Goldman Sachs says Millennials won’t use bitcoin. Are they right?

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Goldman Sachs has made a rather bold prediction, claiming that millennials won’t use bitcoin. The company released a survey showing that just over half of millennials say they will never use bitcoin, with the survey noting a somewhat surprising apathy towards financial privacy.

Given that privacy is one of bitcoin’s biggest selling points, a lack of concern for privacy could indeed spell trouble for bitcoin proponents. We’re not sweating it, however, because bitcoin is still a relatively new currency, and mainstream adoption is only now starting to become a reality.

As bitcoin becomes more widely accepted and more familiar to the public, it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising if more millennials (and people of every generation, for that matter) jumped on the bitcoin bandwagon.

In fact, Goldman Sach’s survey should provide a dose of extra confidence for early adopters of bitcoin. 22 percent of those millennials surveyed said they have already used bitcoin, while another 22 percent said that while they have not used the cryptocurrency yet, they plan to do so in the future.

Only five percent of respondents said that they have previously used bitcoin, but don’t plan to do so in the future. This is pure speculation, but we wouldn’t be surprised if those “fivers” are people who made bad bitcoin investments when prices were illogically high, or who didn’t properly secure their wallets and got scammed.

There was a bit of a dark lining to the data, however, with less than 5 percent of respondents stating that they trusted bitcoin wallet services. Coinbase and BitPay were directly named in the survey, and needless to say, their reputations did not fair well.

Further, the general financial privacy apathy found by the survey might be a point of concern.

Goldman Sachs asked respondents how willing they would be to accept inconveniences in exchange for reduced privacy and better security.

48 percent of women stated that they would not be too bothered, while 34 percent of men reported the same.

Of course, it should be noted that bitcoin provides both increased privacy, and in many ways, better security than traditional banking. Further, while in some aspects bitcoin may not be as convenient as traditional banking, in other aspects it’s actually more convenient.

For example, millennials are among the most well-traveled generations in history, and bitcoin is an excellent option for low-fee currency conversions, and international transfers.

Respondents also stated that high fees are highly undesirable. This bodes well for bitcoin because one of the principle goals of the currency was to reduce fees and costs in comparison to banking.

While work remains in regards to making bitcoin a truly low cost financial option, the currency is becoming cheaper to use with each passing day. Markets are great at bringing costs down and as more start-ups and service companies emerge to serve the bitcoin community, costs should drop while quality rises.

And as bitcoin evolves and enters the mainstream, it’s fair to expect inconveniences to be addressed and smoothed over. With time, bitcoin could become just as easy, if not easier, than traditional banking all while providing added security and privacy.

When that day comes, it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to see more and more Millennials, and people of every generation for that matter, using bitcoin.

It’s also worth noting that Goldman Sachs has previously invested some resources into exploring bitcoin investments. Goldman Sachs was part of a group that invested $50 million dollars in “Circle”, a company that works on bitcoin-related technology.

Goldman Sach’s survey also noted that Millennials don’t trust stock markets. This skepticism of mainstream investment vehicles could make more exotic, community-based investment vehicles, like bitcoin, all the more attractive.

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Brian Booker

An international financial analyst and writer. He has consulted for the Malaysian government, various MNC's, and other organisations. He focuses on currencies, commodities, and emerging South East Asian markets.

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