No matter how enthusiastic crypto pioneers are about the industry and its potential, there’s no denying that crypto has something of an image problem. Skeptics point to a variety of factors — the current lack of regulation, the historic volatility of crypto coins, the environmental impact of the industry’s heavy use of technology and more — as reasons newcomers should steer clear of crypto (at least for now).
Crypto leaders acknowledge the industry’s growing pains, and they regularly assert their commitment to addressing issues such as regulation and environmental impact. And they realize that, even though they may be frustrating, skeptics’ concerns are worth addressing directly, because as they learn more, skeptics often become converts. Here, nine members of Cointelegraph Innovation Circle discuss persuasive ways to address the questions and misconceptions of crypto’s naysayers.
Explain the differences between the U.S. dollar and Bitcoin
Many crypto naysayers think that the U.S. dollar is backed by tax receipts and have no idea it is a Federal Reserve note, issued by a semi-private bank with the monopoly to print money without limits and no backing. Confidence is the only thing that supports the dollar. Describe how Bitcoin, which requires huge resources to create, is not centrally controlled and that there is total transparency about transactions and supply. – Charlie Silver, Permission.io
Some critics have a way of simplifying complex ideas into “good” and “bad,” but this can lead to oversimplification and misunderstanding. Using metaphors is a good way to balance the need to understand complexity without oversimplifying. My favorite way to explain decentralized finance is that it can do for traditional finance users what distributed solar power can do for electricity grid users: It’s a question of self-reliance via disintermediation. – Brandon Neal, Euler
Offer a ‘behind-the-scenes’ view
Showing behind-the-scenes footage of our mining facilities gives people the chance to see the physical infrastructure that undergirds this technology. While some people may not 100% understand how something operates, that doesn’t mean they won’t accept the concept. There’s still time before Bitcoin and other coins are widely adopted, but adoption grows when we see ourselves as educators. – Zach Bradford, CleanSpark Inc.
Cut the industry jargon
Education is the key to success. Everyone in crypto and Web3 needs to do a better job of helping the masses understand the opportunities this new landscape presents. If we want people to be more receptive, we’ve got to cut the industry jargon and use normal, easy-to-understand language, not only when speaking to consumers but within the industry as well. It’s all about building trust and understanding. – Tim Mangnall, Capital Block
Start with blockchain’s benefits
Start with the core benefits of the technology in terms of meeting their goals and supporting their values. When people realize what is actually possible with blockchain technology, they typically become very interested. The “number go up” approach of focusing on token price has turned a lot of people off. – Joe Roets, Dragonchain
Teach the importance of DeFi and blockchain
Rather than pushing the technical or investing component of crypto, I like to start by teaching the importance of decentralized finance and blockchain. When you break crypto down into technicalities, it’s very overwhelming. But when you focus on the key benefits over fiat money, people tend to respond with more open minds. – Ty Smith, Coinbound
Use the language and terminology each person understands
Crypto folks must communicate using an educational mindset. There are differing levels of knowledge about crypto, and we need to meet people where they are, whether they’re beginners or have a deeper understanding. There are varying degrees of tech-savviness among skeptics, and we should address each one with the language and terminology they need in order to understand crypto’s full potential. – Ayelet Noff, SlicedBrand
Help them take a ‘test drive’
Ask them to download a mobile app, and send them 50 dollars worth of crypto. This shows them how easy it is. Another strategy I have seen work is discussing the future crypto elements that will happen to the other person’s job. If they are in banking, describe how crypto could change their own working industry — making it easier for them to relate means that you are addressing the issue in ways that are closer to the other person. – Tim Haldorsson, Lunar Strategy
Share the Bitcoin white paper
I often suggest that people read the Bitcoin white paper, since it is one of the easiest to understand and is also the root of many of the other white papers that have been published. I also tend to focus on the uses and benefits of blockchain and cryptographic technology rather than decentralized currency. – Arie Trouw, XYO
This article was published through Cointelegraph Innovation Circle, a vetted organization of senior executives and experts in the blockchain technology industry who are building the future through the power of connections, collaboration and thought leadership. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Cointelegraph.