Once more, we have gained back exposure and interest towards the crypto space as well as the new booming sides of the blockchain such as DeFi and NFTs.
Many people heard about the Bitcoin ATH, read somewhere about Beeple’s $69 mln crypto art piece, and saw Elon Musk and Mark Cuban talk about their love towards Dogecoin, Ethereum, and NFTs…
Add to that the institutional billions invested in Bitcoin and one could say finally we’re there — now everyone will see the light and join the movement.
All the above sounds great indeed and things have been very positive in the past couple of months, which is always a good thing in this space. Finally, we are no longer the crazy weirdos or even worse, the criminals buying drugs and weapons on the dark web. Or at least, for now, the crypto crowd has been pictured in a better light by mass media…
But I think that very often we are, unfortunately, self-sabotaging ourselves and our long-term wish for mass adoption.
Let me explain what I mean.
Put yourself in “mass-market rep” shoes. Let’s do some research and check the space from the outside and let’s try to imagine how we look from there.
Yes, memes may seem a bit weird and all that crypto terminology may make them feel like they have no clue on what we’re talking about… but that’s not the worst part.
All sub-cultures have their own characteristics and after spending some time within the community, you get used to it pretty fast. I mean, it’s not too hard to “swallow” the “h” in the word “when” and to accept the fact that “lambo” is the ultimate dream of every average crypto guy.
After seeing it many times, you may even start thinking that Pepe the Frog is not that ugly after all.
But what an inspection of the space will also show is how un-united we are.
Go to crypto Twitter and you will see different tribes arguing with each other. Bitcoin maximalists want everyone else who does not stick to Bitcoin only to burn from their red laser eye shots. They argue with Ethereum lovers and “shitcoiners”…
Yup – even family is not spared 🙂
Ethereum lovers keep rubbing in the fact that DeFi is built on Ethereum, taking aim at Bitcoin maximalists with laser eyes… while alt people follow the “influencers” who shill whichever coins they hold or are paid to shill because those coins are “the next BTC… better than ETH … gonna moon soon, etc…”.
Many are so extreme that they are not open to conversations, don’t want to accept other perspectives, and fanatically cling to the idea that “their” blockchain is the best.
Now tell me. How should the “mass rep” choose who to join? Or how warm and welcoming does the whole space look after you go over all those Reddit threads, Tweets, and Clubhouse arguments?
Who do we think we are going to attract if we use the price and the “getting rich” aspect of it as the main argument to join and greed as the main triggering emotion to act upon? Or do we think those who are attracted to that are going to listen or care about the technology side of things?
My point is that many of us, as players in this space who want to contribute to mass adoption, are focusing on the wrong things. We are spending time, effort, and nerve cells arguing with people we have never met and those who don’t prefer our beloved token or blockchain on the internet.
We are very creative in our messages, analogies, storytelling, and coming up with words during the argument. And we all spend too much time focusing on proving others wrong.
I still feel that there isn’t enough collaboration, cooperation, and co-creation in the blockchain space — especially between people who represent different blockchains. Projects are siloed and within their own blockchain bubble mostly.
And what does not make sense to me at all is that while we are focusing on the wrong things, very few actually focus on what’s supposed to be important — the end-users.
What we build should not be about us proving that the blockchain we build on is the best or that the token we hold is king… It should not be about our ego or making money or success (all that will derive naturally if you nail down the important parts).
We should all unite and focus on building things that would benefit the masses and be easy and convenient for them to use.
Do you think the fact that NFTs converting the most “fresh” blood from non-crypto people is a coincidence?
Do you know why it resonated best with people?
Because it is about something other than the tech and because without understanding the tech, you can understand and participate in the NFT space. And that “something else” resonates with the masses because it’s human. Everyone understands the concept of art, everyone’s soul gets touched by music, everyone gets photography…
And although many argue that NFTs are overvalued, that the space is crazy, and that soon many people will be burnt… I think we should look at it as a case study of how to bring the masses in.
And we do that by focusing on what’s important — by putting the needs, convenience, and ease of use of the masses at the heart of what you’re building and focusing on user-centric products and services that make their lives better.
We do that by focusing and explaining the benefits instead of confusing them with terminology-packed feature descriptions. And by genuinely wanting to make their lives better instead of luring them into a steep learning curve journey where people need to spend time and effort wrapping their head around how to use your product.