A new survey confirms around 30% of the U.S. public thinks that the dollar is backed by gold. In 1971 the ability to convert US dollars to gold ended. The Bretton Woods system which created an international money exchange with the dollar as a substitute for gold ran from the mid-1940’s and was officially terminated in 1971. Today the US dollar is backed by the US government.
Genesis Mining, a bitcoin hash rate provider conducted the recent survey. It is pretty astounding that nearly 50 years after the Bretton Woods agreement ended, nearly a third of Americans still believe their dollar is somehow tied to gold.
«4.1% of Americans believe the U.S. dollar is backed by oil.»
Asking the Public About the Dollar
The objective of the study was to determine how well the average American consumer understood the Federal Reserve, banking, and fiat money. In the information age, it appears the public knows little about the currency they use every day. Below is a summary of the results:
- 29.3% of the public believes the dollar is backed by gold
- 30.1% think the government backs it
- 4.1% think oil backs the dollar
- 23.6% responded they had no idea
But it doesn’t stop there…
54% of respondents believe that the Federal Reserve Banks are owned solely by the U.S. government. In reality, the Federal Reserve exists because of an act of Congress in 1913. The Federal Reserve System is not “owned” by anyone.
Why This Matters for Crypto
The insights from this poll can help to establish perspective. Many people consider Bitcoin to be risky and volatile (it is). But keep in mind that nearly 1 out of every 3 people in America also think their dollar is backed by gold. Consider opening a conversation around currency.
What supports that fiat money in your wallet? Why are people in countries including Venezuela, Lebanon, Libya and Haiti ousting their political leaders?
In the U.S. Facebook’s Libra sparked Congressional hearings. Why is there so much fear around an alternative digital currency?
And here’s another thing…
Did you hear that consultancy firm McKinsey & Co. said half of the world’s banks are too weak to survive an economic downturn? What steps is your bank taking to address this? How would you fare in a global recession like we had in 2008?
These could all be door openers for talking about alternative investments and cryptocurrencies.
The bottom line is that a significant percentage of the public is out of touch with how the financial industry actually works. They have their heads in the sand. Too many people are plowing away based on financial ideas that were handed to them by their grandparents.
Now is the time to help by sharing knowledge about the changing role of money. We can use our commitment and creativity for a great cause. Digital currencies are changing our world and our lives.