TL;DR: You’d think after a decade, Bitcoiners would have a smooth elevator pitch down by now, an easy way to let folks in on the Bitcoin phenomenon. Looking at adoption metrics, clearly we do not. The holidays for most of the world are fast approaching, and that means more family time, getting-to-know-you situations, and inevitable questions about newsworthy subjects such as Bitcoin especially if you’re known to be an enthusiast. Here’s a guide to avoiding classic “I DRIVE A DODGE STRATUS!” moments, easing loved ones and friends into and down the crypto rabbit hole.
Talking to Family About Bitcoin
At the 3:24 marker, the father screams over the bickering, shouting, “I drive a Dodge Stratus!” It’s a climax in the surreal scene from what has become a go-to viral clip about coming together with family at the dinner table.
Will Ferrell played the hapless father. Sarah Michelle Geller was an ungrateful, angry daughter. Ana Gasteyer gave life to a tortured wife and mother. The classic 1997 Saturday Night Live skit titled Dysfunctional Family Dinner yielded memorable lines delivered with pitch-perfection. The in-between outbursts during clanking silverware on porcelain were pure comedic gold.
Perhaps your clan is functional, but they’re still somewhat apprehensive about the whole cryptocurrency hobby/passion/vocation they see you dabbling in. Maybe you are unsure of just how to broach the topic if it comes up, considering all the potential pitfalls. Here’s the CoinSpice Official Guide: Talking to Family About Bitcoin — our holiday gift to Bitcoiners looking to avoid that Dodge Stratus moment by focusing on fundamentals.
Ice Breakers: Let Someone Else do the Talking
Bitcoin basically begins at the vaunted White Paper. For new readers, the mathematics involved can be off-putting, and some of the references to problems being addressed might also simply have never occurred to your family. It’s important they at least know the document exists and the compelling mystery surrounding its authorship, but to make it accessible takes perhaps visual aids.
CoinSpice commissioned a webcomic for that very purpose, The Bitcoin White Paper Visualized: Understanding Cryptocurrency’s Big Bang, animated by master comics artist Scott McCloud. It’s free and can be downloaded in at least three languages or read online as is. Readers follow the young, very inquisitive character Alice through a fun journey as guided by a series of Satoshi Nakamoto placeholders.
Along those lines, if you’re asked about Bitcoin, it’s often best to allow someone else to do the talking. There are a number of pretty great documentaries out there that can serve as a conversation starter. Banking On Bitcoin is among the most popular. It ran on Netflix for a while, and does a good job of making the case while giving voice to critics and the surrounding mania. Bitcoin: The End of Money as We Know It is slightly more polemical, but nevertheless can lead to an entire family being red-pilled if all goes well.
Can we get real? Reading webcomics and watching documentaries are all cool ideas, but your family runs on money, cash, Dead Presidents, cabbage, lettuce, dough. They spend a great deal of their lives working for it, looking for ways to spend it, and so it might be a great move just to shove a pile of it at them as your gift this season.
Maybe it shouldn’t be the entirety of your affection display, but it could be a subtle way to pound home the point through the power of utility. They’re no doubt searching to save on purchases, so why not shuttle them to Purse.io. The platform sticks with two of the most popular cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin Cash and BTC, and hips noobs to a variety of ways to purchase crypto, download a wallet, install a browser extension, generate wishlists, and collect discounts from nearly everyone’s favorite online retailer, Amazon — up to 33% off.
That one step into bald consumerism can then lead further to a bunch of new discoveries regarding peer-to-peer electronic cash. Yet another way is to better their internet browsing experience while giving them a chance to earn crypto tokens. Brave gets high marks all around for deadening crazy tracking and unwanted ads, but it also has various programs to pay users in its Basic Attention Token (BAT) … to innovatively share in the economy they’re helping create. BAT can be hoarded, used in turn on the site, or flipped through an exchange (rabbit hole anyone?). Minds will be spinning.
Don’t be a Dick
Some unconventional ways to lure families into a healthy discussion about money and its role in their day-to-day doings will go a long way toward increasing interest in Bitcoin. All of it can be erased by being a dick, however. That Dodge Stratus moment is one dumb conversation away. Don’t be a dick.
You might have a point about your country’s murderous foreign adventurism being funded through central banking. It could be true a kind of crony surveillance capitalism has gripped much of the freer world. Those subjects are for later, much later, and are beside the point when most people just want what they use to work. It’s obvious by now there’s little success in arguing someone over to Bitcoin, to cryptocurrency. What they want is action. They didn’t inquire about Venmo’s and PayPal’s politics before finding them useful, for example. Oh, and keep family away from Crypto Twitter and Reddit forums where dickish behavior is the norm. Nothing repels newer, saner people faster than interacting with tribalists.
Realize you are Bitcoin to most of your friends and family. You very well could be their only flesh-and-blood connection to a phenomenon they’ve heard wild stories about, from terrorism to the Dark Web. That they have a chance to ask dumb questions, consider the broader promise Bitcoin points to, and immediately better their commercial experience through using cryptocurrency, is powerful stuff. The goal at this point is not to turn them off completely. Well, that and enjoying your dinner.cyrpto
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DYOR: CoinSpice is your home for just spicy crypto things. We’re not affiliated with any cryptocurrency project or token. Each published piece is intended for information purposes only, not investment advice and not in the hope of impacting speculative markets. There are plenty of trading sites and coin-specific advocacy journals out there, we’re neither. CoinSpice strives for rigorous accuracy in our reporting. Information presented here is contingent usually on a host of factors, and the ecosystem moves fast — prices change, projects change, and at warp speed. Do your own research.
DISCLOSURE: The author holds cryptocurrency as part of his financial portfolio, including BCH.