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Bitcoin Could Capture the Imagination of Americans

Monday, September 8, 2014

RMU Reveals Bitcoin or Another Virtual Currency Could Capture the Imagination of Americans

  • Nearly Half (43.9%) See Bitcoins As Secure For Transactions
  • 26.7% Might Use Virtual Currency Instead of the U.S. Dollar
  • 44.5% Perceive Bitcoin To Be A Scam

PITTSBURGH, September 8, 2014 – According to the latest poll by the Robert Morris University Polling Institute Powered by Trib Total Media, while the use of Bitcoin has increased on a global level, many Americans question whether virtual currency is preferable to traditional currency.

Highlighting the doubt about virtual currencies, more than half of those surveyed (56.8 percent) were aware of Bitcoin, yet just 4.0 percent have actually used it.

After receiving a thorough and balanced introduction to Bitcoin, Americans appear evenly split on the currency – with 43.9 percent agreeing that Bitcoin “Seems like a more secure and safe way to conduct transactions” while 44.5 percent believe “Bitcoin sounds like a scam and a way to lose money”. 

Approximately 37 percent of Americans indicated that they would be interested in learning more about Bitcoin and other virtual currencies, and consider virtual currencies to be “legitimate money”. About one quarter – 26.7 percent – suggested they could see themselves using Bitcoin or another virtual currency instead of U.S. Dollars. An identified benefit of using virtual currencies included it being “an easy and convenient way to pay for goods and services in the future.”

“There are a number of factors that determine interest and comfort levels with virtual currency,” said RMU professor of management, Marcel Minutolo. “For example, people who use identity theft protection services are more likely to say they would be willing to make transactions with Bitcoin.”

“Older respondents were more likely to say they have heard of Bitcoin, but younger respondents, were more likely to say they were willing to actually make transactions with Bitcoin. This reflects the fact that older people typically pay closer attention to the news media, while younger people are more comfortable with technology,” said Minutolo. “We also found that Hispanics are more likely to use Bitcoin and replace other forms of currency with it. This may reflect the need for an easy and inexpensive way to send money across borders, to family in their native countries.”

ABOUT THE POLL: The Poll was conducted by the Robert Morris University Polling Institute Powered by Trib Total Media. Polling by the Institute is conducted on a regular basis and may also include spontaneous polling on occurring events.

METHODOLOGY:  The Poll sampled opinions of 1,001 Americans approximately proportional to state population contributions nationwide. The poll was conducted Aug. 18-22, 2014. All surveys were conducted using an online survey instrument. The poll has a +/-3.0 percent margin of error and a 95 percent confidence level on a composite basis.

ABOUT ROBERT MORRIS UNIVERSITY: Through 60 undergraduate and 20 graduate degree programs across five academic schools, Robert Morris University (RMU) in Pittsburgh, Pa., works to change its students' lives so that they can go out and change the lives of others for the better. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate, nontraditional and online students from 37 states and 37 nations are enrolled at RMU, which sits on 230 scenic acres just 20 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh. Emphasizing experiential learning, Robert Morris focuses on professional development, service learning, global awareness, undergraduate research, campus leadership, and cultural experiences, all of which are documented on our innovative Student Engagement Transcript. More than 100 clubs and organizations help students to develop leadership skills, network professionally, and meet friends. RMU also has 16 NCAA Division I athletic programs, including football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s ice hockey, and men's and women's lacrosse. Learn more at


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