How Do You Onboard Your Friends and Colleagues to Crypto?
2022 was a catastrophic year for crypto. If you’re bored of hearing it, I’m definitely tired of writing it. But it is an inescapable fact that multiple market tumbles and the unveiling of substantial fraud by some of the industry’s biggest figures have poisoned the well.
Crypto has also never been better established in the culture. However, public perception has also never been as negative. According to CNBC’s latest All-America Economic Survey, only 8% of Americans view cryptocurrencies positively, down from 19% in March. Americans with a negative view of cryptocurrencies jumped to 43%, up from 25%.
The fence-sitters have also dwindled as everyone and their dog has developed an opinion over the last year. Those with a neutral view fell from 31% to 18%, according to the survey.
So, now might not be the best time to convince your friends and family to enter the crypto space. This is not Autumn/Winter 2021, with recent all-time highs just behind us. Christmas 2022 may have been a scary prospect for those who proselytized over the dinner table in 2021.
However, the brave among you will not have given up. Fundamentally, there still remains a legion of use cases for crypto, NFTs, and DeFi. Even if people have been brought down to earth about the reality of market crashes. So, let’s say you were plucking up the courage to bring up crypto to your friends and family. How would you do it?
Start From The Bottom
First of all, it’s important to understand that while crypto has hit the headlines this year, most people don’t know what they’re talking about. The Crypto Literacy Survey, which invites people to answer a quick quiz on crypto/Web3 terminology, found that the overwhelming majority couldn’t pass their test. 91% of the 2022 survey respondents could not answer more than 60% of the survey’s questions correctly. A depressing and deeply unsurprisingly statistic at the same time.
However, crypto literacy is improving, unsurprisingly. In 2022, 9% of respondents earned a passing grade on the crypto literacy survey, up from 4% in 2021. There is a depressing caveat. The sort of person who is likely to take this test will probably already be interested in crypto. At least in some respect. So the actual figure for crypto literacy is likely much, much lower. Do you think your Aunt could define ‘liquid staking?’ No, mine neither.
How do we solve this? Start simple and with the most famous cryptocurrency of all, Bitcoin (BTC). “It’s the most recognizable cryptocurrency for most folks who don’t deal with crypto every day,” says Ryan Hansen, Chief Marketing Officer for Liquid Mercury.
You should begin explaining why someone might want an alternative to traditional fiat currencies. “This includes an explanation of how currencies, like the US dollar, lose their purchasing power as central banks print more and more; the benefits of having direct control over your holdings; and how crypto has the potential to be more accessible to people who don’t have bank accounts.”
Make Crypto Relevant To Them
What if you don’t believe in “Big Government” and aren’t worried about the collapse of the central banks? Or you’re not a refugee needing to carry currency over a border with just your phone? Meet them where they are and make your advice relevant to them.
“For example, if you have a friend who works in the restaurant industry, a great way to demonstrate the value of blockchain would be by showing them how it could help them track orders, inventory, and food preparation,” says Anton Giuroiu, CEO of ArchitectureLab and a crypto enthusiast. “If your colleague is a travel agent who deals with a lot of last-minute cancellations or no-shows, they might be interested in knowing how smart contracts can help with that problem.”
Crypto nerds will know that blockchain has the potential to tokenize assets, improve the quality and speed of our video streams, and provide transparency and accountability to crowdfunding – to name but a few. What your friend, family member, or colleague will respond to depends on the individual.
Give Them Skin In The Game
Over a decade ago, I used to scoff at the idea that I would ever ditch my beloved Blackberry. I liked its physical keypad, I liked the more rounded feel in my hand, and I’d come to love the Blackberry OS. I didn’t have any desire to permanently swap for a touchscreen iPhone or Android. Until I had one. My point is it’s very hard to get someone to develop an opinion on something unless they’ve had the chance to try it themselves. That goes for games, films, and – yes – crypto.
“Gifting free crypto has been the best way I have converted naysayers,” says Brian David Crane, the founder, and CEO of Spread Great Ideas. “I have gifted cryptos freely to friends and family to get them on the crypto bandwagon. Usually, these are “free cryptos” I earned from airdrops, so it does not cost me much. Airdrops are also a great way of letting others make easy money while inspiring them to learn how crypto works.”
Andrew Gayton, an NFT/Web3 advisor at GODA, added a competitive element to his group of friends. Back when Bitcoin was around $500, he put one bitcoin as the reward for their fantasy football league. At the time, nobody was interested. “I didn’t win anyone over at that point,” he says. “However, as the price crossed over $2,000 and became more mainstream, a few of my friends reached out to me to onboard them to invest. You can’t convince everyone the first time you discuss it. Sometimes getting people interested and educated on crypto takes more than a few conversations.”