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NEW YORK — Cryptocurrency is no longer a way to “get rich quick,” but most people believe it’s here to stay. In fact, more than half of Americans claim they’d willingly accept their regular paycheck from work in crypto.

A survey of 2,000 adults finds that 68 percent believe crypto will become more widely accepted and mainstream within the next three to five years. Three in five (61%) would even allow their employers to invest a portion of their paycheck into a cryptocurrency of their choosing, similar to how employers invest in employee retirement plans.

Of those with retirement plans already set up, 68 percent can spot the long-term benefits of crypto — stating they’d be comfortable with it being a part of their retirement investment portfolio. Six in 10 believe cryptocurrency investing should be as widespread as traditional financing — forecasting a growing desire to participate in the decentralized financial system.

Commissioned by Coinbase and conducted by OnePoll, the study reveals that 22 percent of people now own some type of cryptocurrency — the biggest hitters being Bitcoin (82%), Ethereum (65%), and Dogecoin (57%).

While 68 percent of all respondents have concerns about whether or not cryptocurrency is secure enough for daily use, 66 percent feel confident enough about their knowledge of how to keep their currencies secure from hackers. Nearly four in 10 (38%) have some basic knowledge of what cryptocurrency is, but not much beyond that. Meanwhile, 45 percent say they have an avid knowledge of crypto and how to use it. Only 16 percent of Americans have no idea what cryptocurrency is nor what tokens are.

Accessibility to cryptocurrency is a problem

Overall, 73 percent want to understand crypto but don’t know where to start or fear it will be too confusing. Sixty-four percent would be more involved in cryptocurrency if they found it easier to understand. Seven in 10 (71%) have had to look up crypto-related terms — like “decentralized finance,” “blockchain,” and “non-fungible” — several times to figure out what they mean.

“Many of the concerns we see around crypto adoption stem from fear of the unknown — those who don’t fully understand crypto are likely to be hesitant when they hear about things like phishing scams,” says Matt Muller, Director of Security Operations at Coinbase, in a statement. “The truth is that just a few key steps can go a long way to minimize vulnerability. I always recommend using a password manager and enabling two-factor authentication whenever possible. And remember, if it seems too good to be true, it usually is!”


Is it too late to get into crypto?

For 71 percent of respondents, cryptocurrencies seem to have come from thin air, without much context. This has been why 59 percent feel like they, personally, may have missed the boat on investing in cryptocurrency. At present, two in three respondents still believe their money is safer in a traditional bank than in a crypto exchange. Sixty-one percent feel like crypto is “too risky” for them to take seriously.

However, having a better understanding of how crypto works would be enough for 53 percent to feel secure about using it. When asked what would lead them to use cryptocurrencies more often, 43 percent would need to know how to obtain it, 41 percent would need to be reassured that it’s safe, and 34 percent would want to know how best to manage it.

“This research shows that concerns about crypto security are often due to a lack of understanding about how crypto works,” Muller adds. “As awareness grows, many are seeing first-hand how easy it is to use crypto safely and dive into the crypto-economy, taking full advantage of how crypto and the blockchain can create financial freedom for everyone.”

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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