Cryptocurrency, also known as digital or alternative currency, has gained steam in recent years, with the term being added to the dictionary in 2018. Tenets of cryptocurrency include the lack of a centralized issuing agency and a reliance on cryptography, which helps prevent counterfeiting and fraud.
We looked into cryptocurrency owners and their voting habits to see if any political trends popped up, specifically during the last presidential election cycle. Let’s take a look to see what results our survey uncovered.
2016 General Election
First, we checked which 2016 presidential candidate garnered the most votes from the cryptocurrency owners surveyed. While a tick over 46 percent of crypto owners voted for Hillary Clinton, and almost 34 percent voted for Donald Trump, the next category included those who did not vote at all in the general election (around 16 percent). Just shy of 5 percent voted for Gary Johnson, while a smidge less voted for someone else entirely (“other”).
Of course, Trump won the general election, so it seems that cryptocurrency holders may be a little more liberal, overall, than the general public.
Votes by Cryptocurrency
While many people are familiar with bitcoin, that is certainly not the only cryptocurrency available. We looked at cryptocurrency holders as a whole and then broke the data down by several cryptocurrencies to see how voting habits differed (although, as noted, these percentages reflect those who have invested in that currency but not necessarily exclusively).
Let’s look at bitcoin owners first since it is a familiar topic. Bitcoin holders and voting habits reflected all cryptocurrency owners as a whole, as just over 40 percent voted for Clinton, while around 34 percent voted for Trump. Ethereum owners also favored Clinton, although the divide was a bit smaller. Those who owned bitcoin cash were equally divided between the two main candidates, but those with XRP favored Trump in the general election. The divide was even greater for those who owned EOS, as a bit over 50 percent voted for Trump and around 34 percent voted for Clinton.
Biggest Chunk of Crypto Ownership
Bitcoin had the highest percentage of ownership across the board, with roughly 92 percent having been owned – at one point in time – by both Trump voters and Clinton voters. Over 97 percent of Gary Johnson voters owned bitcoin as well, as did 91 percent of non-voters. The next most common coin type was Ethereum, which ranged from 38 percent ownership (“other” voters) to 52 percent (Gary Johnson). XPR was more heavily favored by Trump voters (23 percent, compared to 16 percent for Clinton voters).
It looks like a majority of the “non-bitcoin” types were more favored by Trump voters than others (although we must point out that bitcoin cash ownership was higher for Trump voters than those who voted for Clinton).
Risk and Reward
While voters of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton utilized similar cryptocurrency investment strategies, those who did not vote in the 2016 general election seemed to be more risk tolerant.
We also took a look at differing investment strategies for owners, divided by vote activity. Across the board, most chose to be a little more conservative with their investment – in fact, Trump and Hillary voters were very similar, as both were noted to be in the 47 percent range.
However, there was a little more risk taken by those who forwent voting in the 2016 general election. While around 36 percent reported they invested conservatively, almost 31 percent said they tended to invest where there was more of a risk (cryptocurrency investing voters of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, by comparison, were 20 percent and 24 percent in this category, respectively).
Amount Averages per Candidate
Next, we looked at dollar amounts invested in cryptocurrency relative to whom each investor voted for in 2016. Donald Trump voters invested the greatest average dollar amount (around $3,500) in cryptocurrency, but those who selected “other” for Election Day 2016 were next in line with around $3,000. Those who voted for Hillary Clinton were third in line, with an average investment of $2,556, followed by those who didn’t vote at all in the 2016 general election, who had an average investment of $1,842. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson’s supporters were last on the list for average cryptocurrency investments at $1,188.
Of Age and Assets
Next, we looked at the amount invested in cryptocurrency by each generation and how that compared to their average income. Millennials were the biggest crypto investors, averaging around $2,800 on an average income of $44,409. This was about $1,000 more than baby boomers, who had a similar average income ($45,869) but only invested around $1,800 in cryptocurrency.
Crypto Owners’ Political Stances
We assessed where crypto owners fell on the political spectrum, and results, for the most part, reflected a liberal leaning. A majority felt Trump was not doing a good job in office and that the border wall should not be built (however, those thoughts weren’t necessarily exclusive to Democrats).
Around 73 percent felt that marijuana should be legalized, while about 53 percent felt that all abortions should be legal. Additionally, roughly 63 percent agreed to further restrictions for firearm purchases.
It’s interesting to compare how cryptocurrency owners voted in the general election. While you might expect crypto holders to be younger and vote overwhelmingly for Democratic candidates, that wasn’t always the case – especially when we broke down the dollar amount invested in cryptocurrency per candidate vote (Trump voters invested more). However, cryptocurrency owners as a whole did lean Democrat in the general election.
The information presented was based on a survey of 864 individuals from Amazon Mechanical Turk. The gender distribution was 70 percent male, 29.5 percent female, and 0.5 percent as “other.” Survey participants were restricted to only those who had previously invested in cryptocurrencies. Limitations include the fact that the information is based solely on the individuals’ self-reported responses, specifically the frequency of cryptocurrency investing and general election voting. We did not apply any additional statistical testing.
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