The majority of UK consumers would prefer not to use the virtual currency Bitcoin for online shopping, according to a new survey by Venda.
The ecommerce services provider polled 2,052 Britons and found that 71% of them are reluctant to shop online using the virtual currency. The primary concern for 43% of respondents is that they do not trust Bitcoin, while 24% found the currency to be unstable. However, 43% also admitted to not fully understanding how Bitcoin works.
Respondents that were in favour of Bitcoin being used for online transactions (8%) believe it should be available now, as they view it as a valid currency. Others saw benefits in that they may receive discounts from retailers (5%) and would no longer have to carry cash (5%).
Bitcoin’s anonymity in particular appealed to 6% of respondents, who liked the idea of completing online transactions without having to reveal their identities. That number may be poised to grow, following the the Heartbleed debacle.
Eric Abensur, group chief executive (CEO) of Venda, said in a statement that the survey warns of a “fundamental mistrust” of Bitcoin, as well as a need for more education on how virtual currencies actually work if they are ever truly going to 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,” he said.
“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.”
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