The Bank of Canada (Banque Du Canada) have published a report off the back of a two-year study into Bitcoin in Canada. The report, named ‘Bitcoin Awareness and Usage in Canada: An Update’ by Christopher S. Henry, Kim P. Huynh and Gradon Nicholls explores the growth Bitcoin has seen in Canada and looks towards future prospects for the currency in the country.
You can see the full publication here.
According to Henry et al.:
“The Bank of Canada’s interest in Bitcoin is to understand whether its adoption and usage by Canadians could affect the financial system. Further, it is important to understand Bitcoin’s potential impact on how the Bank of Canada undertakes its core functions such as the production and distribution of currency.”
Overall, the study has found that both interest and use of Bitcoin is on the rise in Canada. In terms of interest, the study asked participants if they have heard of Bitcoin. According to the research, between 2016 and 2017 the level of Bitcoin awareness (via this question) rose by 21%. According to Henry et al.:
“Quebec saw the largest increase in awareness, as it rose from 49 per cent in 2016 to 77 per cent in 2017. Awareness among women rose to 80 per cent in 2017, an increase of 26 percentage points. Awareness also increased across all age groups, from 62–68 per cent in 2016 to 83–89 per cent in 2017. In general, demographic trends in awareness remained consistent across years. For example, males were noticeably more aware than females (91 vs. 80 per cent in 2017; 75 vs. 54 per cent in 2016).”
Ownership is up too. Out of those questioned, 2.9% of participants claimed to own Bitcoin in 2016, compared to 5% of participants questioned in 2017. In essence, Bitcoin ownership has almost doubled. According to Henry et al.:
“The increase in Bitcoin ownership was seen more in certain demographic groups. The 18-to-24 age group, already one of the main users of Bitcoin in 2016, grew the most in ownership, from 6 to 14 per cent in 2017. Most other age groups saw increased ownership as well, but the differences were usually not significant. The exception was the 45-to-54 age group, where ownership grew almost four times over from 0.9 to 3.5 per cent.”
This study provides solid evidence to The Bank of Canada that Bitcoin is on the rise in the country. Of course, the findings here can also be applied to other countries in the west that run via similar financial systems. By using this data, The Bank of Canada can advise authorities on how best to approach cryptocurrencies given that they are clearly something that the population is interested in. It’s nice to see a central bank actually carrying out research before developing legislation and by publishing this report, The Bank of Canada are helping to educate others about the rise in cryptocurrencies.