Despite all the hype around bitcoin, only 16% of Europeans express any interest in diving into the cryptocurrency, according to a survey of 15,000 consumers conducted by ING.
Those that do buy into the trend are more likely to be younger (aged 25-44), male and from a country with a lower per-capital income such as Turkey or Romania.
With just nine percent of the sample owning bitcoin, awareness of the cryptocurrency varied across markets. Austrian consumers were the most clued up, with 79% having heard of bitcoin. This is in stark contrast to Belgium, where the cryptocurrency phenomena was recognised by just 38% of the population.
However, there was little difference between age groups, ranging from 60% of people over 65 saying they were familiar with it to 69% of those aged 25-44.
With bitcoin currently skidding below the $6000 mark, way below the $20k plus highs of late last year, most Europeans view the virtual currency markets as a risky gamble. One in three Europeans said they would never invest in the market, with 46% rating them as riskier than the share market. There is also a perception that they are difficult to understand and require expert financial advice.