How many South Africans still think Bitcoin is a bad idea – and those that wish they had invested

Old Mutual has released its 2018 Savings & Investment Monitor, focusing on the finance habits of every day South Africans.

The report is based on more than 1,000 face to face interviews, from 26 April – 26 May 2018, which were weighted to be representative of the South African working metro population.

One of the key focuses of the report was the South African’s awareness cryptocurrencies (such as Bitcoin), and how much they knew about them.

Old Mutual found that the majority of respondents (60%) were not aware of cryptocurrencies at all, while 19% had only heard of them in passing.

By comparison, just 4% of respondents said that they knew ‘a lot’ about cryptocurrencies and investing in them.

Despite a recent downtrend in the value of Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies, a large number of respondents (71%) believed that it was possible to make a large amount of money by investing in them.

However, 52% said that they were unsure exactly how cryptocurrencies work, and 43% believed they were ‘bad news’ and akin to a pyramid scheme – meanwhile 38% said that they wished that invested.

Bitcoin headed for its biggest drop in more than two weeks on Wednesday (11 July), as a rebound saw the digital asset bounce almost 18% from the year’s lows ran out of steam.

The largest cryptocurrency dropped as much as 6% on Wednesday, putting it on course for its worst day since 22 June, according to composite prices compiled by Bloomberg. The move was reflected in its peers, with Ripple, Ethereum and Litecoin all falling more than 4%.

Rallies in digital tokens have been rare this year, with momentum lacking as apathy with last year’s hottest asset class grew. The currencies have struggled to retain speculator interest as a mania that saw Bitcoin rise 1,400% in 12 months appeared to have run its course.

Read: Worldwide searches for the term ‘Bitcoin’ nears lowest level in a year

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How many South Africans still think Bitcoin is a bad idea – and those that wish they had invested