11 Percent of Americans Think Bitcoin is Illegal, But Business Use Growing

Are Bitcoins Legal? 11% of Americans Don't Think So

Close to 11 percent of Americans believe owning Bitcoin is illegal, but almost half or 47.71 percent are also not sure. This is according to a poll commissioned by LendEDU and carried out by polling company OnePoll.

Are Bitcoins Legal?

Bitcoins are legal, however, the perception that they’re not is slowing its use.

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From the $230 price in September 2015, Bitcoin has gone to the $4,000+ price of today. But even as the cryptocurrency is growing to new highs, the number of people using is still very low. In the survey, only 13.99 percent said they either owned or currently own Bitcoins, but a whopping 85.37 percent said they have never owned it.

When it comes to using Bitcoin for transaction and purchases, the numbers are better, with 39.57 percent saying they would. A little over a third or 34.1 percent said they weren’t sure, and 26.34 percent rejected it all together.

So What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a form of digital currency, also called cryptocurrency, created and held electronically. It is a digital payments system that is not controlled by anyone. As a peer-to-peer system, the transactions are carried out between users, thus eliminating the cost incurred by intermediaries.

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The Future of Bitcoin

What Bitcoin has going for it is a young demographic. While Americans over 55 are more reluctant, those between 18 and 34 are open to using, owning and investing in Bitcoin, the survey said. For small business looking to accept Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency, the future looks promising.

The survey also looked at gender, and males owned and were more likely to use and invest in Bitcoin over females. But the discrepancies weren’t as large as other segments, with differences of less than 20 percent.

Who is Accepting Bitcoin?

The number and type of businesses accepting Bitcoin is growing. Microsoft, Intuit, PayPal, Dish Network and Overstock.com are a few examples. Retailers in the real-world also take it, including Target, K-Mart, Subway, Victoria’s Secret, and Whole Foods.

Bitcoin ATMs are also increasing in number. According to Coin ATM Radar, there are 1001 Bitcoin ATMs/tellers in the US.

Bitcoin Processor Photo via Shutterstock

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Michael Guta Michael Guta is the Assistant Editor at Small Business Trends and currently manages its East African editorial team. Michael brings with him many years of content experience in the digital ecosystem covering a wide range of industries. He holds a B.S. in Information Communication Technology, with an emphasis in Technology Management.

3 Reactions
  1. Why do Americans think Bitcoin is illegal???
    Are banks running a propaganda campaign against it or something?

  2. I’m actually pretty surprised that 13.99% of Americans own bitcoin. I wonder if they are primarily speculating or somewhere they do business with is accepting it as payment?