Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab announced on Wednesday that it believes slightly more than 10 percent of people have made an online purchase using cryptocurrency.
In a report covering online finances, the company said that 13 percent of the people it surveyed had used cryptocurrency to make an online purchase.
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“Despite a fall in cryptocurrency prices, there is still a strong desire for digital transactions amongst consumers,” said Vitaly Mzokov, Head of Verification at Kaspersky Lab. “Our consumer research has found that 13 percent of people have used cryptocurrency as a payment method, which was surprising to see. However, there are also real dangers associated with online exchanges as they are still in their infancy.”
As Mzokov said, this result is indeed surprising. But neither the firm’s report nor its subsequent press release, indicate what classifies as an online purchase.
Crypto to Crypto or Crypto to Product?
This makes things interesting because, if the firm classified buying cryptocurrency using cryptocurrency as using “cryptocurrency as a payment method,” then its 13 percent statistic is fairly meaningless.
Finding data on what percentage of cryptocurrency is purchased with another form of cryptocurrency isn’t easy. Given how many coins can only be purchased using one type of cryptocurrency, however, it wouldn’t surprise this author if a substantial proportion of cryptocurrency payments were simply exchanges between different sorts of cryptocurrency.
Having said all of this, if the statistic does not include those sorts of exchanges, then it is an astonishing figure.
Some firms have started to accept cryptocurrency payments, but it certainly remains an anomalous option for prospective buyers.
It’s also worth noting that the Kaspersky survey covered 2018. Since the price of cryptocurrencies crashed at the end of the year, it would be interesting to see how cryptocurrency spending was spread out across that 12 month period.
In the meantime, cryptocurrency payments are becoming progressively more popular. Retail stores, for example, are increasingly able to accept cryptocurrency payments via purpose-built machines.