As with anyone who participates of cryptocurrencies, I tend to find myself explaining to common folk what this whole crypto thing is all about often. It’s obvious that presenting the idea to those who have never questioned money is quite difficult, but nonetheless I’ve found myself working hard at sharpening my arguments for them.
Why we should care?
It should not take much to convince any cryptocurrency enthusiast on the fact that teaching others about the technology and ethos is key to the long term success of the cryptosphere. After all, we are always talking about mass adoption, and for that to happen the conversation needs to escape the back alleys of the tech savvy folks and land on Sunday’s newspapers more often.
Without a doubt people have different skills for educating, which is really what I’m talking about, but nonetheless to some capacity we are all capable of introducing someone to the proposition. The old saying seems to ring true yet again – “You can bring a horse to the water, but you can’t make it drink”
In my personal experience I’ve had plenty of success getting people interested in the subject, even if they did not jump fully into it, which maybe at this stage is questionably smart. After all, the cryptosphere is still full of scams and what not. But, nonetheless I’m on a mission, a self imposed task, and I want to make sure I do my part as well.
Normalizing the Language
One of the frustrating things to most who are new to the cryptosphere is the specialized language that seems to be designed to intentionally confuse the new guys. Now, no doubt the evolution of words and acronyms like fomo, fud and what have you, have been organic, but some awareness when we are having these conversations with people that don’t know them is foundational.
I’ve been present when someone has explained cryptocurrencies using a plethora of words that as far as I know don’t belong to the english dictionary officially. As an observer of humanity I was entertained, but as a cryptocurrency enthusiast, I was a bit concerned, and it made me wonder if that’s common, if the crypto gospel is often spoken, but lost in translation.
The negative effects it can have are predictable, they really are: “Oh, that seems too complicated for me” is probably the default stance of someone who just got called a normie, a word mind you, that is not really tinged in positivity and that we should probably refrain from using anyways.
This has been usually the method that has worked the best for me, and I will speculate I’m not alone on this one. In other words, asking people why they hold the ideas the hold on value and money, usually prepares the soil for the inception of new concepts.
One of my favorite questions to employ is to ask people if they know what FIAT means. If they know how today’s money is not backed by anything at all, not gold, not silver, not oil. More often times than not, I’m met with skepticism, but of course, this is easily proven, and a quick search on google usually leaves my “victim” in shock for a few seconds.
However the conversation never stops there and with time I’ve gotten more effective at answering the doubts that are sure to be casted upon my assertions. Seems like a lot of work, one would say, but again as I’ve said before, in many ways those who are already here have the ability to empower others, and the mission, at least in my opinion, seems to be a noble one.
Don’t forget Analogies
Associating things unknown with things we know well is the most effective way of processing new knowledge for just about everyone. So, if you can think of a way to explain your points using analogies that your listener can relate to, then you may just be effective enough conveying the message.
This might be a case by case basis, but I’m sure you can think of new things you’ve learnt using this method. I have to say that although most of my analogies are improvised, the one that I’ve used effectively over and over, is to refer to blockchain as a database that copied itself all over the internet, and thus exists everywhere. Grant you, not precisely accurate, but palpable enough for anyone who has used databases in one way or another.
Maybe it’s time you join too
I’m sure you can think of ways you can do your part to teach people about this ecosystem, the ins and outs, the dos and the don’ts, but with enough caveats and disclaimers of course.
This young ecosystem represents enormous opportunity for those who are brave enough to surf the confusing waters, the crazy market cycles and the misinformation. But, this will not always be the case, and those who got here in the beginning will be handsomely rewarded for their boldness or bravery, just pick your favorite word.