Bitcoin by Shutterstock 2
Bitcoin security also threatened by Heartbleed.

Consumers are skeptical of using alternative forms of currency like bitcoin, a 5-year-old digital currency, a recent nationwide survey by TheStreet (NASDAQ:TST) found.

Seventy-nine percent of consumers said they would never consider using an alternative currency like bitcoin. Most consumers (76 percent) are not familiar with bitcoin, and 80 percent would rather own gold than bitcoin, the survey, which was released Wednesday, found.

"While bitcoin has attracted the attention of influential hedge fund managers and the research desks of major U.S. banks, an overwhelming majority of Americans remain unaware of cryptocurrency,” Joe Deaux, TheStreet's economics analyst, said.

“Bitcoin's supporters would argue that the virtual currency remains in its infancy and that a year ago most of Wall Street hadn't heard of it," Deaux said. "But TheStreet's survey shows that there isn't great deviation across income brackets as to how many people know about bitcoin, own bitcoin and prefer it to owning gold."

Young consumers were more likely to embrace bitcoin once it was described to them. Thirty-two percent of 18-24-year-olds said they would consider using an alternative form of currency like bitcoin, compared to 11 percent of those over 65.

Here's an infographic with more of the survey's findings:

TheStreet's survey found that most consumers are skeptical of using Bitcoin. TheStreet