Introducing Bitcoin to the family is no easy task. The same goes for close friends and sometimes even your partner. The discussions can be daunting and sometimes fall to the wayside. Some even find their way into ridiculous theories of absurdity. Why is it so hard to explain Bitcoin to others?
Also Read: Getting started with Bitcoin
Most likely it is because people don’t understand the concept of money. They don’t get the way fiat money works and how the central banks create these paper notes. People understand that the dollar, euro or any legal tender is accepted by the local merchant. This is what they know and hold true to the best of their ability. If people were more informed of what inflation and the devaluation of currency does maybe they would think twice.
“WELL BITCOIN IS JUST NUMBERS OR DIGITS.”
Fiat money or legal tender is legitimate because in many respects you are forced to use it. Most of the time when an alternative currency is created it is fought against by the banking system and localized governments. Take for instance the arrest of the creator of the Liberty Dollar. However, there have been some alternative currencies that have thrived such as the Berkshires in Massachusetts making their own paper currency, and the UK’s Brixton Pound. Another survivor that is being seen as an alternative currency is Bitcoin. The difference being with Bitcoin is that it is not a fiat currency, it is not at all like paper money, and it does not come from a central entity. What people do know about fiat currency is that the government enforces this to be a legal form of payment therefore putting trust into it. After all, it’s accepted everywhere.
Bitcoin’s ecosystem currently houses many businesses who accept the digital currency. From online to brick and mortar these businesses use the virtual coin everyday. To understand Bitcoin is to visualize an economy thriving without a central point of failure. There is no person printing more Bitcoin, and no federal reserve. The cap is set at 21 million and will always be this way. As governments print out more dollars and yuan, consumer buying power drops. A loaf of bread was once a dollar costs four now. This is inflation. This is the silent robbery that is taking place each and everyday and this invisible creature is destroying your ability to save. Deflation works opposite to this channel. It created more savings and more buying power for the consumer, giving everyone economic inclusion. When thinking about money family members and friends should discuss inflation. This is something we all can relate to and no doubt the same for your sister raising two kids. Bitcoin initiates the incentive to save and spend with more buying power as the protocol advances.
“People will never transact with Bitcoin using QR codes and phones.”
When discussing Bitcoin with people they often say “Well Bitcoin is just numbers or digits.” Little do they know that numbers and digits are used in the financial world constantly. The people who fear “digital numbers” might want to be more afraid. As the world’s cold hard cash in existence is about 8.3%. These same people will use their local bank paying with a credit card and online banking services to buy from merchants daily in digits. These digits are accepted by merchants and some of them get charged 2-3% plus annual fees for processing credit cards. Bitcoin doesn’t do this. It doesn’t charge the merchant for using the protocol. Most of my family members and friends don’t see how much digital life they actually use.
“People will never transact with Bitcoin using QR code and phones.” This dreaded line is often said to me. You might want to ask yourselves why big businesses are gearing towards this light. If you go to your local grocery store, you will now see machines that process with NFC technology or accept apple pay. There was a time in my life where I didn’t think we would all carry the Internet in my pocket but we do now. The age of technology is here and now you can see many farmers markets using companies like Square to process transactions. As a true peer-to-peer protocol Bitcoin is the next natural step.
Then there’s the incoherent babble that Bitcoin is the “Mark of the Beast” and once everyone is part of the network you will be an indentured slave. Yes, I know people who’ve believed these theories. That Bitcoin is one giant psyop or Ponzi scheme ready to fleece the public. “You know that the Bit Coin is associated with the CIA, DARPA, and secret Jade Helm officials.” These are the comments I hear mixed with “once we all get on the Bit coin we will all be tracked.” Well I inform them that these are just mere fairy tales. But what’s not a fairy tale is the revelations Edward Snowden has brought forth and your governments are watching you right now. The access to metadata and privileged private information that the NSA and UKs GCHQ hold is quite horrendous. This is a true story, mix this with the crimes of the world’s central banking system and you have the biggest Ponzi ever.
“Well, if I can’t understand Bitcoin then no one will ever use it.”
Many of my family members like precious metals. Some of them collect them and tell me about the need to save them. At one time in my life I too could be found at my local shop buying a coin. Over time I found through my discovery with Bitcoin that information being held on the largest ledger in the world just might be more important than a shiny metal. All value is based on the subjective valuations of individuals. Studying the Bitcoin protocol I’ve realized that with shown demonstrated preference that being able to exchange value globally in seconds is tremendous. What’s even more exciting is the exceptional wonder that is Bitcoin 1.0 and its decentralized beauty. We’ve just begun and 2.0 is just around the bend. I’ve spoken with my family members about this and asked what if gold and silver really doesn’t do what it used to. Sure it’s been around for millennia, but does that mean it will forever?
The last and most meaningful part of most debate is the person saying “Well, if I can’t understand Bitcoin then no one will ever use it.” Next time this happens to you discussing cryptocurrency make sure you follow back with “Do you understand the money in your own pocket?” The fact of the matter is most people don’t conceptualize the fiat money they use everyday. They have no idea how the money is printed and made. They just use and consume and sometimes that’s all people want. Bitcoin can do this too. You don’t have to understand everything about Bitcoin to use it. It simply only takes less than ten minutes to use and acquire a wallet. Yet understanding the background of where your money derives and what it does should be important. Getting robbed by inflationary spirals are not at all ‘what’s best’ for our family and future generations.
I like to remind my friends and family, that we use the Internet everyday and a lot of us carry it with us. Using and transacting with Bitcoin is no different than the lifecycle of the portable Internet. Letting them know how much they send email over paper snail mail is a plus. Bitcoin is the next natural step with money and its core fundamentals lie in being open source data for everyone. Bitcoin is here to stay and I for one will continue to exemplify what the preferred model of money is, and how cryptocurrency solves its many problems.
Do you think your family understands Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below.
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