Bitcoin Review: 65% of US Won’t Buy Bitcoins

A new study suggests that many consumers remain cautious about the prospect of purchasing or using digital currency. The report was written by the Massachusetts Division of Banks (MDB) in conjunction with the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), who canvassed more than 1,000 consumers with an online survey that focused on digital currency.

The CSBS, which is a national organization of bank regulators, previously held a hearing on the topic of digital currency in May. The survey data shows that while a slim majority of respondents (51%) have heard of digital currency, 65% stated that they are “unlikely” to ever buy or use a technology like bitcoin.

Eighteen percent of participants indicated that they were “likely” or “very likely” to use a digital currency, and only 3% of those who had heard of bitcoin said they had actually bought some. According to the CSBS, the Emerging Payments Task Force – the organization’s working group that focuses, in part, on bitcoin – will use the data as it continues to develop its policies for digital currency.

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In a statement, the chairman of the task force and Massachusetts Commissioner of Banks David Cotney said that the study fits into the broader research phase currently taking place. He explained: “State regulators welcome innovations that lead to greater choice and lower costs, but we also want to understand any consumer and marketplace risks as we evaluate the overall benefits of virtual currencies.”

Fears regarding security and regulation, as well as concerns regarding the lack of consumer protections afforded in the traditional financial system, were highlighted in the study. Sixty-one percent said that the overall security of their bitcoins would factor significantly into whether or not they used or purchased some, while 43% of study participants stated that bitcoin’s tax status would be a major factor. Forty-eight percent reported that concerns of insurance might stop them from buying bitcoin.

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The study also noted that those who had graduated from college were more likely to know about bitcoin compared to those with a high school diploma or lower qualification.

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