For many of the cryptocurrency enthusiasts, the idea that Bitcoin could eventually replace Fiat money is all too appealing. Bitcoin “hodlers” are of the view that the Fiat money system is unreliable and cryptocurrency is our route to salvation.
While no doubt true in the long run, according to recent survey, the majority of participants still favour cash as method of payment. In the survey, cash was only just behind debit cards as the preferred method of payment.
The survey was conducted by Cardtronics and Edelman intelligence which used a sample size of 1,000 people in May and June of this year in the U.S. In the survey, digital currencies such as Bitcoin were in fourth place with only 15% of the responded labelling it as their preferred method of payment.
This is perhaps also a global trend as a seperate study by PayPal also found that users in that region were still wedded to cash, “paper over digits”.
Supposed Benefits of Cash
Cardtronics also asked the respondents why they preferred particular methods of payment. One of the reasons given for their dependence on cash is that they thought it was indeed one of the most secure. The survey found that 84% of those that responded were worried about their data security.
For example, there are numerous stories of data breaches at companies that hold credit card details. These are then used by cybercriminals for fraud purposes. Indeed, cryptocurrencies don’t fare that well either with stories of large scale thefts from exchanges and wallets.
This feeling is probably best summed up by Harley J. Spiller who is the author of “Keep the Change: A Collector’s Tales of Lucky Pennies, Counterfeit C-Notes, and Other Curious Currency”. He said:
My phone crashes, my computer dies, but my penny collection from when I was five is still here
While this is indeed quite a simplistic way to view cryptocurrency, one can indeed understand it. However, in today’s increasingly digitized world everything from bank accounts to share trading accounts are maintained in an online database.
What is indeed clear is that people still have a great attachment to cash. The simplicity of merely handing over a piece of paper that is universally synonymous with value is indeed hard to beat. As you can see from the image below, three quarters of respondents can’t imagine a world without cash.
As disconcerting as that may seem to those of us who were hoping for mass adoption of cryptocurrency, there is no reason to despair. Only 30 years ago, people would find it hard to imagine a world without paper bound books. As the information age has progressed so the need for paper bound books has slowly become obsolete.
Featured Image via Fotolia