Surviving the Cryptojungle: Perception and Management of Risk AmongNorth American Cryptocurrency (Non)Users

Abstract

With the massive growth of cryptocurrency markets in re-cent years has come an influx of new users and investors, pushing the overall number of owners into the millions. At the same time, the number of distinct cryptocurrencies has exploded to over 4,900. In this burgeon-ing and chaotic “crypto jungle,” new and unexplored incentives and risks drive the behavior of users and non-users of cryptocurrencies. While previous research has focused almost exclusively on Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies and utility tokens have been ignored. This paper presents findings from an interview study of cryptocurrency users and non-users(N= 20). We specifically focus on their perceptions and management of cryptocurrency risks as well as their reasons for or against involvement with cryptocurrencies. Our results suggest that associated risks and mitigation strategies (among other factors) might be specific to a particular crypto-asset and its application area. Further, we identify misunderstandings of both users and non-users that might lead to skewed risk perceptions or dangerous errors. Lastly, we discuss ways of aiding users with managing risks, as well as design implications for coin management tools.