In 2014, Google was asked many times “What is Bitcoin?”. In fact, it was the fourth most asked, “What is……?” question on Google last year. It would seem many of those inquiries are coming from the U.S., after reviewing the latest survey findings from Coin Center. According to a new survey, Americans don’t know what Bitcoin is. This survey, done through Google, and conducted by Coin Center, shows that 65% of all respondents are “not familiar at all” with Bitcoin.
“What is Bitcoin?” The largest Bitcoin market really doesn’t know
This would make Americans among the most ignorant of digital currency, when compared to recent surveys done in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. This is somewhat hard to reconcile with the amount of US Dollar investment into Bitcoin and the number of wallets and businesses that work with Bitcoin within the United States. It would seem that Bitcoin falls into two camps domestically. Those that use it are very active in the digital currency markets, and those that do not are completely off the grid. 84% of those that responded said they’ve never used digital currency before.
“There has never been a definitive benchmark for public understanding of Bitcoin,” said Coin Center executive director Jerry Brito. “This survey demonstrates that there’s much to be done to build an understanding of Bitcoin, and at Coin Center we see this as an opportunity to build effective educational programs for policymakers and consumers alike.”
Companies like merchant account leader BitPay have spent quite a bit of money on getting the mainstream to take a look at Bitcoin, and learn more about it’s advantages. BitPay sponsored the St. Petersburg Bowl college football game last month to gain Bitcoin brand awareness. This did generate exposure to over three million mainstream viewers who might not otherwise have heard about Bitcoin. Two new Bitcoin commercials were created for viewing during breaks in the game, to help viewers understand Bitcoin in real-world situations. Overall exposure to the Bitcoin concept, and education in how it works for the average online user seems to be the greatest areas of growth for Bitcoin.
In the United Kingdom last year, it was shown that over 70% of all Brits had some awareness of Bitcoin. The amount of actual use was low, but it was moving into range of the known players in the money transfer sector. It even passed MoneyGram. PayPal is the preferred money transmitter in the UK. In the Netherlands, a similar amount to the United States were unaware of Bitcoin, at around 70% overall.
When it comes to how government should regulate Bitcoin, the online respondents were divided. 12.9% said they were alright with banning something that many of them had never heard of while 16.1% hoped the government would not ban or over-regulate Bitcoin.
Coin Center’s survey was compiled in conjunction with Google Consumer Surveys. The results are weighted by gender, age, and income in order to emulate the overall demographics of the entire American population. The survey is a compilation of five months of inquiries since September of 2014. Each month’s survey sample had at least 1,000 completions for all questions.
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