While Germany has become a hostile environment for Bitcoin in the EU, its central bank has revealed its engagement with cryptocurrency in 2014 in a consumer survey.
The results, which went into compiling Deutsche Bundesbank’s report on Payment Habits in Germany 2014, showed that of the 2,000 people who responded to the survey, 28% had heard of Bitcoin overall.
Within the 18-24 age group, the figure returned was higher, at 41%.
While the bank’s analysis of the findings continues in the critical perspective, which has characterized the German financial community’s attitudes to virtual currency over the past twelve months, the findings in themselves are more striking.
The report is careful not to include cryptocurrency in its section titled “Innovative Payment Methods,” which it lists are contactless credit or debit cards, mobile and Internet-initiated transactions. It also suggests that the above figures “illustrate Bitcoin to be a niche phenomenon” at the time the survey was carried out in May-June 2014.
As German cryptocurrency magazine Coinspondent points out, however, this small consultation window, as well as the restricted age group involved (those under 18 did not take part), makes the returned results all the more interesting.
“The Bundesbank study itself suggests that the younger sections of society are very savvy about digital money,” the publication noted.
The timing of the survey is also noteworthy, having been carried out a full six months before the shift in regulatory interpretation, which saw Localbitcoins suspend its services in Germany. This was followed by reports in January this year that the German savings bank Sparkasse was blocking payments related to cryptocurrency orders, yet there have been some developments to the contrary.
In February, Munich-based Fidor Bank announced its direct facilitation of Bitcoin purchase options for clients, which would be fully insured against loss or problems with the exchange institution and notably come with full regulatory compliance.
Fidor’s range of financial instruments is expected to enter the US market in a limited capacity, demonstrating a mixed landscape among German banks with regard to the “niche phenomenon” of cryptocurrency.
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