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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.

Updated 11 mins ago - World

Putin calls Biden summit "constructive," says ambassadors will return to posts

Putin at the summit with Biden. Photo: Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that his summit with President Biden was "constructive," and that the countries had agreed their ambassadors would imminently return to their posts in Moscow and Washington.

What he's saying: "Many of our joint positions are divergent but nevertheless I think both sides manifested a determination to try and understand each other and try and converge our positions," Putin told reporters at a press conference immediately following the meetings, according to a translator.

Updated 40 mins ago - World

Live updates: Putin holds press conference after Biden summit concludes

President Biden met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva for less than four hours of talks on Wednesday, a highly anticipated summit that comes as both sides say U.S.-Russia relations have sunk to a new post-Cold War low.

The latest: The summit concluded at about 11:15 a.m. ET, according to the White House. At a press conference, Putin called the talks "very constructive' and announced that the U.S. and Russia's respective ambassadors would return to their posts (Highlights). Biden is expected to deliver his own press conference at 1:30 p.m. ET.