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57% of UK online shoppers aware of Bitcoin but only 18% would use it, says Clarity research

More than half (57 per cent) of UK online shoppers are aware of virtual currency Bitcoin but only 18 per cent would be willing to use it in future, according to research from Clarity Communications.

The survey, which was conducted by Populus on behalf of Clarity, polled 2,065 UK online shoppers in the first week of February 2014, revealing that awareness of the crypto-currency was higher among men (69 per cent) than women (45 per cent).

The majority (95 per cent) of respondents said they have never used any type of digital currency including Bitcoin, or other forms such as Litecoin, Peercoin, Feathercoin or Devcoin.

Of the five per cent that had used Bitcoin, a slightly higher percentage (seven per cent) of men had used it, compared to two per cent of women.

The results revealed there is confusion among UK adults regarding the future place of Bitcoin as a currency, with 18 per cent agreeing they would use it in future, while 29 per cent said they wouldn’t and another 29 per cent said they didn’t know. A further 24 per cent neither agreed or disagreed, suggesting a level of indifference and a lack of understanding, according to Clarity.

Two thirds of respondents (63 per cent) said “not knowing enough” about the virtual currency would be the main reason for them not using Bitcoin, while 53 per cent said the fact they have no experience in using it was the main barrier. More than half (52 per cent) said security concerns would prevent them adopting it, and 43 per cent cited a lack of trust, while 29 per cent questioned their legality.

Clarity co-founder & Bitcoin owner Jason Navon said: “There’s no doubt that Bitcoin is an exciting innovation. Yet recent claims that it’s becoming mainstream are wide of the mark. These results show that there’s a long way to go before Bitcoin or any of the other digital currencies achieve anything like a critical mass with consumers. Issues around security, price volatility and usability are among the challenges facing the developers."

On the business side of things agencies have already begun to embrace Bitcoin, with Forever Beta becoming the first UK-based creative agency to accept Bitcoin payments from clients after acknowledging the business growth potential of the crypto-currency.

Jessica Davies

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