The main focus of the blockchain literature has been on the technical capabilities of the technology in terms of data privacy and security enhancement. Such an approach has disregarded the individual's perception of potential threats in data exchange and the capabilities of a blockchain to eliminate them. To fill this gap this study aims to examine the cognitive factors determining the users’ motivation to utilise blockchains as a means to protect oneself from privacy and security issues. This paper adopts the Protection Motivation Theory, which makes it possible to assess the role of threat and coping appraisal in relation to the adoption of the blockchain. We examined the effect of the factors using a sample of 506 respondents. The findings showed that threat vulnerability, response efficacy, response cost and self-efficacy determine adoption intention. Compared to threat appraisal, coping appraisal has a stronger effect on intention to use. The findings contribute to the understanding of the individual's perspective on blockchain adoption by focusing on cognitive factors. They can inform blockchain developers and marketers about aspects of individuals’ behaviour that should be considered when developing and promoting the technology.