Plurality of French, American and British consumers say crypto "is not to be trusted"

Christien PhebyContent Manager
December 31, 2020, 11:06 AM UTC

YouGov Profiles data shows that a plurality of people who think cryptocurrencies are “the future of online transactions” still distrust them

France’s Council of Ministers recently announced a raft of measures targeted at cryptocurrency transactions. The new regulations, which are designed to combat terrorism financing, will include stricter know-your-customer requirements and a blanket ban on anonymous accounts at cryptocurrency exchanges.

Whatever the efficacy of the move, it is one that aligns neatly with popular sentiment in France. YouGov Profiles data reveals that over four in ten French consumers (42%) agree that “cryptocurrency is not to be trusted”, compared to just 13% who disagree.

What’s more, our data shows that, relative to the US and Britain, France’s population has a less intense strain of crypto-scepticism.

Over half of American consumers (53%), for example, agree that cryptocurrencies are not to be trusted, and the same proportion of Britons (52%) also support this statement. In all three nations this may be linked to a lack of knowledge. In Britain, three-quarters say they “don’t really understand cryptocurrency” (74%); this falls to 68% in the US and 57% in France.

It may concern crypto-enthusiasts (and crypto-exchanges) that French consumers are more likely to understand cryptocurrencies – but also less likely to agree that cryptocurrencies are the future of online financial transactions. While a quarter of Americans agree that Bitcoin, Ethereum and others are the way forward for digital payments (25%), just 15% of France agrees. At 16% agreement, Brits are similarly cynical on this topic.

This scepticism has practical implications for the still-young industry. When asked, just one in ten US consumers say they’d be willing to give up their bank account and use cryptocurrency instead (10%), but for Britain and France, the proportion is half that (5% for both).

Even groups who are more likely to be crypto-positive still look at it with a wary eye. People who believe that “cryptocurrencies are the future of online financial transactions” are still more likely to agree that cryptocurrencies are not to be trusted than disagree (France – 35% agree; 30% disagree; GB – 53% agree; 34% disagree; US – 46% agree; 40% disagree).

This carries over into their other attitudes: more than two thirds of Brits who agree that cryptocurrency is the future say they aren’t willing to give up their bank account for it (68%), compared to comfortably over half of the comparable groups in the US (57%) and France (62%).

It may be that people who see crypto as the future do not necessarily see it as the near-term future, but something that will take some time to come to fruition.

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