This is an opinion editorial by Mark Maraia, an entrepreneur, author of “Rainmaking Made Simple” and a Bitcoiner.
The bitcoin price is not the main driver of the meeting of the minds.
I want to issue a few challenges to all Bitcoiners who profess to believe strongly in the value of bitcoin. I always considered myself an outsider until I discovered Bitcoin. That said, I’m a boomer — not exactly a beloved demographic of Bitcoin advocates. I was also trained as a lawyer. What does that mean? Twice cursed. Lawyers are educated and trained to look for the downside. What are the downsides or weaknesses or blindspots in the Bitcoin community? I’m seeing multiple blindspots and feel moved to share a few.
One blindspot of Bitcoiners is that most of us fail to grasp the full power of peer-to-peer human networks as a tool for adoption. That means person-to-person. Bitcoiners as a group are quite willing to teach those curious about Bitcoin one-on-one. My only request is for us all to do more of it.
Establish A Reasonable Goal
How many people can you show how to get off zero and get some bitcoin each day, week, month and year? Don’t just have them download a wallet, educate them why Bitcoin is so amazing. We’ve already seen Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and more recently, Gwyneth Paltrow give away bitcoin. Why not you? What are you waiting for?
If you truly believe that bitcoin’s purchasing power will grow, then you’re sharing some of your satoshis with friends and family is no big deal. If you’re a pleb who doesn’t have much bitcoin, give away a few satoshis via the Lightning Network. Give to the most curious people and educate them through hands-on experience. Is a local economy more resilient if every adult can transact and transmit value using the Bitcoin network? Absolutely. Even if only a small percentage learn, that is much better than the current reality. The more energy expended teaching people one-on-one, the better and more lasting success for bitcoin adoption.
What I have learned from giving away sats to friends and family is that it’s fun and it radically lowers people’s skepticism and distrust of bitcoin. The subtlety helps them interact with the Bitcoin network and is a positive experience because it’s so easy! The goal is to stimulate curiosity. The ease of transfer — without permission from a bank, company or government — is not lost on anyone I’ve done this with, and many of them are financially privileged.
Almost every person is blown away by how easy it is. Sometimes I’ll give my friend $5 worth of bitcoin and have them return $1 via the Lightning Network. If we have one million Bitcoiners giving away sats 20 times per year to nocoiners, that adds another 20 million people to the network each year.
Network adoption requires people using it. But they need to understand it too. Be strategic about who you give bitcoin to. I find many waiters and waitresses are hungry to learn about bitcoin and the pitch is simple. I usually begin with a question, “Have you ever gotten a tip in bitcoin?” or “Ever had a patron offer you a tip in bitcoin?” If they jump out of their shoes and ignore other tables you know they are teachable.
Inflation is running rampant and every time Jerome Powell prints more Monopoly money, we see it show up in the prices we pay for food, energy, housing and other goods and services. Help those who want to see bitcoin as an insurance policy against money printing and help them learn about the most amazing savings technology that preserves purchasing power. Urge them to hold it for at least a year, if not several years. I hope some of you will accept this challenge. If you’re not getting positive feedback, try something new.
Telling people to “have fun staying poor” isn’t a great recruitment tool.
Call To Action
Reach out to one person in the next 48 hours who wants to learn more about Bitcoin and see how it feels to educate them on the Bitcoin network. If you get rejected, it’s probably because you were too preachy or arrogant.
Find out where their monetary pain lies. No pain, no bitcoin. Each person’s monetary pain will be different depending on their country, region, state and family. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to onboarding people.
This is a guest post by Mark Maraia. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.