Do people understand Bitcoin?

Answer: not really

by News Staff / January 26, 2016

A new Rutgers University study found that both members of the general public with no use experience and those who have used Bitcoin hold misconceptions about how the digital currency works and tend to overestimate its capabilities. Researchers interviewed 20 subjects total, 10 of whom had not used the currency and 10 of whom had.

Researchers discovered that:

  • Those with no experience using Bitcoin thought it would be too hard or "too scary to use."
  • People who use Bitcoin regularly are not well-versed in how it works.
  • The Bitcoin users surveyed held misconceptions about the technology's ability to protect their anonymity and tended to trust Bitcoin's privacy mechanisms beyond what the technology actually provides.
  • Bitcoin users want the government to insure Bitcoin deposits, despite the fact that the technology was invented largely as a means to circumvent government regulations.

Researchers also found that Bitcoin is a nearly ideal currency platform when compared to what people want. When asked what they wanted from a payment platform, the study subjects tended to describe the feature set already present in Bitcoin-type currencies.

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