The sudden jump in Bitcoin's value in the final months of 2017 has sparked global interest in the cryptocurrency as a potential vehicle of investment.
In January this year, more than 1,500 Pakistani readers took a Dawn.com survey gauging views on the popular cryptocurrency, which recently saw an exponential surge to nearly $20,000 on some exchanges before plunging as low as $6,000 this month.
The majority of respondents were between the ages of 25 and 40 (63.4 per cent), while 26.2pc were over 40-years-old. Slightly more than 10pc of survey respondents were under 25 years of age. Over half the respondents ─ 56.1pc to be exact ─ were Pakistanis currently residing in the country. The remainder were Pakistani expats (43.9pc).
When asked whether they believe Bitcoin is a passing fad, a majority of respondents seemed unsure ─ about 24.8pc or 382 respondents neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement.
However, the respondents lying in the middle were followed closely by both those who strongly feel it is a fad and those who don't believe it to be a passing fascination. More than 20pc strongly disagreed with the statement, and a similar number strongly agreed with it.
Half of all respondents do not believe that Bitcoin is a scam, as compared to 28.5% who do.
The cryptocurrency, which is quite sensitive to wild short-term fluctuations, is not viewed as a safe long-term investment by over half of all respondents.
A little above 22pc were on the fence about whether Bitcoin could be a safe long-term investment.
When asked whether the cryptocurrency could revolutionise the banking system, respondents were equally divided across the board – 345 strongly believed that it could have a hand in changing how people transact, while 375 strongly disagreed with the idea.
A big sell of Bitcoin has been its decentralised nature, allowing the exchange of money outside of government control. However, nearly half of all respondents were of the view that Bitcoin must be regulated.
Around 36pc of respondents disagreed.
A majority of our respondents (29.2pc) said they had purchased cryptocurrencies, while 25.9pc said they had not, but would like to. Close to 20pc of respondents said they had not invested in cryptocurrencies and were unsure about doing so.
A quarter of respondents said they had not invested in cryptocurrencies and did not plan to.
Of those who said they had invested in cryptocurrencies, nearly 72pc had invested in Bitcoin.
Ethereum was the second-most popular investment option for respondents, with 44pc of people putting money in it, followed by Litecoin (35.3pc) and Bitcoin Cash (18pc).
A substantial number ─ 47pc ─ have invested in other cryptocurrencies.
When respondents were asked whether they would encourage or discourage others from investing in Bitcoin, they were almost equally divided across all three options.
More than 38pc said they would encourage others to invest, whereas 33.5pc said they would discourage their family and friends from investing in the cryptocurrency. A little above 28pc said they would do neither.