Cryptocurrency is a mystery to many Americans

January 8, 2018

Only slightly more than half (56%) of U.S. consumers are aware of what cryptocurrency is, based on findings of a poll of 1,035 adults nationwide conducted by Cobinhood and released on January 4.

“Cryptocurrency is such a popular topic of conversation right now,” stated CEO Popo Chen of Cobinwood, a next-generation cryptocurrency service platform launched in 2017. “However, most people don’t know what … cryptocurrency is or how they should interact with it. One of our missions … is to educate the average consumer about cryptocurrency, and make the space more approachable to anyone who wants to participate.”

Specifically, according to Investopedia, “A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security. A cryptocurrency is difficult to counterfeit because of this security feature …. It is not issued by any central authority, rendering it theoretically immune to government interference or manipulation.”

The poll determined that a majority of consumers know that cryptocurrentcy is a digital decentralized payment method, designed as a medium of exchange; while 22% incorrectly guessed that it is a digital wallet used for online purchasing transactions, 14% thought it was the technology behind debit and credit cards, and 7% believed it was a digital version of government-backed money.

Among the other findings of the poll were the following:

  • Over three-quarters of consumers do not know that “ICO” stands for “Initial Coin Offering.” Only 32% of consumers answered the question correctly, while others (29%) guessed “International Currency Organization,” 28% cited ICO as an “Itemized Cryptocurrency Origin,” and 8.9% stated that it means “Institutional Currency Operations.”
  • Most respondents did not know where to buy cryptocurrency. When asked, only 21% of those surveyed stated that they know where to buy crypto, while an overwhelming 78% said that they do not.
  • Nearly everyone thinks U.S. citizens can participate in ICOs, when they cannot. Only 9% of consumers guessed correctly, that U.S. citizens cannot participate in ICOs; while, most people (59%) said that they can. About 16% stated that it depends on the transaction, and 14% thought that it depends on the state of the resident.
  • There are over 1,500 cryptocurrencies, but most people don’t know that (only 11% guessed correctly). Many people (44%) said that there are fewer than 10; while 31% said that there are 20 to 50 cryptocurrencies and 12% said that there are 1,000 to 1,5000.

In addition to Cobinhood—which claims to be the world’s first zero trading fee cryptocurrency exchange—other forms of cryptocurrency currently available include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple,  IOTA, Cardano, Dash and NEM.

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