If Bitcoin and blockchain technology are so important, why aren’t we all using Bitcoin by now?
Bitcoin owners can likely recall who introduced them, where they were and how the epiphany moment of understanding Bitcoin and the underlying blockchain technology seemed to render infinite possibilities in ways unseen since the advent of the internet. Upon witnessing one’s inaugural Bitcoin confirmation on the blockchain, many new Bitcoin holder’s first reaction after the immediate and penetrating thought; “I need more Bitcoin fast”, is the overwhelming desire to share with other people this complicated yet simple revolutionary idea that has been actualized for over a decade now. Who on earth doesn’t know what Bitcoin is? The quick answer is:
1. Socioeconomically Disadvantaged & Undereducated Populations
2. Willingly Ignorant Individuals
3. Bubble People
Both linguistic and computer illiteracy make it difficult to learn about Bitcoin, among other topics. Access to electricity, lack of running water and food are also major roadblocks that hinder Bitcoin/blockchain understanding. The willingly ignorant fear feelings of inadequacy for not comprehending in the beginning or rejection by their family and peers, so the learning process miscarries. Bubble people (not necessarily a negative term) are victims of their closed-off routine lifestyles. The majority of our demographics are bubble people as many hardcore Bitcoin enthusiasts evolved directly from their own Bitcoin bubble. Mainstream media and news outlets for the most part don’t report or acknowledge the existence of the leading coin which is why so many Canadians are still discovering cryptocurrency each day.
One of the spectacularly different qualities bitcoin holds apart from other revolutionary inventions is its slow psychological adaptation speed. Gunpowder arrived and was immediately adopted and modern warfare was globally restructured as a result. There was no debate, it was a race to arms. The steam engine came and allowed the industrial revolution to occur, arguably creating the subject for this article. The consensus again was of agreement in that such a breakthrough would shape the future and accelerate progress. The radio, automobile, airplane, television, internet and cellphone followed along with more or less of the same undeniability factor attached. These were inventions that didn’t need to be sold onto the general public, it was like selling water to someone stranded in the desert. Denying advancement of society by ignoring the steam engine’s magnitude would be insane, yet this is what we are witnessing today in regards to glacial paced Bitcoin mass adoption.
Alas, here we are over 10 years from Bitcoin’s inception. The benchmark crypto has now emboldened a minority of staunch advocates, proponents and garden variety speculators. They are now faced off against Governments and Financial Institutions who have demonized, criticized, illegalized or otherwise cast aside the notion of its legitimacy. Recognizing Bitcoin as more than a surface nuisance by any major world power would catapult the case for Bitcoin toward, well, the moon.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, how are we going to get everybody to “see the light”? If we keep jargonizing and throwing around terms like “nodes” or “hash rate”, we’re going to turn grandpa’s brains into cat food before you can say “Satoshi Nakamoto”. Remember: Jenny doesn’t need to know what an accelerometer, satellite DMB tuner or RF receive solution are to call Sarah on her smart phone to meet at the roller rink. This doesn’t mean valuable knowledge relating to the crypto space isn’t an asset (very much is) but rather the main focus of mass adoption needs to be placed on ease of use and this includes conceptualization.
Once Jenny is able tap her phone with a fingerprint and scan an instant Bitcoin transaction to pay for her yoga class, transit ride and fall semester textbooks, the widespread enlightenment can begin. She will see all the information included in her transactions like the online banking she used to navigate right there in her hands. The transition would be non painful and the responsibility trade off for not having to engage in centralized finance would be ever defining and continuously rewarding.
We’re not far away from this future, we’re alarmingly close.
Author: Duncan Storey