Over 25% Of Americans Think Cryptocurrencies Are Mainly Used For Illegal Transactions
About a decade ago, when the word Bitcoin started to make it’s way into the mainstream media, it immediately had some bad connotations. Many people started to believe that Bitcoin was some kind of underworld currency used for illegal activity. Why would someone want untraceable money?
It seems that here in America, the country in the world most obsessed with privacy and security, has pulled a double standard of sorts when it comes to cryptocurrency. Unlike many other new technologies, the world of cryptocurrency would take time.
Strides to the mainstream became evident when in January 2014 Overstock.com became one of the fist, large, mainstream e-commerce destinations to accept bitcoin. Earlier this year, Overstock.com expanded it’s acceptance of other crypto-currency. At the end of that same year, Bitcoin looked to be heading to the mecca of American acceptance. Through a deal with Bitcoin platform Bitpay, the St. Petersburg Bowl one of the NCAA College Football bowl games, was christened the “Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl”. That deal was short-lived though and Bitpay gave up their naming rights the following season.
According to new research from Turnerlittle has revealed that 29% of Americans believe cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are mostly used for making illegal transactions on the dark web. Part of this stigma comes from the fact that not many people understand how cryptocurrency works, and even fewer understand how it is mined. The same research revealed that 66% of Americans have heard of cryptocurrency yet only 13% of Americans have actually used it. A far more alarming note from that study is that 64% of Americans said they had no interest in making the switch to cryptocurrency.
It’s not a far stretch to associate the dark web or criminal activity with cryptocurrency especially after all the notoriety the Silk Road case took on in 2015. But just as guns and cars don’t kill people, crypto-currency doesn’t itself buy drugs or participate in other elicit activities.
In some European nations and other countries overseas, cryptocurrency is becoming as popular, if not moreso than, Apple Pay and other frictionless, app based payments.
Etherium is the next largest cryptocurrency behind Bitcoin. In that same research from Turnerlittle, 24% of Americans knew about Etherium and of those that knew of it’s existence, 21% of them actually used it.
Looking into the future, 35% of Americans do believe there will be a wider acceptance of cryptocurrencies as a mean of transaction in the next 10 years. Though, 28% don’t consider this to be the case and 37% simply have no idea. Moreover, 51% of Americans don’t think cryptocurrencies in the next 10 years will replace traditional currency. A minority of 18% contrastingly felt the opposite, with the view that cryptocurrencies will put traditional currency into extinction.
“The emergence of cryptocurrencies has been nothing short of extraordinary. With the current value of established cryptocurrencies surging and with many more emerging, they are certainly here to stay. What’s truly going to be interesting is how cryptocurrencies evolve as they become more and more prominent. Looking ahead, if they have greater transparency and do not become subject to aggressive regulations, they have the characteristics and desirability to be adopted by a wider array of stakeholders including well-known merchants and mass consumers”. Financial Analyst, Nathan Kirkwood said.
The volatility in cryptocurrency is another strong reason that Americans haven’t been quick to latch on.
Check out the infographic from Turnerlittle.com below: