Photo via Flickr user btckeychain.
Photo via Flickr user btckeychain.

While it’s possible to go out and pay for an education with Bitcoin, some Americans think it’s something that involves a game controller.

According to a new Bloomberg National Poll, more than half of the Americans surveyed have no clue what Bitcoin is. When offered the choice, 46 percent of respondents said that they had absolutely no idea, while 6 percent of those surveyed thought it was a new game for the Xbox, and another 6 percent thought it was a new iPhone app.

The result could be bad news for people who like Bitcoin for its wild West-esque lack of regulation.

Source: Bloomberg
Source: Bloomberg

Once informed what Bitcoin was, 45 percent of those surveyed thought it would be better to regulate the cryptocurrency, while 39 percent thought it would be best for the government to keep its hands off, at least for now.

Part of that gap is generational: according to Bloomberg, respondents under the age of 35 were more likely to know what Bitcoin is and think that it should remain unregulated. But because of news coverage surrounding the arrest of Ross Ulbricht, who is allegedly the mastermind behind the Silk Road drug marketplace, some people only know Bitcoin as an instrument of crime.

The report is a strong reminder that even though something might be common knowledge in tech circles, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s made it out to a wider audience.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go play some Bitcoin. The graphics look incredible on the Xbox One.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline



    Actually, you can buy an education with Bitcoins., not only that but lamborginis, beer, food, homes, honey, meat, clothes, drugs, and much much more! Bitcoin is going mainstream….all aboard.

    Tips welcome :)


  • guest

    I’m actually pleasantly surprised that 42% DID know it was a virtual currency. That’s much higher than I would have guessed.

Job Listings on GeekWork