Most Americans are familiar with at least one kind of cryptocurrency

Jamie BallardData Journalist
September 06, 2018, 2:00 PM GMT+0

The most well-known cryptocurrency among Americans is Bitcoin

Cryptocurrency — a form of digital or virtual money that is generally designed to be decentralized, secure, and in many cases, anonymous — is popular amongst Americans. A vast majority (79%) of Americans are familiar with at least one kind of cryptocurrency, according to new data from YouGov Omnibus.

By far, the most well-known cryptocurrency among Americans is Bitcoin, with 71% of people saying they’ve heard of it. The next best-known is Ether/Ethereum, with 13% saying they have heard of it. Overall, men are more likely than women to have heard of almost every kind of cryptocurrency. About three in ten (27%) women say they have not heard of any cryptocurrency, compared to only 16% of men who chose the same answer.

Of those who have heard of Bitcoin, 87% have had no interaction with it, meaning they haven’t bought, sold, or mined it. About half (49%) in this group say “I’m glad I didn’t buy Bitcoin earlier, and I don’t plan to buy it,” while 15% say “I wish I had bought Bitcoin earlier, but I feel like it’s too late now.” About one in five (21%) people between 35 and 54 chose this response, while only 11% of people 55 and up did.

Although relatively few people have any immediate plans to buy Bitcoin, more than one-third (36%) of people think that cryptocurrencies will become widely accepted as a means of transaction for legal purchases within the next 10 years. Millennials (44%) are the most likely of any age group to say cryptocurrency will be widely accepted. About one-third (34%) of Gen X’ers and 29% of baby boomers agreed.

However, a near-equal amount (34%) of people do not think cryptocurrencies will become widely accepted within 10 years time. This could potentially be connected to the fact that many perceive cryptocurrencies to be used mostly for illegal purchases. One quarter (25%) say they think cryptocurrencies are used more for illegal purchases rather than legal ones. Only 17% think they’re used more for legal purchases, and 19% think cryptocurrencies are equally used for legal and illegal purchases. Hispanic Americans are particularly likely to believe that cryptocurrencies are mostly used for legal purchases.

Of the people who believe that cryptocurrencies will become widely accepted, over one-third (36%) say they would be interested in converting to primarily using a cryptocurrency rather than the US dollar. However, a majority (57%) say they would not be interested in converting away from the US dollar. Millennials are almost equally split between being interested (48%) and not interested (50%).

See full results here.

Learn more about YouGov Omnibus.

Image: Getty