. The infrastructure used by Bitcoin and all other digital currencies is called blockchain, which allows transactions to be made thanks to encrypted data without a central authority. In other words, while this system, which proceeds without any government, bank or similar central government, where person-to-person transfer is essential, is considered to be safer by many people, many see this process as uncontrolled and consider it more risky.
So what about the crypto money market in the world? What kind of developments are taking place in the market? How involved is Turkey in this?
We touched on all these questions in the 55-page report of the research we conducted with 956 people. We have summarized some of the outputs and comments that caught our eye in the continuation of the article, you can review them here.
Among the digital currencies, the highest awareness and ownership rate in Turkey is in Bitcoin.
While 87% of consumers say they have heard of Bitcoin, only 19.8% say they have bought and sold bitcoin before. 73% of those who have traded before still have Bitcoin in their hands. When we look at other digital currencies with high volume such as Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple and IOTA, their awareness and ownership rates are quite low compared to Bitcoin.
44.4% of the people who bought Bitcoin in Turkey say that they bought it for investment purposes.
Although it is claimed that digital currencies such as Bitcoin are generally seen as a short-term money earning element due to their potential to gain value quickly, 44.4% of people who have bought Bitcoin in Turkey say that they buy it for investment purposes. When we examine the age groups, the “I bought it for investment purposes” motivation in Generation Z is well ahead of other reasons. The most common motivation of the older generation X in terms of age group is curiosity. As we move towards X among age groups, we see that the element of curiosity is increasing. At the same time, generation X, who have less knowledge of the functioning of Bitcoin, whose biggest difference from traditional currencies is that it is not tied to financial regulations, does not see it as a primary motivation when buying Bitcoin compared to other groups.
31.7% of consumers tend to hold Bitcoin for at least 3 months after buying.
When we question how long consumers who have bought and sold bitcoin sell it after buying, we see that they tend to hold it for a minimum of 3 months. Women whose motivation to buy Bitcoin is more curious and on trying, dispose of the Bitcoin they receive within 1-2 days, while the retention rate of men is higher. When we look at the motivation of 31.7% who say they sell after 3 months and then, we encounter consumers who say that they buy about 60% as an investment.
The most influential factor in the decision to buy Bitcoin is the circle of friends.
When people who made the decision to buy Bitcoin ranked the impact levels of different factors in this process, we observed that the circle of friends was the most effective factor. Since Bitcoin is a new concept outside of what we are used to, it is obvious that getting support from our close circle and obtaining information from people we trust other than what we read accelerates our decision-making. Following the circle of friends comes media, work environment and family, respectively.
Since there is nothing tangible, people say that they do not fully understand the value of Bitcoin.
Bitcoin, as a digital currency, is not in a tangible format like TL or other currencies, so for many people it is a concept that is perceived as brand new and somewhat abstract. 42.1% of Turkish people think that they do not fully understand the value of Bitcoin for this reason. At the same time, the fact that Bitcoin is not in a touchable format leads to trust problems in people. 73.2% of the people who stated that they do not trust Bitcoin are those who say that they cannot understand the value of Bitcoin because it is not tangible. In other words, unlike the currencies we use in our daily lives, the fact that people cannot see Bitcoin in a concrete format is a situation that damages their trust in Bitcoin.
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ABOUT AUTHOR | Ecem Korkmaz
Marketer with 4+ years of corporate experience as an ex-Turkcell. Ecem joined Twentify in the beginning of 2018 as Growth Marketing Manager focusing on current customers.