Bitcoin Survey Indicates Americans Know About It But Don’t Trust It

In the wake of big bitcoin blunders like Mt. Gox and now Vircurex, Americans are apparently learning a lot about the digital currency—but it doesn’t mean they like it. In fact, a survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of personal finance platform Yodlee suggests that more knowledge about bitcoin tends to translate to even less trust in it.

How the U.S. cracks up in knowledge and trust of bitcoin

The survey found that 55% of people in Western states knew about bitcoin, while 46% in the South knew about it and 41% in the Midwest were aware. However, just 7% of those in the West would invest in bitcoin rather than gold.

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“The financial industry benefits greatly from disruptive technology, but security is unfortunately a bigger challenge than some new financial innovators expect.” said Tim O’Brien, Yodlee’s senior vice president of operations and information security. “Bitcoin has addressed some major opportunities in the financial system, but the vulnerability of some Bitcoin exchanges, along with the currency’s overall volatility, are still serious issues. Bitcoin will be hard for consumers to understand and trust on a large scale until secure, user-friendly tools and services emerge to make it as convenient and safe as possible to use.”

Younger trust bitcoin more

The survey indicated that 20% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 who were aware of what bitcoin is said they would invest in it over gold. This percentage is more than twice that of those age 55 and older. Younger adults also tended to favor not regulating the digital currency with 39% of them favoring no regulation of it. The survey found that 28% of those between the ages of 45 and 54 and 24% of those ages 55 and older supported no regulation on the crypto-currency.

Overall, 45% of Americans who knew about bitcoin said they weren’t sure whether governments should be allowed to regulate it. Of those who had an opinion, 44% of them said regulation should be allowed, while 56% said it should not be allowed.

Bitcoin battle of the sexes

Men also tend to be more trustful of and knowledgeable about bitcoin. Just 35% of women surveyed said they knew what the digital currency is, while 63% of men knew. Women also tended to be less opinionated about whether it should be regulated, with 53% of those who know what it is being unsure whether governments should be allowed to regulate it. That’s compared to 40% of men.