Virtual Currency Survey: Consumers Don’t See Security Benefits

In recent years, some new systems of currency have surfaced. Notably, Bitcoin has emerged as a big name in the market of online currencies that aren’t tied to any official government entities. In fact, a recent report from CoinDesk suggests that there’s a growing variety of people using Bitcoin for various online exchanges and purchases. So how many people have used virtual currencies like Bitcoin and how many are likely to do so in the future? We asked 1,000 respondents on August 10 what they think about virtual currency systems and their potential uses.

virtual currency

Virtual Currency

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 27% of respondents said they already know what Bitcoin is. 46% have at least heard of it. And 27% have never heard of Bitcoin. However, even though most have at least heard of the virtual currency system, just 7% of respondents said they’ve actually used Bitcoin. And another 7% said that they’ve used similar virtual currency systems.

Payment Security

Overall, 74% of respondents said that they are generally concerned about the security of their payments. 77% said they are concerned about online security. 52% said that if a new system of currency that was more secure than current payment methods came out today, they would use it. However, just 23% think that virtual currency seems like a more secure form of making payments and keeping currency than more standard systems. And just 40% think that it’s beneficial to have some sort of global system of virtual currency like Bitcoin.

Currently, 76% of respondents said that they regularly use cash to make payments. 62% use debit cards. 56% use online payment portals like Paypal. 51% use credit cards. 40% use checks. 12% use mobile payments. And just 5% use virtual currencies like Bitcoin. Those who use online payment portals like Paypal were more likely to have used Bitcoin and to say that they’ll use it in the future. But those who use cash were less likely to be interested in virtual currency.

Growing Popularity

In general, 35% of respondents think that it’s at least somewhat likely that virtual currency like Bitcoin will gain popularity over the next five years. 28% think it’s unlikely that virtual currency will get more popular in that time. And 37% were neutral or had no opinion. In addition, just 21% said they would be at least somewhat likely to actually use virtual currency in the next five years.

Key Takeaways

While some consumers acknowledge the growing popularity of virtual currency, many still just don’t see the point. They don’t see the benefit to having a global system of virtual currency, and they don’t see how it could benefit them by offering added security. However, payment security is definitely a concern for a lot of consumers. So if the companies that make and accept virtual currency could better communicate that potential benefit to consumers, they might be able to convert even more potential users. And starting with those who already use other forms of online payments seems to be the most natural place to start.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Bitcoin, business, tablet, boardroom, ipad by Jonathan Waller under CC BY 2.0

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on August 10 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.