You've been redirected from to In March 2021, Mobile Payments Today became a part of Payments Dive. For the latest payments news, sign up for the daily newsletter.

'Bit-what?' Most Americans clueless about cryptocurrency, study finds

A 'first of its kind' survey indicates that bitcoin proponents have their work cut out if they aim to educate Americans about bitcoin and its usefulness.

Coin Center, a nonprofit research and advocacy center focused on public policy issues around cryptocurrency technologies such as bitcoin, has released data from its first Bitcoin Public Sentiment Survey.

The survey — "the first of its kind," according to a press release — measures Americans' perceptions about bitcoin. This initial study was based on five months of survey data collected between the beginning of September 2014 and the end of January 2015.

Approximately 65 percent of respondents in the survey said they're not at all familiar with bitcoin. Of those who do know something about the currency, more than 80 percent said they've never used it.

"This survey demonstrates that there's much to be done to build an understanding of bitcoin, and at Coin Center we see this as an opportunity to build effective educational programs for policymakers and consumers alike," said Coin Center Executive Director Jerry Brito in the press release.

Other data points gauge the perceived trustworthiness and usefulness of bitcoin.

"Public policy reflects public attitudes on a subject," Coin Center director of research Peter Van Valkenberg said in the release. "What we see is a large gap in public understanding, and part of our mission is to help close this gap so that any policy decisions made with respect to bitcoin are well informed."

The Coin Center Bitcoin Public Sentiment Survey will be made available on a monthly basis, the release said. View full results and download the dataset.