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Crypto and politics - how younger generations are shaping the landscape

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(Kitco News) - Cryptocurrencies continue to be viewed as highly suspect by many in the more established financial realms, but the younger generations have adopted a much more exploratory stance to the nascent asset class, and it's starting to reshape the political landscape. 

According to a recent poll conducted by the Crypto Council for Innovation (CCI), a candidate's stance on crypto is starting to play a factor in how they are received by their constituents, and it could impact election outcomes – beginning with the upcoming midterm elections in the United States.

"Many elections are likely to be decided by narrow margins and new numbers indicate the crypto community has a chance to make its voice heard in statehouses and the halls of Congress," the CCI said. "1 in 7 hold crypto and say they are ready to vote for pro-crypto candidates."

And the results weren't confined to just red states or blue states, as voters from across the political spectrum believe that cryptos have more to offer society. 

"Nearly 1 in 2 people on both sides of the aisle say crypto is a long-term part of the economy," the report said. "An outright majority echoes what the industry has been calling for: rules of the road that protect consumers while encouraging innovation."

The CCI added that nearly 3 in 4 people that currently own crypto see it as the future of finance. More than 50% of African American and Hispanic respondents "have a more favorable view of crypto and credit unions than banks." 

A total of 1,208 people participated in the poll by the CCI from Oct. 8-10 about their views on crypto and the upcoming elections. Independents (17%), Hispanic Americans (18%), African Americans (18%) and young voters (20%) owned crypto at higher-than-average rates. 

The percentage of respondents who own cryptocurrency (13%) was comparable to other asset classes, including stocks (16%) and mutual funds (12%), and they are significantly more popular than bonds (5%). Cryptos are the leading investment for voters under the age of 45.

Further evidence of the shifting intergenerational tendencies was found in the responses to the question of where respondents preferred to get their financial information from – with 36% of respondents showing a preference for social media versus 31% for traditional news outlets. 

Cryptos continue to see an increase in the number of individuals who want them properly regulated, with 45% of respondents indicating that they "want legislators to treat crypto as a serious and valid part of the economy," and 52% suggesting that crypto needs more regulation.

The UK and Australia move forward in their efforts to regulate cryptocurrencies

Changes in saving for retirement

A separate study conducted by Charles Schwab found that young investors in the US are increasingly choosing crypto over traditional 401(k)s to save for retirement. The survey found that 37% of Gen Z workers and 54% of millennials got their first investing experience through a 401(k) as compared to 61% for both Gen X and baby boomers.

Younger investors were more likely to also invest in crypto, real estate, annuities and small businesses than their older counterparts, with 11% of Gen Z workers indicating that their first investment was into crypto. This group also represents a growing percentage (22%) of people who got involved with investing through a mobile application. 

Thirty-two percent of respondents said they wished they could invest in crypto via their 401(k), including 46% of Gen Z and 45% of millennials.

As the popularity of cryptocurrencies continues to rise, especially among the younger generations, politicians would be wise to take note of the shifting landscape and establish inroads to a voting base that has the potential to be a force for change in the decades ahead.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.