More than one in 10 Americans are unfamiliar with cryptocurrencies, according to a new Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Bloomberg.
What Happened: In a survey of 1,984 adults polled between Feb. 12-14, nearly half of the respondents said only that they'd heard of some of the coins, such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). Only 16% of respondents said they were very familiar with cryptocurrencies, while 28% said they were somewhat familiar.
When queried on how cryptocurrencies worked, 61% of people who had heard of them admitted having minimal understanding of their workings, while only 14% of those familiar with the coins claimed to understand “very well” how they worked.
Among the respondents who were familiar with cryptocurrencies, 43% doubted that they are a legitimate form of payment.
Younger respondents weren’t unanimous in their faith in crypto: 58% of Gen Z respondents (defined as between 18 and 24 years old) who professed to having crypto knowledge said that digital currencies are either a very or somewhat legitimate form of payment, and 69% of millennials (those between 25 and 40 years old) shared that positive sentiment.
Not Gaining Purchase: Looking ahead, roughly one-third of respondents predicted crypto will become a standard form of payment.
But the current commotion over cryptocurrency did not impress most respondents: Only 8% predicted Bitcoin will rise above the $100,000 mark, while 4% predicted Bitcoin will plummet to $0. And 29% believed the subject will largely be forgotten in 10 years.
Only 10% of people familiar with crypto said they used it on a regular basis to make purchases.
“From the public standpoint, it’s not a cryptocurrency, it’s a cryptic-currency,” said John Gerzema, CEO of the Harris Poll.