As Bitcoin starts to gain the attention of the broader population again, we continue to struggle as an industry to define what Bitcoin is in a way that’s accessible to most people.
I recently attended a Bitcoin 101 class taught as part of the grand opening of the awesome Bitcoin Center Miami. It’s a great way to help people who are curious enough to take the time to learn about it. But what about the 99.9% of the population who don’t have that level of curiosity? How do we explain it to them? It’s a question that has vexed the industry since it’s inception.
In a recent post, “Toxic Bitcoin Permabull” Dennis Parker asked people to explain Bitcoin in a Tweet:
Below are three thoughts of mine, intertwined with some of the responses to Dennis’ tweet.
The Impact That Bitcoin Can Have Is Infinite, So When People See “The Bitcoin Light”, Everyone Sees Something Different
I wrote about this in detail in a post in March. The simple truth is that everyone has a prism through which they see the world, based on their life experience. This thought is well communicated in the ancient Indian tale of the five blind men and the elephant:
Because each of the blind men come at the elephant from a different angle, they see something different. So that’s why Dennis got such a wide variety of answers. Among my favorites:
The More We Look At Bitcoin The More Possibilities We Each See
We see more and more ways to think about it
We see more and more possibilities
We see more and more ways it can make the world a better place
But even with all of these infinite possibilities, it’s still hardly noticed by 99.9% of the world.
The problem is it’s still risky. It’s still hard to understand. The “Bitcoin Light” remains dim, so it’s hard to see.
So if it’s all those things, how can you distill it down?
For Me, Bitcoin is About WE
For me, It ultimately comes down to the fact that “WE” can take back more control of our own lives. Starting with money. But we can also take back control of our identity, of our data (e.g. our medical records), and on and on.
I capitalize WE to refer to WE as humanity, not we as a government, not we as a company. Just WE as people. And the only thing WE have to do to make Bitcoin’ potential a reality, is believe in it. Which ultimately, is faith. Faith in the algorithm that Satoshi created. Because having faith in companies and governments has gotten us to the world we live in today. And when you see the Bitcoin light, you see the possibility of a better world. And every day that Bitcoin becomes stronger, WE are closer to that better world.