As the Russian government works on the regulatory framework for digital currencies, a nationwide survey is published showing that only 28% of Russians have heard of bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, and only 1% has any investment in them.
Cryptocurrency Survey by NAFI
The National Agency for Financial Studies (NAFI) published a study this week on Russia’s awareness of cryptocurrency based on a survey it conducted this month. NAFI is a leading research company in Russia that specializes in the financial behavior of the population and businesses. 1,600 Russian respondents aged 18 or older were interviewed at 140 sampling locations in 42 regions throughout the country.
“The Russians are not well informed about what a cryptocurrency is,” NAFI wrote, adding that only 28% of them are aware of cryptocurrency while 72% only heard about it for the first time during the interview. Within this group of respondents, 16% have heard of cryptocurrency but do not know anything about it, while 12% know it well. However, “not more than 1% of Russians have used a cryptocurrency,” the agency added.
Among those who are aware of cryptocurrency, about a third (34%) are interested in information and news on this topic. Most of them are men (40%), respondents with higher education (43%) and Russians under 35 (38%). Only 25% of women are interested in the topic. NAFI Project Manager Sergey Antonyan was quoted by EA Daily as saying:
Until now, cryptocurrencies remain exotic for the overwhelming majority of our compatriots – less than a third of respondents have heard about them…the wave of interest in cryptocurrencies does not decrease, and the attitude becomes more positive.
Of those who have heard of cryptocurrency, 31% believe it to be the money of the future while 47% thought that the overall trend is a fad.
Most Believe Bitcoin Should Not Be Banned
One of the questions in the survey was whether respondents think that bitcoin should be banned. In 2015 a similar survey was conducted and 40% of all respondents familiar with cryptocurrency believed that it should be, whereas 23% believed otherwise. Last year, only 20% called for banning bitcoin and 34% believed the opposite. This year, “almost half of Russians informed about the cryptocurrency believe that it is not necessary to prohibit bitcoin (48%),” NAFI wrote.
Meanwhile, the Russian government is quickly warming up to cryptocurrency, currently drafting a proposal to classify bitcoins as digital goods and is even preparing to legalize Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
What do you think of the results of this Russian survey? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and NAFI
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