Clea Benson at Bloomberg reports that less than half of Americans even know what Bitcoin is.

The findings are based on a telephone survey conducted by the paper. Some respondents identified Bitcoins as possibly being an Xbox game or an iPhone app.

Only 42% of respondents knew that Bitcoin is a digital currency.

This was the actual question from the survey, conducted by randomly selecting phone numbers across the US:

“Bitcoin has been in the news recently. Do you think Bitcoin is: (Read options. Rotate.)

  • (6) A new iPhone app
  • (42) A virtual currency
  • (6) An Xbox game
  • (46) Not sure

Of those who positively identified the cryptocurrency, 45% suggested it should be regulated, and 39% said it should be unregulated. With a survey margin of error at plus/minus 3.1%, those are effectively a wash.

Getting down to actually using the currency is even more dicey. Two respondents quoted — a 62 year old in Dallas and a 32 year old in New York — admitted to having no practical use for Bitcoin, though the younger respondent had considered it as an investment vehicle.

All told, younger respondents were more likely to be able to identify Bitcoin correctly, and they were more likely to support government nonintervention in cryptocurrencies.