ICES Experimental Economics Brown Bag Lecture

Cryptocurrencies: Experiments on Individual Attitudes and Perceptions

Thursday, October 12, 2023 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EDT
Vernon Smith Hall (formerly Metropolitan Building), Room 5075

The Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science (ICES) presents an ICES Brown Bag Lecture featuring:

Sarah Sylvester

George Mason University

Cryptocurrencies: Experiments on Individual Attitudes and Perceptions





Cryptocurrencies are a part of new technologies that allow people to hold, trade, buy and sell digital tokens. While the number of cryptocurrency owners is increasing, there is some reluctance towards ownership. It is generally understood that a barrier to adopting new technology is having some knowledge of it and how it works, which could account for some of the reluctance toward cryptocurrency adoption. To understand the types of knowledge required to encourage cryptocurrency use, we provide subjects with varying knowledge-based messages about cryptocurrencies and evaluate their willingness to own cryptocurrencies after reading the message. Our online survey experiment consists of 1400 Americans and contains a mix of cryptocurrency owners and non-owners. With this survey, we identify characteristics of owners and nonowers of cryptocurrencies and measure the willingness to own cryptocurrencies after short, informational messages. We find that cryptocurrency owners are typically young males with a high tolerance for risk. In addition, our results indicate that brief messages concerning the ease of use of cryptocurrencies and the security features of cryptocurrencies are effective at increasing nonowners’ willingness to own cryptocurrencies in the short run. Our research is an introductory step in understanding the knowledge of and openness toward cryptocurrencies.


For more information about the Brown Bag Lectures, please visit the Brown Bag Schedule homepage.

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