Some experts think that Bitcoin is the “people’s currency,” destined to replace national currencies, one day. Others think the digital currency a “fraud” and a “tulip bulb.” What does the average American know and think about Bitcoin?
Some Americans never heard of it. Others heard of it, but they either think it is illegal or they are unsure about its legality. And only a small fraction had ever owned the digital currency—mostly the younger generations.
That’s according to a just published survey by LendEDU. This means that Bitcoin has a long way to go before it crosses the “tipping point,” from being an exotic product for “innovators and “early adopters” to a currency for the mass market.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin has been driving cryptocurrencies sharply higher over the last twenty-four hours higher, crossing the $4,000 mark, again.
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*As of Saturday September 18, 2017 at 9.45 am
Here are four key findings:
- 78.50% of Americans have heard of Bitcoin.
- Of those who have heard of Bitcoin, 11% of Americans answered that owning Bitcoin is illegal in the U.S., while another 48% were unsure of Bitcoin’s legality
- Of those who have heard of Bitcoin, only 14% have ever owned it, 40% were open to the idea of using it in the future and another 34% were undecided about buying Bitcoin in the future
- Of those who have heard of Bitcoin, there were consistent age trends: In a near perfect correlation, as Americans got older they were less likely to have ever owned Bitcoin or be planning to invest in it in the future
These results are much better than those of a Bloomberg poll published back in December 2013, which showed that only 42 percent of Americans were aware of the digital currency.
And that’s good news for the future of Bitcoin. “If our poll is any indication, the future will bring growth for Bitcoin.” Michael Brown Research Analyst, LendEDU.“Not only was there a direct age correlation, where young American consumers were much more likely to say that have either owned Bitcoin, or were open to using it for future transactions when compared to their older counterparts. But, across all ages, consumers showed more of a willingness to investing in Bitcoin for the future. For example, 85.37% of respondents said they have never owned Bitcoin, but only 54.58% said they were not planning on investing in the virtual currency in the future.”
Still, the LendEDU results should be interpreted with great caution, as they are based on a very small sample.