New research has revealed that 71 per cent of UK consumers would rather not use Bitcoin to pay when shopping online, despite mobile payment providers preparing to accept the virtual currency.
The research, collated by digital commerce solutions provider Venda, also found that the main concern for 43 per cent of consumers was that they didn’t trust the virtual currency, although the same number also admitted that they don’t fully understand how the currency works.
This lack of understanding around how new virtual currencies, such as Auroracoin, Litecoin and Peercoin, was particularly felt among women, 49 per cent of which said they were unfamiliar, compared to 36 per cent of men.
In addition, almost 24 per cent of those that didn’t want to use Bitcoin reported that they were concerned that the currency is unstable.
Eric Abensur, group CEO, Venda stated: “The prospect of new crypto-currencies, such as Bitcoin, adds a new meaning to ‘alternative’ ways for consumers to pay for their goods, whether online or in-store. Much has been said about these new currencies over the last 12 months, but their growth in media speculation makes them a difficult trend to ignore.
“However, our research warns of a fundamental mistrust of Bitcoin and need for more education on how these virtual currencies actually work if they are to truly take off. A time may come where consumers can pay in-store using Bitcoin, but for now the fact that the price of a Bitcoin is in constant flux means that it’s simply not a viable way for businesses to take money for products. Even those that are currently taking payment by Bitcoin for products or services are, by and large, converting that to a standard currency for safe keeping and further use.”
The research from Venda, who commissioned YouGov to poll the views of a representative sample of 2,052 UK adults online, also found that the main reason UK consumers would like to have Bitcoin available while shopping online was simply that it is a valid currency, and therefore should be available.
The anonymity that Bitcoin offers appealed to six per cent of those polled, who liked the fact they can make purchases without having to reveal their identity. Five per cent of consumers were also willing to use Bitcoin if retailers were to offer discounts for use of the new virtual currency, with another five per cent agreeing if it meant they no longer had to carry cash.