Practical analysis for investment professionals
13 February 2014

Poll: Will Bitcoin Be a Viable Alternative Currency in Five Years?

Posted In: Economics

In a poll conducted earlier this week in the CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief, we asked readers about bitcoin’s longevity.

Will bitcoin be a viable alternative currency in five years?
Poll: Will bitcoin be a viable alternative currency in five years?

Having risen to more than $1,100 per bitcoin in trading just a few months ago, bitcoin has subsequently experienced a good deal of turmoil and volatility. As noted in the blog post “Bitcoin: New Gold or Fool’s Gold?” bitcoin’s competition with government-sponsored currency will gain the interest or possibly the wrath of governments worldwide. China and Russia, among others, have already come down harshly on the cryptocurrency, with China prohibiting banks and payment companies from using bitcoin and Russia banning it altogether. In addition, hackers have been attacking the platform. A number of denial-of-service attacks have taken down the bitcoin exchanges Mt. Gox and Bitstamp, creating fear and uncertainty about its durability. As of this writing, the cryptocurrency is trading at about $665 per bitcoin; yet just last week, it experienced a “flash crash” down to $100 before regaining that lost ground.

Interestingly, bitcoin is not just a currency; it is also an inexpensive payment platform. Whereas credit card companies charge merchants fees ranging from 1% to 5% of purchase price, bitcoin is virtually free. Also, bitcoin competes with money wiring at banks and such money transfer services as Western Union, which charge similar fees. Given both its current popularity and substantial challenges, we asked 1,183 investors whether they thought bitcoin would be a viable alternative currency in five years’ time. They responded with a resounding no, with 77% saying bitcoin would not be viable and only about 12% saying it would.

Do you want to participate in future polls? Sign up for the CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief.

Please note that the content of this site should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute

About the Author(s)
Ron Rimkus, CFA

Ron Rimkus, CFA, was Director of Economics & Alternative Assets at CFA Institute, where he wrote about economics, monetary policy, currencies, global macro, behavioral finance, fixed income and alternative investments, such as gold and bitcoin (among other things). Previously, he served as SVP and Director of Large-cap Equity Products for BB&T Asset Management, where he led a team of research analysts, 300 regional portfolio managers, client service specialists, and marketing staff. He also served as a Senior Vice President and Lead Portfolio Manager of large-cap equity products at Mesirow Financial. Rimkus earned a BA degree in economics from Brown University and his MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA. Topical Expertise: Alternative Investments · Economics

10 thoughts on “Poll: Will Bitcoin Be a Viable Alternative Currency in Five Years?”

  1. These polls are amusing. If the same audience was quizzed about bitcoin, my guess is that 90% would fail a basic knowledge test.

    1. Bitcoiner says:

      Agree with Heller above – this poll does not account for people’s familiarity with the asset class… It’s sad that the CFA seems to choose quantity over quality when it comes to these polls.

  2. Yes Bitcoin is challenging and complex. Perfectly positioned for a population to be sceptical. Just like the internet in 1992.

    However, if you’re interested in a more reliable prediction, select an audience who understands at least the basics of the topic.

  3. Satoshi Nakamoto says:

    This poll is essentially meaningless, as the people who responded to it no little or nothing about bitcoin. What this poll illustrates, is that bitcoin is becoming more mainstream. @meagainstyouiwin

    1. Mehmet says:

      I can’t understand why some are claiming that respondents in the survey know little or nothing about bitcoin. If you disagree with the results, disagree. But don’t say that survey is meaningless and respondents are ignorant.

  4. manort4407 says:

    Given the quality of factual reporting in the mainstream media about Bitcoin, it’s no surprise that a poll would turn out this way. I’ve written an article reviewing a piece by Joseph Cafariello showing journalisti slant. You can read it on

  5. powiux7 says:

    The idea of bitcoin behind the story is very good. Problem is a code of digital currency was weak by security means. The way bitcoin worked and lived in past ,that way it work should be changed to mixed source code (open source and closed source fused together) and reinvented way it flows . However It need a big hope of acceptance from public . After 20 year of development maybe it will come a day then digital currency have high security and value .

  6. bigcoin says:

    Only future will show as where is the truth.

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