30% of Americans Believe the U.S. Dollar Is Backed by Gold

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Genesis Mining has conducted a survey asking what the U.S. dollar is backed by. Apparently, around 30% of the U.S. public believes that the dollar is still backed by gold.

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The Bretton Woods system ended in 1971, and it was then that the convertibility of USD to gold was officially terminated. The dollar became solely a fiat currency, and exchange rates were free-floating. Despite this happening close to 50 years ago, some Americans are still under the impression that gold is tied to dollars in some way.

Polling the Public on the Dollar

Bitcoin hashrate provider Genesis Mining conducted an illuminating poll recently, which demonstrates how little the public knows about the currency they use every day. These are the results. 

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  • 29.3% of the public believes the dollar is backed by gold.
  • 30.1% say the government backs it.
  • 7.1% said nothing.
  • 5.8% said bonds.
  • 4.1% said oil.
  • 23.6% said they had no idea.

The results are interesting. The misconception about the U.S. dollar seems to run deep, with almost a quarter of all people having no idea whatsoever on what backs it. Yet, as one Twitter user writes, 4.1% of Americans who responded with “oil” might be on a higher plane of thinking altogether.

What This Gold-Backing Belief Means for Bitcoin

Overall, it indicates how intuitive the idea is that a currency needs to be backed by something. Still, a large portion of the public is clinging onto gold as a basis for understanding the dollar—sadly, however, this idea has been defunct for decades now.

The poll could prove useful for understanding how to best explain Bitcoin to someone. For example, educating the public on the dollar could easily be a segway to discussing alternatives. One of these alternatives is most definitely Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as well, especially considering that many see the world’s first cryptocurrency as a valid alternative to economic instability, as BeInCrypto has previously reported on.

So, the poll is concerning. It, after all, demonstrates how ignorant a large portion of the public is on the currency they use every day. The good news is, however, that it proves that there is a tendency towards people knowing fiat currency needs to be backed by real value—and that’s a good starting point for discussions on Bitcoin.


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Raised in the U.S, Lucian graduated with a BA in economic history. An accomplished freelance journalist, he specializes in writing about the cryptocurrency space and the digital '4th industrial revolution' we find ourselves in.

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