As cryptocurrency educators, we’ve made it part of our job to travel to different locations to take a pulse on how the public feels and what they think about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. (Check out our “Crypto Street Pulse" videos here).
Loaded with our questions, we setup a camera and microphone somewhere with steady foot traffic and we wait. As people approach we kindly ask if they’ve heard of Bitcoin and if they’d be interested in sharing their opinions. Many are understandably reluctant to be recorded, but we still receive insightful feedback both on and off camera. A surprising number, hilariously mistake our survey efforts as attempts to sell them Bitcoin... um, no, that’s not what’s happening here...
Understanding the general public’s perception of cryptocurrencies helps us identify what stage crypto adoption is in, and also helps clarify what topics we as crypto educators need to clarify to encourage mass adoption.
We are constantly bombarded with questions and comments about Bitcoin, many of which are common misunderstandings. This will be the first in a series of blog posts dedicated to clearing the misconceptions around the emerging world of cryptocurrency, most specifically Bitcoin.
We’ll cover some of the most popular myths including:
Bitcoin being environmentally taxing
Bitcoin as the choice currency for drug dealers
Bitcoin’s inability to be used to buy anything
Bitcoin being a bubble that’s about to burst
Any other noteworthy misconceptions we encounter along our travels
Not only are we going to clear up misunderstandings, we are going clarify that many of these perceived negatives actually turn out to be positives.
Though Bitcoin has been around since 2009, the technology is still relatively new and not widely understood. This leaves the door wide open for the media to misconstrue the facts.
At its core, blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies, is a disintermediator, meaning that its purpose is to eliminate middlemen. For example, if you were out of the country and needed money for an emergency you would likely order a wire transfer. The money would then have to leapfrog from one bank to another until it reached you, with each transfer accruing a fee along the way. This process could take 3-6 business days and cost up to $45. In contrast, Bitcoin transactions across the world can be almost instantaneous and cost a matter of cents to complete.
Bitcoin and cryptos reduce the need for banks and middlemen because blockchain technology uses software to build in many of the features we usually depend on intermediaries for. Thus, creating amazing efficiencies that will save time and money in a multitude of industries as the technology develops further. This technology is so promising that companies such as Microsoft, Bank of America, Walmart, and Starbucks are starting to take notice and get involved.
“At its core, blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies, is a disintermediator, meaning that its purpose is to eliminate middlemen.”
The benefits that we will all receive from the efficiencies created by cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology will restore value that has been previously taken by banks and middlemen. This new technology is not going anywhere so the sooner we understand it, the sooner we can all receive the benefits it offers.
When we hit the streets to interview people about Bitcoin we discover their hesitations in adopting this new technology. We, too, had similar doubts when we first started investigating cryptocurrencies. But the more we researched the more we discovered how widespread the benefits could be if large-scale adoption of decentralized technology were to occur. We believe that education about the technology and its inherent benefits will dispel many of the false narratives that have been made popular by mainstream-media.
These articles will shine the light on the common misconceptions that we have identified to reveal that, in fact, what look like downsides of Bitcoin are really benefits once turned upside down.
In the next article in the series we’ll discuss how Bitcoin is not only less environmentally taxing than it has often been portrayed, but is actually more environmentally friendly than our current financial system.
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If you are new to Bitcoin, or just finally ready to take the plunge, our free training will show you everything you need to know to purchase your first Bitcoin. Included are tutorial videos and accompanying written instructions so you can feel confident!