Of two minds, multiple addresses, and one ledger: characterizing opinions, knowledge, and perceptions of Bitcoin across users and non-users

Year 2016
Author Xianyi Gao, Gradeigh D. Clark, Janne Lindqvist
Publisher SIGCHI 2016 Proceedings
Link View Research Paper

Bitcoin / Society

Digital currencies represent a new method for exchange – a payment method with no physical form, made real by the Internet. This new type of currency was created to ease online transactions and to provide greater convenience in making payments. However, a critical component of a monetary system is the people who use it. Acknowledging this, we present results of our interview study (N=20) with two groups of participants (users and non-users) about how they perceive the most popular digital currency, Bitcoin. Our results reveal: non-users mistakenly believe they are incapable of using Bitcoin, users are not well-versed in how the protocol functions, they have misconceptions about the privacy of transactions, and that Bitcoin satisfies properties of ideal payment systems as defined by our participants. Our results illustrate Bitcoin’s tradeoffs, its uses, and barriers to entry