While digital currencies like Bitcoin have seen unprecedented growth in both valuation and popularity over the past year, widespread misinformation and confusion are still rife. This is the conclusion of a new study of investors in the UK, which also identifies worrying trends that could hamper future growth.
The study by researchers at tradersofcrypto.com polled “hundreds of members of the UK public” for answers to common crypto questions they discovered through Google search trends in the UK and US.
The responses clearly demonstrated the lack of knowledge of what the crypto industry entails. For example, 22.4% of respondents answered that they have no idea what cryptocurrency is, while many others made wrong assumptions. The same was the case with Bitcoin as only 11% of the responses correctly defined it as a cryptocurrency.
Interestingly, while awareness of Dogecoin was low, it was much higher than that of top alts like Ethereum and Cardano. Strangely enough, some people perceived the two of them as a drug or a type of cheese.
However, many respondents also considered all currencies to be bitcoin, “which shows that people see bitcoin as almost an umbrella term synonymous with the cryptocurrency itself.”
However, the lack of trust due to misinformation could also be seen in the other findings of the report. For example, 3.9% of respondents described Bitcoin as “junk” while 2% claimed that cryptos were “fake money”.
More importantly, a staggering 64.6% of respondents disagreed that cryptos are a safe investment. This is a worrying trend that could be a drag on market growth. In addition, around 75% of respondents also agreed that the UK would never follow in El Salvador’s footsteps in making Bitcoin legal tender.
Still, a lack of trust or knowledge hardly affected the interest rate boom, not even in the UK and the US.
The same study found that approximately 9,269,000 searches for “cryptocurrency” were made in the UK and US over 12 months. While the most searched term was “best cryptocurrency”, “which cryptocurrency to mine” and “how to buy cryptocurrency” followed closely behind.
Concerns about the development of the market, industry security, and the legality of it all also indicated a surge in curiosity.
“This booming interest in the crypto market suggests that cryptocurrencies are becoming more mainstream than ever and will become an integral part of the future investment landscape.”
For the cryptocurrency industry to really go mainstream, investor hesitation and cynicism must be addressed through effective engagement and education.