“THE NOOBENING” – Did the cryptocurrency community really change in the recent bull-run?
If you don’t want to read this wall of text and just want to see the results, the Infographic/Graph Comparison Is Here
Back in January, I heard much of the community complaining about the influx of noobs and how the cryptocurrency community has changed for the worse. I wanted to answer this question. Has the community changed? And how has it changed? Fortunately, I could answer this question quite easily. Simply repeat the Reddit cryptocurrency survey I did in October 2017 and when sharing the results, put an emphasis on comparing what has changed rather than the subreddit vs subreddit comparison I did last time.
While the main purpose of these surveys is to track changes in the reddit cryptocurrency community over the next few years, I have a specific question I wanted to answer with this most recent survey:
Has the community changed over the last few months and is the community perception that the community has changed for the worse correct?
The responses in the survey to the question “How do you think the reddit cryptocurrency community has changed in the last 3 months?” clearly showed that there was a general perception that the community has more noobs, more shilling and less rationality.
All of responses to this question can be seen here: https://pastebin.com/xLhfthkS (Not all the responses were serious ones)
I will break down the results summary into 3 parts before coming to the conclusion: 1. What’s Changed 2. Possible Changes* 3. Interesting Statistics
*Please note that the “possible changes” may be a result of sampling error rather than actual changes in the community and so these perceived changes should be taken with a grain of salt.
What’s Changed: The proportion of cryptocurrency subreddit users who are aged 25 or under has increased from 33.2% to 43.7%.
The proportion of cryptocurrency subreddit users who found out about crypto from a friend is up from 20% to almost 29% between October 2017 to January 2018.
Less cryptocurrency subreddit users are into crypto for ideological reasons in 2018 than in 2017. The number of people in crypto for ideology dropping from 82% to 75%.
The proportion of cryptocurrency subreddit users who have invested 91-100% of their money into crypto has surprisingly dropped significantly from 18% to just 11% while the number of people who have invested less than 10% of their money has risen from 22% to 29%. It is also interesting to note that the number of people who didn’t want to share this information has dropped from 32 participants to 20, backing up the earlier conclusion that cryptocurrency subreddit users are less interested in crypto ideology such as anonymity.
The proportion of cryptocurrency subreddit users who own alt coins outside the top 10 coins by market cap (at the time of each respective poll) has risen from 61% owning such alt coins to as much as 75%.
The proportion of cryptocurrency subreddit users with alt coins outside the top 10 making up over 20% of their portfolio has risen from just 22% to 44%. It is very evident that alt coins have become much more popular.
Possible Changes: There is a greater proportion of females in the space. Females now make up 7% of cryptocurrency subreddit users, up from 4.5%.
Less people consider themselves traders and more people are HODLers. 75% of cryptocurrency subreddit users consider themselves HODLers, up from 70%.
A smaller proportion of cryptocurrency subreddit users have invested in an ICO before, down from 27% who have invested to 22%.
While there has been a significant shift in the results with significantly more cryptocurrency subreddit users now being from North America and less from Europe and Asia than before, I believe that this is down to error from the method of sampling involving making posts in the daily discussion of relevant subreddits, leading to people from different timezones being more likely to see the post in peak times than others. I did however try to reduce this error by posting at approximately the same time for each survey.
Interesting Statistics Over 90% of cryptocurrency subreddit users are male. (Some users even identify as attack helicopters)
83% of cryptocurrency subreddit users live in either the USA or Europe.
80% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have a university degree (a college degree for any US readers) or are currently studying at university/college to get a degree.
The most common way cryptocurrency subreddit users found out about crypto was by being told by a friend, so spread the word!
25% of cryptocurrency subreddit users consider themselves crypto traders.
24% of cryptocurrency subreddit users are not in crypto for any ideological reasons.
Most cryptocurrency subreddit users consider it likely that they would mention cryptocurrencies to a friend.
Approximately 50% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have some sort of prior experience in the stock market.
