Research released today suggests that 71% of UK consumers are reluctant to use Bitcoin to pay when shopping online, despite mobile payment providers preparing to accept the virtual currency. 43% of those surveyed cited lack of trust in Bitcoin as their main reason for not wanting to use the currency whilst 43% also admitted that they did not understand how the currency worked. On the face of things this is a fairly damning verdict for Bitcoin which has been much maligned in the early part of 2014. However it is important to remember that many new forms of payments have got off to rocky beginnings with consumers before eventually seeing wider adoption and acceptance.
The key thing is that the Bitcoin exchanges respond to the feedback they receive and adapt how the currency works to assuage consumers’ fears – as well as providing the relevant marketing material to educate people on its workings. Many of those people surveyed will have been unaware that the industry is already moving to make the currency more trustworthy as witnessed by the recent launch of the Bitcoin Identity Security Open Network with the aim of increasing security and reducing criminal activity around the currency. This reflects that the industry sees value in proactively self-regulating, and adopting best practices rather than have standards be imposed by outside entities.
As more exchanges sign up to this innovative scheme, consumers are increasingly likely to gain confidence and trust in Bitcoin and it would be premature to write it off just yet and on the back of one survey!