Below is a collection of published user research findings around bitcoin, from academic papers to surveys and blog posts.
Journal articles #
Bits Under the Mattress: Understanding Different Risk Perceptions and Security Behaviours of Crypto-Asset Users #
2021 by Abramova, Voskobojnikov, Beznosov, and Böhme.
A survey of security behaviours among three bitcoin user archetypes, showing that cypherpunks tend to use self-managed security solutions, whereas hodlers and rookies use either custodial solutions or non-custodial wallets.
Investigating the Adoption Factors of Cryptocurrencies—A Case of Bitcoin: Empirical Evidence From China #
2021 by Nadeem, Liu, Beznosov, and Pitafi.
A survey of 385 Chinese residents that aims to investigate the adoption factors influencing bitcoin. Results reveal that perceived ease of use and the perceived usefulness have a positive relationship with the intention to use bitcoin.
2021 by Voskobojnikov, Abramova, Beznosov, and Böhme.
A survey of 200 users and 204 non-users of crypto-assets about the roles of trust, self-efficacy, and risk on adoption intention. Results found that trust is a critical factor affecting adoption intention.
The U in Crypto Stands for Usable: An Empirical Study of User Experience with Mobile Cryptocurrency Wallets #
2021 by Voskobojnikov, Wiese, M. Koushki, Roth, and Beznosov.
An analysis of app reviews of the top five mobile cryptocurrency wallets suggesting that both new and experienced users struggle with general and domain-specific UX issues that might lead to dangerous errors and irreversible monetary losses.
2019 by Alshamsi and Andras.
A survey of 22 undergraduate students at Keele University concluding that bitcoin was still in its infancy at the time of writing and required user education and a new way of thinking. The study recommends user-centered design to develop users’ mental models and deepen their understanding of digital payment technology.
2018 by Eskandari, Barrera, Stobert, and Clark.
A broad usability evaluation of key management techniques used by six representative bitcoin clients. Findings show that bitcoin shares many fundamental challenges known from other domains, and also presents a unique opportunity to rethink key management for end users.
2017 by Pajunen.
A survey of 50 users on the r/Bitcoin subreddit that showed bitcoin users value their anonymity, which suggests that anonymity is an integral part of bitcoin, at least from an end user perspective.
2017 by Krombholz, Judmayer, Gusenbauer, and Weippl.
A survey and follow-up interview of 990 bitcoin users to determine bitcoin management strategies and identify how they deploy security measures to protect their keys and bitcoins. It was found that many do not use all security capabilities of their selected applications and have significant misconceptions on how to remain anonymous and protect their privacy.
Independent research #
2022 by Kraken Intelligence.
This report provides an overview of the Lightning protocol and its technical design. It also reveals its historical background and gives some interesting insights into the state of the network.
2022 by Block, Inc.
In early 2022, Block, Inc. partnered with Wakefield Research to survey 9,500 people in 14 countries across the Americas, EMEA, and APAC. The pool of respondents spread not only across geographies, but also a wide range of ages and gender. The resulting report is a valuable resource to better understand people’s knowledge and perceptions of bitcoin.
2022 by Alvarez and Argente
A representative national survey was conducted to obtain information on bitcoin’s usage and effects. The authors rely on survey data gathered from face-to-face interviews with 1,800 Salvadorean households. This papers goal is to study the potential of a cryptocurrency to become a medium of exchange.
2022 by BlockFi
Female Americans were asked about their current motivations, behaviors and dispositions around crypto investing, financial wellness, and career aspirations. 24% reported owning crypto, with 71% of those owning bitcoin. 70% have only bought and never sold.
2021 by Arcane research
The State of Lightning provides a comprehensive overview of usage on the Lightning network seen to date (October 2021). The report highlights and explains the growth in network metrics, provides estimates of mainstream adoption, and looks into the future of the Lightning network.
2021 by Estevão
The goal of the research was to provide an in-depth qualitative knowledge of how people use or perceive bitcoin.
2021 by Kaloudis, CoinDesk research
The research looks at the Lightning Network from a perspective of the scaling solution and pinpoints the basic architecture that powers it and outlines the potential attact vectors.
2021 by Valentine.
Research on users new to crypto around whether they are confident in their ability to safely hold and keep track of seed phrases. This research aimed to discover whether automatic cloud backups could empower users to confidently secure their own bitcoin wallets.
2021 by Morucci.
A currently active survey of 65 on the perception and beliefs of bitcoin users and non-users.
2021 by Morucci.
An online survey of over 2,000 US adults by Blockchain Capital to gauge the progression of the general population through the crypto adoption funnel, including awareness, familiarity, perception, conviction, relative preference rates and propensity to purchase crypto.
2021 by Karim, and Tomova.
A survey showing an increase in awareness of cryptocurrencies among adults in the UK, but a decreasing understanding of how cryptocurrencies work.
2021 by Montasser.
An investigation into how people use (or don’t use) the Bitcoin Core Wallet and what needs are unmet by a variety of users. The project employed both qualitative interviews along with surveys to understand a variety of user needs and approaches to using bitcoin.
2019 by Foundation for Interwallet Operability (FIO).
A survey of over 200 crypto holders regarding their frequency and experiences in transacting crypto, with the goal of unearthing some of the common issues they’ve faced.
2020 by Blandin, Pieters, Wu, Eisermann, Dek, Taylor and Njoki.
A review of the changes in the industry since the 2nd report in 2018. The study gathers survey data from more than 280 cryptoasset companies in 59 countries, focusing on the following four key industry segments: exchanges, payments, custody, and mining.
Case studies #
2022 by Vongphrachanh and Berkoe.
A research initiative to understand how women outside the U.S who never engaged with bitcoin felt about it and how their perceptions differed from men’s. The findings highlight roadblocks faced by would-be adopters.
2020 by Ramsey.
A UX case case study by built for mars that covers the experience of buying, storing, trading and selling cryptocurrency’s like bitcoin on Coinbase.
2019 by Zhao.
Documentation of the user research, redesign and testing process of Coinhako, a cryptocurrency trading and digital wallet app.
The study conducted to look into the interactions between users and the Lightning payments. It also reviewes three well-known projects at that time and looks through their user-experience.
2019 by Estevão.
2018 by Kawabata.
A UX case study exploring the usability and suggesting improvements for making purchases in the Abra app.
Blog posts & write-ups #
2018 by Scherba.
A blog post by uxmatters that covers the usability issues cryptocurrencies face and how the path to mainstream adoption is hindered by a lack of usability.
2017 by Braun and Ufaev.
A blog post by icons8 that covers the usability issues bitcoin has. The main issues outlined are high price of error, lack of undo, ugly addresses, poor response time, and lack of trust.