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Cryptocurrencies Jeopardised by Lack of Consumer Understanding

A New Kaspersky survey has discovered that a lack of understanding and trust is holding consumers back from using cryptocurrencies. Kaspersky’s report, ‘Uncharted territory: why consumers are still wary about adopting cryptocurrency’, reveals that whilst 29% of people have some knowledge of cryptocurrencies and there is a demand among many to use the technology, just one-in-ten (10%) fully comprehend how they work.

To date, four-in-five people (81%) have never purchased cryptocurrency, highlighting just how far away we are from it being accepted as a common form of payment or investment.

Kaspersky’s survey found that there is a desire amongst many consumers to use cryptocurrency, but a knowledge gap is getting in the way of taking the plunge. In addition, many people who thought they knew what they were dealing with, later decided against using cryptocurrency. Nearly a fifth (18%) stopped because it became too technically complicated.

Like with any cyberthreat, there is no substitute for vigilance – if something looks too good to be true, then it probably is.

This lack of understanding could be leading to mistrust in cryptocurrencies’ ability to keep consumers’ money safe. For instance, nearly a third (31%) of respondents stated that they believe cryptocurrencies are quite volatile and they need to be stable before they are prepared to use them. There is also a common perception amongst consumers that cryptocurrency will not be around forever. A third (35%) believe cryptocurrencies are a fad that is not worth bothering about.

While widespread interest in cryptocurrencies may have already peaked, there is still a demand to use the technology. A fifth (20%) of those surveyed said that while they are not using cryptocurrency at the moment, they would like to in the future. Yet there is still doubt amongst consumers – often led by a fear that there is a real risk to their finances. Fraudsters can use cryptocurrencies to their advantage, with around one-in-five (19%) of those surveyed saying they have experienced hacking attacks on exchanges. Criminals also create fake e-wallets to attract people to unwisely invest their money, and 15% of consumers have been victims of cryptocurrency fraud.

Vitaly Mzokov, Head of Commercialisation at Kaspersky, comments:

“It is clear that mainstream adoption and growth of cryptocurrency is being held back due to the vulnerable nature of the technology. While there is a high appetite to use it, giving your hard-earned cash to something you don’t fully understand, or trust, is a hurdle. With the safety of investments being of paramount importance to consumers, it is vital that they take their own steps to safeguard it. Like with any cyberthreat, there is no substitute for vigilance – if something looks too good to be true, then it probably is. If you want to trade crypto-assets on any exchange, pay attention to the safety of your account’s credentials.” 

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