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Bitcoin By The Numbers: How Many Americans Know of Bitcoin? How Many Trust It?

[heading]Bitcoin By The Numbers[/heading]

Bitcoin has made impressive inroads in 2013 towards the mainstream.

Among those who have heard of it – about 1/4 of US consumers – Bitcoin is more trusted than the President and Congress. How about that for critical mass?

In new research by the firm On Device, with the help of the London-based Bitcoin conference organizers, the sentiment behind Bitcoin has been put to numbers.Critical_Mass_Budapest

The firm surveyed over 22,000 US consumers in May 2013 in order to test Bitcoin awareness and levels of trust in this still nascent digital currency.

According to the survey, more than one-quarter (25.3%) have heard of the crypto-currency, meaning that the US is behind the two other countries surveyed for the poll, Argentina and the UK. In those nations, Bitcoin awareness is higher: about 37.9% and 32.2% respectively.

US consumers do not trust Bitcoin as much as their Argentinian and British counterparts, but nonetheless 62% of US consumers who are Bitcoin-savvy said they trust the currency vs 73% of Bitcoin-aware Argentinians and 69% of Bitcoin-aware Brits. Greater awareness of Bitcoin equals greater trust, according to the survey.

The largest group of Argentinian respondents (44%) said the best thing about Bitcoin is “not having to deal with financial institutions.”

The survey found that around a fifth (22%) of Bitcoin-aware Argentinians trust Bitcoin over their own national currency, whilst nearly half -48% – believe the two are equal.

The US was second most trusting of Bitcoin, as 16% trusted it more than the dollar. 47% trust it less than the dollar. The UK had similar low Bitcoin trust: 14% trusted Bitcoin whereas 48% did not trust it compared to the Sterling.

bitcoin_1-620x430There is high belief in decentralized virtual currencies across the board. The survey found high levels of belief in its future potential across the board, with Argentina coming out on top with nearly half – 46% – of those polled agreeing the currency had future role. US and UK respondents were positive, with more than a third believing Bitcoin is the currency of tomorrow.  The US, however, also has largest amount of naysayers, with nearly 24% of respondents saying they do not think Bitcoin will take up that central future role.

For US and UK respondents is that its “quick and convenient” cited by 36% and 43% respectively.

The biggest drawback, according to 34% of respondents from Argentina, is Bitcoin’s “minimal use in trade.” 30% of respondents from the UK cited Bitcoin’s volatile exchange rate.  In the US, the two most commonly cited reasons to dislike Bitcoin (cited by 29%) were “minimal use in trade and “you can’t physically hold a Bitcoin.”

Here is what people buy with their Bitcoins:

Bitcoin purchase data

The majority of respondents in all three countries pegged their annual Bitcoin spending on goods and services as sub-$999, with 74% of Argentinian respondents reporting that level of spending, and 73% apiece in the U.S. and U.K.

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