The Demographics Of Bitcoin
With the growing popularity and perhaps relevance of a globally decentralized currency system in a world adrift in fiat devaluation death-matches, it is perhaps interesting to understand just who these Bitcoin'ers are? The ongoing survey of Bitcoin users (here) has some intriguing results already: The 'average Bitcoin user' is male (96%), 32.7 years old, libertarian / anarcho-capitalist (37%), non-religious (61%), with a full time job (43%), and is in a relationship (56%). The biggest motivation for new users are curiosity, profit, and politics; and 39% of users do not drink, smoke, gamble, or take drugs. Just over half of users have mined bitcoins and the greatest community fear for Bitcoin is “regulatory/legal intervention” followed by ”reputation problems”. Overall more people seem to find Bitcoin intellectually rewarding (70% have learned more about cryptography) than socially rewarding (22% have made friends).
Wait: If you haven’t filled out this survey please do so HERE! I will continue to draw on this dataset for future posts, and it is open for others to use, so by responding you are contributing to a community resource.
- The average user is a 32.7 year old libertarian male.
- Top motivators for new users are curiosity, profit, and politics.
- Bitcointalk.org is the dominant community platform.
- Far more people have used Bitcoin to make donations than to buy narcotics.
- 39% of users do not drink, smoke, gamble, or take drugs.
The “average Bitcoin user” is male (96%), 32.7 years old, libertarian / anarcho-capitalist (37%), non-religious (61%), with a full time job (43%), and is in a relationship (56%).
But of course there is no such thing as an average Bitcoin user, and flattening out the figures like that ignores the large numbers of users who are Christian (20%) or single (37%). Also by using the broadest possible terms (ie including liberals and environmentalists), you get a left-of-centre contingent with over 45% of users.
The arrival of new users correlates with price and media coverage, with Q2 2011 the most popular quarter for the question “When did you first install the Bitcoin client”.
The biggest motivation in exploring Bitcoin is curiosity (4.3/5), followed by profit (3.7/5) and politics (3.5/5). Trailing behind are practical concerns (3.1/5), challenge (2.9/5), and community (2.7/5).
The age distribution around the mean average of 32.7 is fairly balanced, with people in their late twenties slightly overrepresented. The mode is 31 years and standard deviation is 10.5 years.
Just over half of users have mined bitcoins, most of them as part of a mining pool. The average hash rate (using geometric mean) is 318 MH/s. The average miner has spent $3,188 on a rig, but the spread is huge. The median spend is $500, 35% of miners have spent nothing, while 8% have spent $10,000 or more.
How does a miner spend nothing? Well almost 10% of respondents have mined bitcoins on someone else’s hardware, so that’s one way to do it.
As expected Bitcointalk.org is the dominant platform of discussion, used by 76% of users. Reddit (39%) also had a strong showing, while the classic IRC got a mere 24%. Google+ had a strong showing among early respondents which is now somewhat dwindled, at 18%.
The greatest community fear for Bitcoin is “regulatory/legal intervention” (29%) followed by ”reputation problems” (19%). A large number of people answered “Other” and in the free-form field wrote to the effect that Bitcoin was too technically demanding for mainstream use.
The most common use of bitcoins was for gifts/donations (55%), while computer services was also quite high (38%). Only 11% of respondents have bought narcotics (using Bitcoin that is). In fact the community has a contingent of clean-living ascetics, 39% of respondents do not drink, smoke, take drugs, or gamble.
Overall more people seem to find Bitcoin intellectually rewarding (70% have learned more about cryptography) than socially rewarding (22% have made friends).
Here are the other graphical elements of the survey in full:
Finally, here is the obligatory wordle based on uers’ “favourite aspect of Bitcoin.”
You can also download the raw data to play with. As the survey is still open, the data may differ slightly from the snapshot above taken after 533 responses.
Source: Space Druid