June 17, 2019

Kaspersky Finds Only One-in-Ten Consumers Understand How Cryptocurrency Works

Technical complexity and market volatility among the leading factors inhibiting widespread cryptocurrency adoption and use

Woburn, MA – June 17, 2019 – According to a new Kaspersky survey, a lack of both understanding and trust are key factors preventing consumers from using cryptocurrencies for everyday financial transactions. The report reveals that while nearly a third of people (29%) have some knowledge of cryptocurrency, just one-in-ten (10%) feel that they fully comprehend how this technology works.

The rate at which global consumers are adopting cryptocurrencies is slowing down, despite celebrities like Johnny Depp and influencers such as PewDiePie endorsing the technology. To date, the vast majority of people (81%) have never purchased cryptocurrency, highlighting how far away it is from being accepted as a common form of payment or investment. 

Kaspersky’s survey found that this knowledge gap is not only preventing consumers from adopting cryptocurrency, but also discouraging some current users, with many people who thought they understood cryptocurrency later deciding against using the technology. Of the survey respondents who had previously used cryptocurrencies, 18% stopped doing so because it became too technically complicated.

Cryptocurrency adoption has been further slowed by consumers’ distrust in its ability to keep their money safe. For instance, nearly a third (31%) of respondents stopped using cryptocurrency due to its volatility. There is also a common perception amongst consumers that cryptocurrency will not be around forever, with a third of people (35%) believing it is a fad that is not worth bothering about. 

In addition, some consumers believe there is a real risk to their security when using cryptocurrency. Around one-in-five (19%) of those surveyed saying they have experienced hacking attacks on exchanges. Cybercriminals have also been known to use cryptocurrencies to their advantage, such as creating fake e-wallets to attract people to unwisely invest their money. As a result of fraudsters, 15% of consumers have been victims of cryptocurrency fraud.

While widespread interest in cryptocurrencies may have already peaked, there is still some demand to use the technology. A fifth (20%) of people surveyed said that while they are not using cryptocurrency at the moment, they would like to in the future.

“It is clear that mainstream adoption and growth of cryptocurrency is being held back due to the vulnerable nature of the technology,” said Vitaly Mzokov, head of commercialization, Kaspersky. “While there is a high appetite to use cryptocurrency, 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.”

To help improve stability and foster trust in cryptocurrencies, Kaspersky partners, such as Merkeleon, have developed legitimate marketplace platforms, online auction platforms, cryptocurrency exchanges and crypto payment systems.

“Cryptocurrency certainly has its benefits, but as we can see, many consumers are still unaware of what they are due to concerns over security and how the technology works,” explained Alexey Sidorowich, head of sales and business development at Merkeleon. “It is an exciting industry to be involved in, but it is one that is built upon trust. It is, therefore, imperative that cryptocurrency businesses do all they can to protect their networks and ensure their customers’ finances are safe and secure.”

Following several years of cybersecurity research into crypto start-ups, Kaspersky recommends crypto businesses adopt best security practices for smart contract developers, use proven frameworks for smart contracts (such as https://openzeppelin.org/) and conduct a third-party assessment of any smart contracts to ensure potential vulnerabilities are not missed.

For further information on how Kaspersky provides transparent and powerful protection for crypto-trading platforms and token offering projects, please click here. To learn more about protection for consumers, please visit our website.

The full report on consumers’ attitudes towards cryptocurrencies is available here.

About Kaspersky

Kaspersky is a global cybersecurity company founded in 1997. Kaspersky’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into innovative security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky technologies and we help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at usa.kaspersky.com.

Media Contact
Meghan Rimol
781.503.2671
meghan.rimol@kaspersky.com 

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