Abstract: Many crypto currencies have come into existence in recent years, with Bitcoin the most prominent among them. Although its short history has been volatile, the virtual currency maintains a core group of committed users. This paper presents an exploratory analysis of Bitcoin users. As a virtual currency and peer-to-peer payment system, Bitcoin may signal future challenges to state oversight and financial powers through its decentralized structure and offer of instantaneous transactions with relative anonymity. Very little is known about the users of Bitcoin, however. Utilizing publicly available survey data of Bitcoin users, this analysis explores the structure of the Bitcoin community in terms of wealth accumulation, optimism about the future of Bitcoin, and themes that attract users to the cryptocurrency. Results indicate that age, time of initial use, geographic location, mining status, engaging online discourse, and political orientation are all relevant factors that help explain various aspects of Bitcoin wealth, optimism, and attraction.
Keywords: Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, Anonymity, Virtual Currency, Digital Money.