Unsurprisingly, November and December 2017 were the biggest months of growth for crypto in 2017.
When told to rate themselves on a scale of 0-10 on whether they are into crypto for the money or for the tech (0 being only money and 10 being only tech), users tend to be in crypto more for the money than the tech. However, this is only a very slight tendency.
Two thirds of cryptocurrency subreddit users have deposited an initial investment (not current value) in crypto valued somewhere between $501 and $20,000.
45% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have invested less than 30% of their savings into crypto. I think this is alarmingly low. However, it is possible that many people have mis-interpreted the question as how much of their current savings is in crypto rather than their initial investment. Still, I’d like to remind you all of the importance of only investing what you can afford to lose.
As of January 21st 2018 (as with all of these stats), over 80% of cryptocurrency subreddit users have made a profit from their crypto investments.
The average cryptocurrency subreddit user rates their knowledge of blockchain tech at a 6 or 7 out of 10 (10 being a comprehensive understanding).
Over 55% of cryptocurrency subreddit users say they have read a whitepaper the whole way through.
Bonus graph: Do you have a favourable opinion of Tether?
As previously mentioned, around new year through til February, some of the community was showing a growing dislike towards perceived changes in the community with many people complaining about the influx of noobs who came for the money and nothing else.
Are these complaints justified?
Yes – Kind of.
This survey has shown that a large portion of the community is new and has joined since November 2017, with about 20% of the community comprising of people who have joined between November 2017 and January 21st 2018. It is also evident that the community values the ideology behind crypto less than it did just 3 months prior with the number of people not in crypto for ideology rising from 17% to 24%.
So, given this trend, we know one of two things: * The community as a whole is less bothered about the tech and ideology during bull runs due to the influx of new people. or * The community as a whole becomes less bothered about the tech and ideology over time due to the technology slowly becoming more mainstream.
It could also be a combination of the two above points. However, I cannot tell until I complete the next survey which will be in April. For the sake of the survey, April will hopefully be another months of slow growth or sideways movement. This way, we can see if the “noobs” who the community seem to suggest came from the bullrun leave the community, or if they stick around/are replaced by other new community members. Depending on the results, we will be able to tell if the community is merely less bothered about blockchain tech and ideology during bullruns or if this is a long term trend where the community slowly become less interested in these things over time.
So why did I respond with “Yes – Kind of”? Because we need to be welcoming if we want to grow as a community, so we shouldn’t be complaining about them. We were all new once and why would any newcomer want to stick around in a toxic community? Even if the community isn’t what you want it to be anymore, it will change over time whether you want it to or not as cryptocurrencies can’t be a new and novel technology with insane price volatility forever.
That’s it! I will be taking this survey again 3 months after I shared the form for this one (January 21st) So keep an eye out in the daily discussion threads in r/Cryptocurrency, r/ETHTrader, r/Bitcoin and r/BitcoinMarkets around the 20th of April if you want to take part in the next survey! My aim is to keep track of the changes in this community over the next few years with this quarterly survey so that we can see how the community changes over time.
A big thank you to everyone who participated! Especially the 75 of you who filled in both of my surveys! ❤ I should be back in about a month looking for responses for the third survey, so keep your eyes on the daily discussions in r/CryptoCurrency, r/ETHTrader, r/Bitcoin and r/BitcoinMarkets!
If you want more, you can see the previous survey where I did a subreddit vs subreddit comparison here.
I’d like to finish with the words of one of the survey participants.
[The community is] Actively trying to kill rival Cryptocurrencies to the point that it is greatly hurting the perception of the market. We need to be united, even with coins we don’t personally like.
Response form (this is the default google forms summary)
The community has changed during the recent bullrun, but it seems as though people are exaggerating the problem and we need to be a welcoming community, not one which points the finger and any newcomers for “ruining the community”.
This post took me over 20 hours of work to make so any donations are greatly appreciated, but don't feel obliged!
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