Are Bitcoin Users Less Sociable? An Analysis of Users' Language and Social Connections on Twitter

Ivan Hernandez, Masooda Bashir, Gahyun Jeon, Jeremiah Bohr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Bitcoin, a peer-to-peer payment system and digital currency, has seen much growth and controversy in the four years since its introduction. Yet, despite Bitcoin's growing importance, little is known about its users. Our research explores what type of people use this domain and what concepts they tend to emphasize in their language. We analyzed over 50,000 messages from over 6,000 users of the social networking community, Twitter. Our analyses show a consistent pattern that people interested in Bitcoin are far less likely to emphasize social relations than typical users of the site. Specifically, Bitcoin followers (1) are less likely to mention family, friends, religion, sex, and emotion related words in their tweets and (2) have significantly less social connection to other users on the site. These findings offer the first empirical look at what exactly makes Bitcoin users distinct from others and can have implications for the future of the currency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-31
Number of pages6
JournalCommunications in Computer and Information Science
Volume435 PART II
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Bitcoin
  • LIWC
  • Relationships
  • Social Network Sites
  • Text Analysis
  • Twitter
  • Virtual Currency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Mathematics(all)

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