Central Europeans Are Beginning to Wake Up to Cryptocurrency Payments

Poland's first cryptocurrency exchange queries users about why they use their loot.

Jun 13, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 9:18 a.m. UTC

BitBay, a Katowice-founded, Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange, released a survey of Polish cryptocurrency users in an attempt to “create a portrait of this community.” The answers may astound.

The central questions asked in the survey are: who uses cryptocurrencies… and how? At this point, it should be disclosed that BitBay is the corporate owner of BitBay Pay, a cryptocurrency payments provider.

BitBay was founded in 2014 by Sylwester Suszek as the first Polish cryptocurrency exchange. The firm now serves over 800,000 clients and employs over 200 people.

Ten questions, 2,582 BitBay respondents.

First, the unsurprising news given the paucity of females in cryptocurrency tech: over 90 percent of survey respondents were male, more than 50 percent were below the age of 40, and the largest demographic were males between the ages of 31 and 35.

The majority of respondents owned more than one currency -- the most popular being BTC, with a 70 percent hold rate -- and over half owned more than four different coins. Every third BitBay user also has ETH, Lisk and Ripple. 

Nine out of ten respondents consider digital currency to be a safe means of performing transactions, though the vast majority of respondents have not made a purchase using cryptocurrencies. Only 25 percent made at least one transaction. Of those that used cryptocurrency as a currency, 15 percent bought electronics, three percent bought food, and two percent used it to travel. Keep in mind that the regulatory position of cryptocurrency in Poland and much of Central Europe is still in flux.

The first two categories also appear among the most common answers to the question related to future purchases. Over 50 percent of respondents also declared that they would like to be able to pay with cryptocurrencies for automotive services.

The last question asked about user confidence. Over 90 percent believe that cryptocurrency payments will become increasingly popular.

This is a limited sample and a limited set of questions but it does point to the growth of interest in the technology but considerable uneasiness as exchanges seem to shutter overnight in the country.

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