About 10% of people have used bitcoin (BTC) or other cryptocurrencies to pay for goods purchased online, according to leading cybersecurity firm, Kaspersky Labs.
Significantly, the number of merchants accepting bitcoin payments worldwide has increased by over 700% in the past 6 years – Bitcoin directory service provider, Coinmap’s data suggests. Although cryptocurrencies have not yet achieved mainstream adoption, the global percentage of people using bitcoin and other digital assets is growing steadily. Approximately 13% of the world’s (mostly urban) population has now used cryptocurrency to pay for items purchased through e-commerce sites, Kaspersky’s survey shows.
Established in Moscow in 1997, Kaspersky Labs’ survey was conducted by gathering responses from over 13,000 consumers located in 22 different countries. The survey’s results confirm that cryptocurrency remains the least popular payment method as 81% of consumers participating in the poll said they prefer using bank-issued debit or credit cards to make purchases online.
“Still A Strong Desire For Digital Transactions”
Commenting on the cybersecurity firm’s survey results, Vitaly Mzokov, the business lead at Kaspersky, remarked:
Despite a fall in cryptocurrency prices, there is still a strong desire for digital transactions amongst consumers. Our consumer research has found [a significant number of consumers are using cryptos for payment], which was surprising to see.
Although digital asset prices have fallen by an average of over 80% – after recording all-time highs in late 2017 and early 2018, a relatively small percentage of internet-based consumers still seem to prefer using cryptocurrencies as payment. Online merchants are also increasingly introducing crypto as a payment option.
Despite reports from traditional financial institutions including JPMorgan Chase, which claim that major retailers are not adopting cryptocurrency payments, digital assets are being used by businesses worldwide. Notably, Coinmap data indicates that bitcoin acceptance increased by 702% since December 2013.
BTC Acceptance Rates Have Signficantly Increased
Currently, there are 14,346 venues globally that take BTC as payment – which is considerably more than only 1,789 merchants that accepted bitcoin about six years back. Ryan Radloff, the CEO at CoinShares, a crypto treasury management firm, recently revealed (via Twitter) the dramatic increase in BTC acceptance rates in the past 5 years.
1/ 2013 vs. 2018 venues accepting #Bitcoin pic.twitter.com/BjpraiY9qJ
— Ryan Radloff ⚡️ (@RyanRadloff) February 12, 2019
Crypto adoption rates appear to be the highest in countries suffering from hyperinflation and/or unsound monetary policies – such as Ecuador and Venezuela. Interestingly, the “heat map” shared by Radloff shows that BTC adoption has surged in the last six years – particularly in the northern regions of South America.
Moreover, crypto adoption rates also suggest that online venues are not the only places that are taking payments in bitcoin. More traditional brick-and-mortar establishments including Montessori schools and restaurants are also accepting cryptocurrency payments.