First of all, it should be said that the main use of bitcoin is not as a means of payment, but as a store of value.
Therefore, it is not convenient to focus on those who use bitcoin as a transactional currency, but on those who instead buy it as an investment, or as a protection against inflation risks.
From this point of view we must distinguish three distinct types of users:
- private citizens,
- financial institutions.
As far as companies are concerned, we have news of some that have purchased BTC in quantity during 2020 precisely as a store of value to protect against inflationary risks.
The most well-known company that has decided to experiment with this solution is definitely MicroStrategy, which has even adopted bitcoin as its primary reserve.
Another company that has publicly declared to have invested in bitcoin is Square, which however has only allocated a minority part of its reserves to BTC.
For now, not many companies have decided to take this route, but all those with large US dollar reserves are concerned about the risks of devaluation of their reserves due to inflation, particularly in the coming months or years.
Therefore, these include the first type of BTC investor.
As far as financial institutions are concerned, they are often not actually investors, but companies that have decided to offer services related to bitcoin, such as PayPal or Fidelity.
However, if on one hand there are now several financial institutions that offer services related to bitcoin, on the other hand there are still very few who have decided to buy BTCs to hold them in their portfolio.
Perhaps the most famous case is that of MassMutual, which bought bitcoin as a long-term investment.
Again, these are probably companies that have large reserves of US dollars, and are looking for ways to reduce the loss of value that could be caused by a future surge in inflation.
Who uses Bitcoin, the identikit: man under 45
As far as private investors are concerned, a distinction must be made between financial professionals, or large institutional investors, and small retail investors.
Information on the former is scarce, but it is conceivable that investments in BTC are now quite widespread everywhere. Perhaps only the most traditionalists have not yet taken into consideration the hypothesis of investing in bitcoin, but data regarding, for example, the trading volumes on traditional markets, such as the CME, suggest that interest could be widespread across the board.
Instead, as far as retail investors are concerned, information can be extracted by analyzing, for example, data regarding online searches.
From these, it clearly emerges that the most widespread interest among retail bitcoiners is in financial services and investments.
This not only confirms the hypothesis that bitcoin is primarily used as an investment, or speculative asset, but given the gulf that separates this interest from others, it is possible to say that the typical retail bitcoiner is fundamentally a person interested in the world of finance.
Also analyzing the related interests, the one that emerges as the greatest affinity is the one with the investment world, but in this case there is not a gulf separating this affinity from the others.
However, from the other affinities emerges a picture too wide to be able to identify other characteristics of the typical bitcoiner, but one in particular turns out to be recurrent: the interest in technology.
So the retail bitcoiner is often someone who is interested in finance, and maybe even technology.
In 85% also seems to be male, but although the female gender is represented only about 15%, this percentage is growing lately.
Also in the case of age, the response is quite clear: 41% are millennials, between 25 and 34 years old, while 20% belong to the age range just above, that is from 35 to 44 years old.
In other words, more than 60% of retail bitcoiners are between 25 and 44 years old. These percentages literally collapse for the higher age groups, while there are still 16% of bitcoiners between 18 and 24 years old.
So the average bitcoiner is a male under 45 who is passionate about technology and interested in finance.
The picture turns out to be pretty clear, although a certain transversality in interests and affinities also emerges from this data. That is, if on gender and age the response is clear, on interests and affinities it is much more nuanced.