Most people have a hard time with something new replacing what they are used to. For example, I was initially quite annoyed when WordPress removed my usual survey tool without warning, forcing me to open a paid account with Crowdsignal instead. But after getting used to it, I’m happy to now enjoy a lot more options for polls.
One feature I didn’t have before is the filter: I can see how survey respondents who gave a certain answer to one question answered all other questions. This makes it possible to find correlations: Does the likelihood of answering question Y one way or another increase if you answered question X one way or another? For social science statistics, such correlations are an extremely valuable tool.
But enough of the preface: Let’s move on to the second analysis of the survey. In the first one, we analyzed the overall results. Now we will look at what distinguishes the different “Bitcoin generations” and what distinguishes Bitcoin maximalists from frequent Bitcoiners.
- I don’t think there are any studies on these topics yet. Although I am not a scientist, this analysis will be closer to a study than anything that already exists.
- By asking “When did you get into ‘crypto’?”, I am establishing which “Bitcoin generation” you belong to. The underlying theory of mine is that people find their way to Bitcoin and crypto in waves, and that each wave attracts mildly different types or milieus.
- Thanks to the filters, I now have the opportunity to test this thesis. And as will be seen, it proves partially true. At least we find some evidence of it.
So I evaluate some responses from Bitcoiners of the 2011, 2013, 2017 and 2020 generations. These seem to me to be the most prominent entry points, as there was a bull market in each of these years that made many new Bitcoiners. For comparison, I will match individual questions with the 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019 generations. Is there possibly a difference between bitcoiners who got in during the bull market and those who got in during the bear market? And what about shorting bitcoin, is it worth it? 
What draws people to bitcoin? I find this question to be one of the most important of the survey. Is there something different about cryptocurrency that attracts different generations?
The answer is apparently yes. For example, Bitcoiners of the 2011 generation find the new technology most interesting. This is followed, by a good margin, by monetary autonomy and payment without a middleman. Financial privacy as well as hard money is rather less important to them.
The 2011 generation
This already changes with the 2013 generation, for whom monetary autonomy moves into first place, followed by payment without a middleman. New technology continues to be relevant, hard money moves up, and financial privacy remains secondary.
We also find monetary autonomy at the top of the list for the 2017 generation. In contrast, the desire for hard money displaces that for monetary autonomy, while financial privacy continues to move up and new technology slips to the bottom spot.
The trend continues with Generation 2020, with hard money relegating monetary autonomy to second place, financial privacy moving up to third place, paying without a middleman falling to second to last, and enjoying new technology remaining in the lowest rank. Thus, hard money and new technology have smoothly swapped positions over the course of nine years.
In short, where it was initially about the joy of a new technology, it is now about hard money; monetary autonomy is a perennial favorite that unites all Bitcoin generations, while payment without a middleman and financial privacy remain in the middle of the pack with no clear trend.
But do the bear years confirm this trend? I would say yes, at least partially. The following gallery shows, from left to right and top to bottom, the responses of the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019 generations. Monetary autonomy ranked highest for the 2014, 2015, and 2016 generations, and second for the 2018 and 2019 generations. So this observation holds. Enjoyment of new technology also slips from second place in 2014/15 to third in 2016 to fifth in 2018 and finally to sixth in 2019. This trend of declining interest in technology is impressively confirmed.
The picture is less clear when it comes to the importance of hard money. True, this starts low at fifth place in 2014/15 and then jumps to second in 2016. But by 2018, it slips to third, only to return to where it was in 2014 – fifth place – in 2019. So the trend is rather contradicted by the bitcoiners of the bear generations.
What’s interesting is that the 2018 and 2019 generations tended to put more exotic answers in first place for other generations. Could this fit with the fact that people who invest in bear markets are generally thinking against the grain? I then went on to see if there were any differences in the answers to what matters most to you. There are, indeed, but I’m not quite sure how much they tell us.
For example, it is noticeable that the 2011 generation is the only one for whom freedom is most important. For everyone else, it’s health. Family, love and nature, on the other hand, rank consistently, whereas faith and money seem to lose importance over the generations. But overall, I’m unclear what this really says. Perhaps that the post-2011 generations have lost their idealism – but that it will return in 2020?
