Cryptocurrencies: Experiments on Attitudes and Perceptions (Survey)

Last registered on May 17, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Cryptocurrencies: Experiments on Attitudes and Perceptions (Survey)
Initial registration date
May 11, 2023

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
May 17, 2023, 2:40 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.



Primary Investigator

George Mason University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
George Mason University

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Cryptocurrencies are a new form of digital money. They promote a widespread access to financial systems but are still relatively unstudied from a consumer perspective. In this survey experiment, we examine the openness of individuals to cryptocurrencies. We evaluate un-incentivized measures of the willingness to own cryptocurrencies after receiving a positive message about them. To identify key sources or topics that encourage individuals to accept cryptocurrencies, participants will be randomly placed in one of seven treatments with different messages from government agencies and popular cryptocurrency companies. Participants read the message, then answer questions regarding their willingness to open cryptocurrencies, and their perceived advantages and disadvantages. We analyze the participants’ individual willingness to own cryptocurrencies and predict that participants in treatments with increased information in messages about cryptocurrencies will lead to an increased level of willingness to own them; specifically for those who have never owned cryptocurrencies and have low knowledge of them. Through a heterogeneity analysis, we study the difference between owners and non-owners of cryptocurrencies to understand how a higher willingness to pay for cryptocurrencies can be achieved and investigate the characteristics such as age, gender, and income, that may indicate a higher willingness to owning cryptocurrencies. For an example, we expect to see that individuals whose political affiliation lies to the right of center will be less responsive to messages that come from government sources.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Mollerstrom, Johanna and Sarah Sylvester. 2023. "Cryptocurrencies: Experiments on Attitudes and Perceptions (Survey)." AEA RCT Registry. May 17.
Experimental Details


We are conducting an online survey experiment to determine how short, positive messages affect individuals' willingness to own cryptocurrencies.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our primary outcome of interest is participants' self-selected willingness to own cryptocurrencies within certain time periods (from next week to 10 years). They rate their willingness on a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being not willing and 10 being very willing).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Our secondary outcomes of interest are the advantages and disadvantages of cryptocurrencies, as selected by participants. They may select multiple choices from among 6 listed advantages and 9 disadvantages, with the additional option to write their own answer in. In addition, that answer a multiple selection question about what would incentivize them to own cryptocurrencies, with 6 options and the ability to write their own answer.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Our experiment is an online survey programmed on Qualtrics and run on Prolific. We get a measure of participants' general risk preferences and their knowledge of cryptocurrencies. Each participant is randomly selected for 1 of 7 treatments. There are 6 different message treatments varying the source and content of a message about cryptocurrencies and 1 control treatment where subjects receive no message. Participants are asked comprehension questions, receiving a bonus of $0.10 for each correct answer. This ensures that we can determine which individuals were treated. After the treatment message, participants are asked the Outcome Measures, to determine their willingness to own cryptocurrencies in the future and their perceived advantage and disadvantages of cryptocurrencies. Finally, the participants are asked standard demographic questions.

Knowledge Measure: We ask participants questions before the treatment to get a measure of their knowledge of cryptocurrencies. Their knowledge score ranges from 0-17 and is determined as follows. Participants are shown 10 terms related to cryptocurrencies, receiving 0.5 points for marking that they “have heard of” a term and 1 point for marking that they can “define” a term. Participants get an addition of 2 points to their knowledge score if they currently or have ever owned a cryptocurrency. Participants below the median represent the group of individuals who are “unknowledgeable in cryptocurrencies”, those who are around the median are “somewhat knowledgeable in cryptocurrencies” and participants above the median are “knowledgeable in cryptocurrencies”.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Qualtrics automatic treatment randomization.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
1400 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1400 individuals
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
For a moderate effect size of 0.5, we need 616 subjects (88 per treatment). This is for a one-sided t-test with alpha = 0.05, computed with G* Power.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
George Mason University IRB
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information


Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials