A survey by an Irish company has found that one in six bitcoin users worldwide lose money to hackers and exchange shutdowns.
The study by the Bitcoin Marketing Team surveyed 770 digital currency users from 68 countries and found that thousands of euros worth of bitcoins are lost or stolen through hackers or with users losing access to their online wallets, according to the Irish Independent.
Jamie McCormick, the coordinator of the survey, said that while individuals stated that they like the freedom of bitcoin, negative feelings still circulate the digital currency. This was highlighted in hacks, exchange shutdowns, and technical issues.
We wanted to stimulate debate about bitcoin by conducting this worldwide poll. With a lack of primary research in this area and with many research papers on the industry behind rather large paywalls that can be prohibitively expensive for normal bitcoin users, students, academics and startups to access, we want to make the result available freely for the community and industry.
He added that the digital currency continues to be popular, though, which is increasing because it is seen as revolutionary, fast, and anonymous.
Even though efforts are being made to increase female users to the cryptocurrency, the survey found that the market is still, to a great extent, dominated by men. They are mainly aged from their early 20s to their late 40s, with a few being under 18-years-old.
Active efforts were made to target female bitcoin users to attempt and have a balanced number of responses. But despite sustained efforts and targeting advertising campaigns, only 5.7pc of responses came from females, 2.5pc chose not to specify, with the remaining 91.8pc being male.
Bitcoin gambling is an area that is expected to grow. The survey found that around 44 percent of respondents had gambled with bitcoin. Dice sites were the most popular followed by sports betting and casino games.
The growth of digital currencies in gambling can be seen with the recent announcement from the U.K. Gambling Commission (UKGC) which stated that it now sees cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin as a cash equivalent that its licensees can accept as a payment method.
However, while the Malta Gaming Authority recently cautioned against the use of the digital currency it may soon be looking toward the UKGC as it works toward updating its outdated form of gaming. At present, the use of digital currencies in the country are not accepted.
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