Cryptocurrency investors are more likely to hold non-mainstream political views and exhibit certain psychological traits, according to a recent study.

Researchers surveyed 2,001 Americans in 2022 to understand the demographic, political, psychological, and social characteristics of cryptocurrency investors.

Approximately 30 per cent of participants owned or had previously owned cryptocurrency. The researchers found that crypto investors were more likely to self-report ‘Dark Tetrad’ personality traits, which include narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism. 

Additionally, these individuals were more likely to believe in conspiracy theories, support political extremism, and identify with non-mainstream political ideologies such as Christian nationalism.

The study highlighted a significant correlation between cryptocurrency investment and reliance on fringe social media for news. 

This association was one of the strongest predictors of cryptocurrency ownership, according to the researchers' multivariate regression analysis. 

Other notable characteristics of crypto investors included being male, having a high income, being argumentative, and reporting feelings of victimhood.

The team used bivariate and multivariate analyses to identify associations between crypto ownership and various factors. 

While the findings offer insights into the psychological and social traits of crypto investors, the researchers acknowledge limitations in their study. The reliance on self-reported data and the non-causal nature of the correlations mean the results should be interpreted with caution. 

“There is still much work to be done in this area, but we hope our study helps lay the groundwork for future research aimed at understanding the psychological, political, and behavioural factors associated with this growing financial movement,” the researchers say. 

Cryptocurrency's appeal lies in its anonymous trading and unregulated markets, which attract a diverse range of investors. While some view digital currency as financially unreliable, it has nonetheless gained substantial global interest. 

The study's findings may contribute to understanding the motivations and characteristics of individuals participating in this financial movement.

Given the study's limitations, the researchers stress the importance of exploring the impact of alternative social media and rhetoric on the decision to invest in digital currencies.

The full study is accessible here.