Finally, comparing this with the question of what makes you happy shows me that I was probably barking up the wrong tree: there are virtually no differences. Except for small details, the ranking of the things that make you happy is exactly the same. But take a look for yourself in this gallery, which shows the answers to the happy question, at the 2011, 2013, 2017 and 2020 generations, from left to right and from top to bottom: The whole thing is quite strange: why is there such a big difference in the question about what is important to you – but not in the question about what makes you happy? Since I don’t feel I can get much more out of this than the obvious, I looked at my results through a different filter.
Maximalists vs. frequentcoiners
Maximalists are people who focus on one thing. In crypto circles, these are primarily bitcoin maximalists. They reject all other coins, considering them a waste of time at best, and a scam at worst. In our survey, we recognize them by the fact that they only own a single cryptocurrency. Opposite the maximalists are the frequent coiners – people who own more than ten cryptocurrencies.
The thesis I am pursuing here is that there are several differences between maximalists and frequent coiners, both in terms of ideals and milieus, as well as attitudes towards and use of cryptocurrencies. We will see if this thesis is confirmed in a moment.
From when in crypto?
There is a tendency for frequent coiners to have been in crypto for much longer, while maximalists are often newbies who only joined in 2021. However, this could also mainly indicate that many who start with “crypto” buy bitcoin first and then look further, and the maximalism I attest to them is more pragmatic than conviction.
What happens if we adjust the charts for the “2021 generation”? Then the ratio changes, but the tendency remains the same. So we can’t avoid the fact that those who have been in crypto longer tend to be frequentcoiners, and the newbies tend to be maximalists.
This fits well with the perception that the earlier Bitcoin generations are attracted to experimental technology, while the younger generations are more likely to want hard money.
At what price would you sell bitcoin?
From a gut feeling, one would assume that maximalists have the tougher hands and hold on to their Bitcoins more strongly, while frequent coiners sell earlier. However, this is not the case.
The results tend to be similar for both groups: More than half of both maximalists and frequent coiners would never sell; both groups find BTC prices  between 40,000 and 75,000 unattractive, and the desire to switch only increases above 100,000.
However, it is noticeable that among the maximalists there are some who would sell at 31,000 euros, which could be understood to mean that these are those who only joined in 2021 and are happy to get out again without a loss or with small profits. Perhaps they are overinvested or have noticed that the volatility for Bitcoin is too much for their nerves.
However, it is noticeable that among the maximalists there are some who would already sell at 31,000 euros, which could be understood to mean that these are those who only entered in 2021 and are happy to get out again without a loss or with small profits. Perhaps they are overinvested or have noticed that the volatility for Bitcoin is too much for their nerves.
Under btc prices  below 100,000, we find maximalists are slightly more willing to sell than frequent coiners, while above 200,000, frequent coiners become more eager to sell.
This approaches the surprising impression that frequent coiners are the better and more loyal hodlers. In any case, stocking up on altcoins and believing in Bitcoin with all conviction does not seem to be contradictory at all.
Have you made money with crypto?
It is often said from the corner of toxic maximalists that they only punt so much to prevent newbies from blowing dough in shitcoins. Our survey allows us to test this thesis: Did maximalists make money from crypto more often than frequent coiners?
As it turns out, the exact opposite is true. Maximalists perform much worse than frequent coiners. While maximalists only made 53.5 percent profit, frequent coiners made a whopping 86.3 percent. This means that the frequent coiners are 4.2 percent above average, while the maximalists are very clearly below. No group in our survey earns as poorly from cryptocurrencies as the maximalists.
Again, we can speculate that some of the maximalists are just newcomers who only joined in 2021 and therefore bear the greatest risk of having made losses. But even if we fully allocate the 13 representatives of the “2021 generation” among the maximalists to those who have not made any profits and then remove them from the equation, the maximalists underperform: only 76.7 percent among them have made a profit. Why this is so is a mystery to me. But it seems like owning lots of coins is a better strategy.