The latest survey made by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (RPORC) shows a considerable progress of public awareness about Bitcoin in Russia when compared to the survey established by the National Agency for Financial Studies (NAFI) in summer 2017.
More than half of Russians (56%) say they know about bitcoins. However, only 13% knows in detail; another 14% have heard just the term itself. Two-thirds of the people that know about it, or 67%, consider spending fiat rubles on bitcoins unprofitable. Only 9% of all Russians reckon they will buy the cryptocurrency in the future.
The level of awareness among representatives of the youngest age groups is noticeably higher. It is 75% among 18-24 year-olds, residents of Moscow and 74% residents of St. Petersburg. 71% of men are aware of the cryptocurrency in Russia. Also, 66% of active Internet users know about the same.
While only 16% responded to the NAFI they know about this topic, 56% of Russians told to the RPORC almost the same answer quite recently. Russians who only heard something about Bitcoin went to 14% from 16% in summer 2017. At that time, 12% of Russians knew about the topic in detail, against current 14%.
Despite often described to them as an asset and defined as “other property”, 40% of the participants in the study know they can use bitcoin to buy and sell goods and services. The question about how secure it is to keep funds on the blockchain divides Russians. 36% of them believe that it’s hard to steal digital cash. The sceptics, who think that’s easy, form 33% of the sample.
A recent survey conducted by an Indonesian company showed that less than half of the Russian citizens expected broad adoption of cryptocurrencies in the next decade. Russians questioned by VCIOM say the main reason for their anxiety is the insufficient information about bitcoin. The findings of another Russian study, however, point to a trend that may change that assessment.
Bitcoin is a decentralised system based on blockchain technology. Any user participating in the system can ‘mine’ Bitcoin by creating new blocks of the structure using a computing device. The system’s concept was first published in November 2008 by its author (or probably a group of authors) under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto.
Sociologists say the respondents have meagre knowledge about bitcoins. Some 27% think that not everyone can buy this cryptocurrency, and another 16% say it is outlawed in Russia. Some 29% of Russians know that anyone can buy and also mine bitcoins themselves.
VCIOM’s Lead Consulting Expert, Oleg Chernozub, shares a rule of thumb borrowed from “professional investors”: “If the price of an asset is discussed in TV shows for housewives, it will soon crash!” According to him, Bitcoin is now approaching this status.
Earlier this week, Russia’s prime minister Dmitry Medvedev forecast the disappearance of the cryptocurrencies, calling them a “dead-end segment of the cyber revolution”. However, he noted that the technology at the basis of the cryptocurrencies is not necessarily doomed.