What do the Aussies know about bitcoin?

Monday 06 July 2015

More than the Yanks, according to Fair Go Finance, which recently commissioned a survey of over 3,000 people about digital currency.

Here in Australia, BitScan’s spiritual and legal home (if you’re going to be incorporated, you’ve got to be incorporated somewhere), it seems that virtual currencies are faring a little better in the public’s perception than in many other places around the world. Although it's still not exactly mainstream yet - hey, we're working on it - over a third of Australians at least know something about bitcoin - and many see significant advantages to virtual currencies.

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Unlike the Americans, the Aussies have more dangerous things to worry about than bitcoin

Read also: The case for bitcoin

So, what did Fair Go’s survey find?

Men are likely to know more about bitcoin. Of those surveyed, 43% of men knew something about bitcoin.

Convenience was the most attractive factor for over 70 percent of those surveyed - the ability to use it 24 hours a day, regardless of bank opening times or other restrictions.

There is still widespread scepticism about online money: two-thirds of respondents would not use Facebook to transfer money to friends and family.

Risks due to hacking were deemed to be the most problematic feature of digital currency, cited by almost 40 percent of respondents.

In reality, around a third of people have been the victim of fraud when using financial technology (not just bitcoin), and another third know a friend or colleague who has become a victim - meaning they’re keenly aware of the risks of any new financial tech.

Biometrics are a possible answer - almost a half of those surveyed would like to see them used instead of pin codes by 2020.

Last year, a survey found that over 40 percent of Americans knew about bitcoin, but most of those wanted to ban it - apparently, knowing a little correlated with wanting to get rid of it - probably due to the slew of negative headlines in 2014.

And the majority of those who had just found out about it seemed to think there was something to fear. ‘After being told that bitcoin is “a new online digital currency that is not connected to any particular country’s currency system and is not controlled by any government”, 54% of Americans who had previously known nothing at all about bitcoin said that their government shouldn’t allow it to be used to purchase goods and services.’

'The Bitcoin story continues to unfold and while Cryptocurrencies haven’t had as much traction in Australia, it is encouraging to hear support from the likes of Commonwealth Bank which seems to be embracing, if not pioneering the shift here,' Diana Anderson of Fair Go told BitScan. 'That said, there is still a lack of awareness in Australia as only 34% of Australians in our survey indicating they are aware of Bitcoin. There has been a lot of expectation, or perhaps pressure, put on the cryptocurrency for 2015 so it will be interesting to see where we end up. Nevertheless, the continued attention and focus on FinTech will be very beneficial to the industry.'


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