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Reproduced from CivicScience; Chart: Axios Visuals

Use of and interest in cryptocurrency remains far from mainstream, but it's growing at a sizable clip. Companies like PayPal, Square and most recently Tesla are helping by launching crypto payment programs.

Driving the news: A survey from data firm CivicScience provided first to Axios shows that since the third quarter of 2019 the number of people investing in cryptocurrencies has risen 50% — to 9% from 6% — and the number of people who intend to use crypto has more than doubled, rising to 7% from 3%.

  • CivicScience's data also show that while the percentage of respondents who say they are not interested in crypto has remained the same, the percentage who say they have never heard of it has dropped from 21% in 2019 to 18% as of the end of January.

One level deeper: The survey found that 6% of respondents say they are likely to purchase cryptocurrency through PayPal, with past experience in crypto investment largely dictating interest.

  • Those who have previously invested in cryptocurrency are the most likely to purchase it through PayPal (26%).
  • Those who intend to invest in cryptocurrency are only slightly less likely to say they will purchase through PayPal (25%).
  • Most who have never invested (including those unaware of cryptocurrency) are unlikely to purchase crypto through PayPal (98%).

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Feb 9, 2021 - Economy & Business

Why Tesla went into bitcoin

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals

When Elon Musk's Tesla spends $1.5 billion on bitcoin and announces that it will start accepting the cryptocurrency as payment for its cars, it's natural to ask why it would do such a thing.

Why it matters: The simplest explanation — it's just Elon being Elon — is almost certainly the correct explanation. But it also makes sense that the Tesla CEO would do such a thing.

10 mins ago - World

Palestinian Authority announces new COVID restrictions as cases surge

A nurse administers the COVID-19 vaccine to a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron. Photo: Hazem Bader/AFP via Getty Images

The Palestinian Authority on Saturday announced fresh coronavirus restrictions, including a partial lockdown, for the occupied West Bank as COVID-19 cases surge.

The big picture: The new measures come as Israel, which leads the world in vaccinations, faces increased pressure to ensure Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip have equal access to vaccines.

52 mins ago - World

Myanmar military fires UN ambassador after anti-coup speech

Photo: Peerapon Boonyakiat/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Myanmar's military regime on Saturday fired the country's Ambassador to the United Nations, Kyaw Moe Tun, a day after he gave a pro-democracy speech asking UN member nations to publicly condemn the Feb. 1 coup, The New York Times reports.

Details: State television said the ambassador had "betrayed the country and spoken for an unofficial organization which doesn’t represent the country and had abused the power and responsibilities of an ambassador."