With all cryptocurrency markets seeing substantial growth this year, global interest in this new form of money has increased. A new report by LendEDU shows the extent to which people are actually investing in cryptocurrencies and ICOs. Although only 1,000 Americans were surveyed, the results paint a very interesting picture. It seems a lot of altcoins still have their work cut out for them in terms of education and awareness.

LendEDU Survey Shows Bitcoin is King

Most cryptocurrency traders who have been in the game for more than a few months are all too aware of how altcoins struggle for mainstream traction. Hyping a particular cryptocurrency on social media doesn’t mean it will gain any general awareness whatsoever. Moreover, all of those flavor-of-the-month tokens and assets aren’t going to stick with the general public either. In this regard, it is good to see LendEDU focus on currencies people may actually be familiar with outside of Bitcoin.

First of all, the survey touched upon Ethereum. While the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization seems to be on a lot of people’s minds, this survey shows things aren’t all that rosy. More specifically, over 68% of respondents had no idea what Ethereum was, nor did they recognize “Eth” or the ETH ticker symbol. That in itself is quite troublesome, especially for a currency with a market cap of over US$27 billion right now.

Surprisingly, a lot of people also have no intention of investing in Ethereum. While 18.2% of respondents said they planned to do exactly that, 37.8% were unsure until they knew more about it. The average person on the street may not necessarily see the benefits of a developer-oriented platform such as Ethereum. Moreover, a lot of projects built on top of this ecosystem have their own token or currency, which makes ETH less interesting to invest in right now. A whopping 44% of respondents claimed they would not invest in Ether whatsoever.

The same statistics apply to Ripple and its XRP digital asset. Almost half of all respondents said they wouldn’t invest in the latter, and over one in three people weren’t sure as to what they would do. Both ETH and XRP, which are currently among the top 3 by market cap, fail to capture the attention of average people. That’s not surprising, considering neither Ethereum nor Ripple is performing remotely like Bitcoin. There is no real sense in comparing these three either.  

Last but not least, the LendEDU survey touched upon the concept of initial coin offerings. ICOs are a very troubled industry right now due to a lack of regulation and the fact they’re effectively banned in various countries. 75.1% of respondents indicated they had no idea what an ICO is, nor did they seem to care all that much. There was also a lot of uncertainty when it came to investing in an ICO as a resident of the US. 61.1% of Americans were unsure whether or not this would be legal to begin with. Indeed, there is no official answer to this question right now.

All of this goes to show that cryptocurrency is still not all that appealing to the everyday person right now. That situation will not be changing anytime soon, by the look of things. Bitcoin is still struggling for mainstream traction these days, to say nothing of the challenges faced by alternative cryptocurrencies. 


  1. It’s hard to have an intelligent conversation about Ethereum with even most sophisticated software developers right now, much less the broad public. And Ripple is designed for financial professionals who can even begin to understand what it’s seeking to achieve in terms of international payments. It will be a long time before the public should be expected to understand the case for anything other than Bitcoin, which is hard enough to understand for newbies, but in the end is used overwhelmingly at present just to hold as a (hopefully) appreciating investment asset or to trade on price volatility. ETH is talked about in the media only as crypotocurrency competing with BTC. The day will come, however, when people will definitely understand what kind of power and utility Ethereum brings to tokens/crypotocurrencies by subjecting them to custom programming logic, giving them a transactional value far beyond buy/hold/trade. This day will not be tomorrow because the mental adjustment in gigantic — and it took almost a decade for Bitcoin itself to sink in beyond a tiny group of enthusiasts.

  2. The spin on this article is bizarre. Does the author work for Fox News? Conflating “don’t care” with “don’t know about”, “don’t understand”, and “won’t invest in” is a HUGE stretch of the vocabulary. To say “That’s not surprising, considering neither Ethereum nor Ripple is performing remotely like Bitcoin” is just plain ignorant. You’re comparing apples and oranges. They were each designed for different purposes. Bitcoin was designed to store value … that’s what it does. The others don’t because that’s not what they are for. Stated simply, where BTC is a unit of value within its own payment system, Ripple is a payment system that can move any unit of value (USD, EUR, BTC, etc). Ethereum is a platform for smart contracts. This article completely misrepresents the study’s original findings.

    • I’d say the author works for CNN or MSLSD.
      Political differences aside, I quite agree with your other observations.

      One fascinating thing about the cryptocurrency market is that it’s utilizing currency formation as a means of attracting investors into emerging technologies and potentially paradigm shifting ventures.

      Plus I love the fact that it’s all free from governmental policy and control. True free market Capitalism at work. 👍

  3. This is good news actually. It means that even with XRP’s already impressive, 8 billion dollar marketcap and Ethereums 30 billion dollar MC, a very small ratio of digital currency investors are yet to expand their knowledge and diversify their portfolios. I imagine that most of the smarter ones will eventually figure it out. We are still in early days of this new market, so educating investors and making sure that they have diversified portfolios will follow with time .

  4. That is fantastic news. It basically means NO ONE IS PAYING ATTENTION. Those people are idiots, they care about which celebrity is going to rehab or “the top 5 tactics to lose fat without diet”. Now it’s the time to invest, specially in XRP, the reason? One thing is to take investment advice from some fatty living in mom’s basement. another very different is to work in an investment bank and know for a fact that right now the biggest players in the financial industry are investing millions in infrastructure to accommodate XRP payments. By the time the news hit the media in 2018 it will be too late and XRP will be easily at 2- 5$. probably more.

  5. the very thing that ripple is trying to accomplish is amazing, abolish the delay that exists in transferring your money from one account to another or one currency to another, i hate waiting 1-3 days for my transactions to finalize so i can access my money. this is the kind of thing that should be prevalent everywhere

  6. Sounds like the author has a bitcoin bias. He opines that Ethereum isn’t performing like bitcoin, yet while btc is up 570% ytd, Ethereum is up 2,800%!

    He failed to mention that fact, as well as the hard fork factor driving much of btc’s value.

    Plus Ethereum’s Smart Contract platform may prove to be superior.

    Not to mention that as the public becomes more familiar with bitcoin, they’ll be introduced to the larger market of cryptocurrencies.

    I like both btc and eth.

    btc’s offshoot, litecoin (ltc) I believe is way under valued and could be in for a big year. Trading around $60, high potential to go to $1000 in my opinion.


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