(Kitco News) – As the midterm elections in the United States draw closer, cryptocurrencies have taken a more prominent role in influencing voters’ decisions, according to the results of a survey commissioned by the digital currency asset manager Grayscale Investments.
With the election less than a week away, more than a third (37%) of Americans surveyed indicated that a candidate’s policy positions on cryptocurrencies are an influencing factor in who they choose to vote for.
The Harris Poll conducted the survey online from October 6-11, with 2,029 adults aged 18 and over participating. The poll was designed to examine “how Americans view the state of the economy and cryptocurrency against the backdrop of the 2022 United States election.”
More than half of the respondents (53%) agreed with the statement “cryptocurrencies are the future of finance,” including 59% of Democrats and 52% of Republicans, and 44% indicated that they expect crypto to be part of their investment portfolio in the future.
Close to half of those surveyed (49%) were familiar with cryptocurrencies, with the younger generations showing a higher level of understanding as 70% of those aged 18-34 and 62% of those aged 35-44 indicated familiarity with the asset class.
Minorities were also shown to have a higher level of knowledge about crypto, with 60% of Black and 62% of Hispanic American indicating a prior understanding as compared to 43% of White Americans.
Economic challenges were highlighted as a driving force behind Americans’ growing interest in digital assets, with 25% of respondents saying that inflation and the current economic climate have made them more interested in cryptocurrency. Roughly one-third of Black (34%) and Hispanic (32%) voters, as well as those under 45 years old (37%) said those factors played a major role in their interest.
Out of those who identified as already holding crypto, 25% of them did so following a recommendation from a financial advisor. That was the least popular method to get involved in the asset class as 41% invested after they read, saw, or heard something that “piqued their curiosity,” while 37% said they bought their first crypto after a recommendation from a friend or family member.
In a world where political divisions have increased to the highest levels in decades, cryptocurrencies are the one area where bipartisan agreement is prevalent.
Among registered voters, 39% see the U.S. as being behind other countries in creating a regulatory framework that makes it easy or safe for people to buy or trade cryptocurrencies. 81% of those surveyed agreed that there should be clearer cryptocurrency industry regulation, including 88% of Democrats and 77% of Republicans.
The agreement between political parties was most noticeable when it comes to allowing customers – not the government – to decide how to invest in cryptocurrencies by providing necessary information about various products, “while creating a regulatory framework that ensures anyone can access cryptocurrency.” On that matter, both Republicans (81%) and Democrats (82%) feel it is important to take a consumer-first approach to regulation.
“As we approach the midterm election, U.S. voters are considering the intersection of cryptocurrency, traditional finance, and the state of the economy. This survey reinforces that crypto continues to generate diverse, mainstream investor interest and engagement,” said Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein.
“As Americans consider their financial future, policymakers and regulators have an opportunity to protect investors through greater regulatory clarity and guidance, while allowing market participants, like financial advisors, to enable access to well-informed crypto offerings.”
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