Who buys Bitcoin? The cultural determinants of Bitcoin activity

Sean Foley, B.P.M. Frijns*, Alexandre Garel, Tai-Yong Roh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We examine the relationship between national culture and a country's Bitcoin activity. Given that Bitcoin is a high-risk currency/investment that is frequently used for illegal purposes and whose market is relatively opaque, we focus on the cultural dimension of individualism, which has been related to financial market participation, risk-taking behavior, and overconfidence. Using unique data that includes the originating country for Bitcoin transactions, we examine the relationship between individualism and a country's Bitcoin activity for a sample of 80 countries between 2009 and 2020. We find a significant and positive relationship between a country's individualism and its use of Bitcoin consistent with cultural values affecting the demand for such high-risk currency/investments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102385
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Review of Financial Analysis
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022


  • Bitcoin
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Individualism
  • National culture


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