Every month for the past seven months, the Washington, D.C.-based Coin Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to public policy matters related to digital currency, has released data from its Bitcoin Public Sentiment Survey, which measures American attitudes toward Bitcoin.
The center released its March data on Tuesday, showing that 64.3 percent of respondents are not familiar at all with Bitcoin. That proportion has been steady since November, following a dip to 58.9 percent in October.
Slightly more than 6 percent of respondents said they have used the digital currency, up from 4.7 percent reported in the February survey.
The Coin Center survey also gauges the public’s perception of Bitcoin’s usefulness and trustworthiness. In the March survey, 2.7 percent and 9.5 percent of respondents said they “strongly trust” and “trust” Bitcoin, respectively; both proportions are higher than those reported in February. About a quarter of respondents said they “distrust” Bitcoin, more than one percentage point higher than that reported in February.
The perception of usefulness has risen among the public in the past month, according to the March data. More than six percent of respondents said that, as of today, Bitcoin is “very useful” (up from 5.4 percent in February), 15.2 percent said it is “useful” (13.5 percent in February), and 29.5 percent said it is “slightly” useful (29.1 percent in February). A full quarter of respondents in the March survey said Bitcoin is “not at all useful,” down nearly three percentage points from February.
More than 13 percent of respondents said Bitcoin will be “very useful” in the future, about the same as in February, while nearly 22 percent said “useful,” up from close to 17 percent in February. Nineteen percent said “slightly” and nearly 20 percent said “not at all” useful in the future.
When it comes to public perception of Bitcoin’s legitimacy and appropriate government responses, approximately one-third of respondents stand in the middle. On a seven-point scale of Bitcoin uses, with 1 being “criminal” and 7 being “legal,” 33.6 percent selected 4 (equal). On another seven-point scale referring to Bitcoin and regulation, with 1 being “ban it” and 7 being “leave it alone,” 35 percent chose 4 (equal).
The center’s survey is fielded with Google Consumer Surveys. The survey sample is the general American population on the Google Consumer Surveys publisher network. Results are weighted be age, gender, and income in order to best simulate the general population in the United States. Each month’s sample has at least 1,000 completions for every question.
Image via CoinCenter.org (Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License)