Less than a quarter of American adults are familiar with Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), according to a new Security.org survey, a percentage significantly less than previous estimates.
The report, released on June 3, surveyed over 500 adults. It found that 66% of people had never heard of NFTs before the survey, while 14% had heard of them but were unsure of what they were. Around 2% of respondents had purchased or sold an NFT in the past.
Half of those “familiar” were able to define an NFT, and an additional 15% believed them to be a cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin (BTC-USD).
The 30-44 age group was most likely to correctly define an NFT, while the 18-29 group was the most likely to claim familiarity with NFTs.
Non-fungible tokens are unique digital assets that are linked to the blockchain. NFTs can represent virtually any digital asset, including artwork, music or film, virtual items, and audio files. They provide ample new opportunities for digital investment through their strong verifiability and high potential value. Yet they also present serious financial risks, especially those associated with liquidity and security.
NFT technology has been around for years but received mainstream recognition within the finance community earlier this year. According to the Security.org report, previous studies suggested that “40 percent of U.S. adults are familiar with NFTs, while 81 percent are aware of them.”
“We had a hunch that Americans’ awareness of NFTs was actually lower than what some previous surveys had reported,” Ryan McGonagill, director of industry research at Security.org, said via an email interview with Yahoo Finance. “Especially considering that some Americans who were “familiar” with NFTs were still unsure of what an NFT actually is.”
The real surprise was found in the number of people who purchased an NFT. Roughly 4.1 million Americans have bought or sold an NFT.
“We didn’t expect that so many Americans had already participated in an NFT transaction,” McGonagill said. “It’s encouraging to see adoption rates increasing for new technology that could impact how we purchase artwork and other collectibles in the future.”
Ihsaan Fanusie is a writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @IFanusie.
More from Ihsaan: