The Divide between Crypto and The People
When cryptocurrency first started to appear in news articles, it was hailed as “life-changing”.
A quick google search will yield results like “How Cryptocurrency will change the world,” and “The social impact of crypto”. But the most common advertising of cryptocurrency and widespread answer to the “what is the point of cryptocurrency” coin is extreme financial gain.
The thing is — neither of those topics are the point of blockchain.
This is partially the misunderstanding of large media, but also from an inherent lack of understanding and discussion about the core problem that blockchain exists to solve.
While this current branding strategy is well and good, and I’m sure many of us believe in the potential of cryptocurrency to indeed change the world — we are years, if not decades, away from full culture shift and adoption, unless the tech community spends more time studying [and implementing] the science of product adoption and diffusion.
The solution? I recommend a media rebrand.
At the end of the day, blockchain has the most use in the hands of the every day consumer. It is more effective — and life changing — with mass adoption.
Houston, we’ve got a problem.
The every day consumer doesn’t currently want blockchain in their every day life. They don’t know why they would need it. This is the consumer who still views cryptocurrency as “life changing” and “magical” [primarily due to the fact that their co-worker Susan’s boyfriend made a few thousand bucks doing that bitcoin thing] but they don’t have the time or desire to do that. If they did, we’d be a universe of stock traders and accountants.
Our average consumer, Ether is Netflix’s latest Sci-Fi, not a more accurate representation of a private and secure internet experience.
And with blockchain’s current advertising strategy, we’re missing it’s core purpose. It’s impossible to quickly get the average every day consumer to gain the knowledge needed to understand the framework of the internet, the inherent dangers, and the way that the internet was set up. The internet is relatively new, and the adoption curve for true human comprehension is far slower than the technological growth and changes we are witnessing.
There are already also dozens of articles about the unsafeness of the internet, the easily breached e-mail, and the fact that the internet was not set up to be a secure, safe place.
Despite this, despite the access to this information, most internet users have no idea the scale of this. Most internet users have no idea the information that advertisers and websites are pulling from them. By the time the average consumer realizes this, it’s going to be far too late, and the NSA and god knows who else are enjoying your nudes [and god knows what else].
We have dozens, if not hundreds, of platforms that have all been designed because of the inherent lack of internet security. LastPass, Norton Anti-Virus, Slack — These are three very different companies, all of whom solve digital security needs.
Blockchain needs to be marketed as the latest and most effective innovation in reframing how we have thought about digital communication and the digital landscape. Yes. Blockchain has problems. Yes. There are issues that still need to be addressed, and scaling problems that need to be discussed and planned through. However — allowing this technology to slide past our collective understandings without highlighting the thing that very well may change the security and protocols in way we all navigate the web, business transactions, and financial dealings, would be a mistake to our collective digital society.
Per Gemalto’s breach level index, the equivalent to 291 digital records were stolen or exposed every single second in the first half of 2018. “Hackers” [as defined like our dear friend Susan would use it] cost our system an estimated $375 and $575 billion annually, and for the most part- our app frameworks and building blocks aren’t addressing security vulnerabilities.
Blockchain was created after witnessing massive data breaches, security vulnerabilities, after we realized the dark capacities of our technology and the failures of the system we set up. Blockchain as a concept is an inherently safer internet, a way to safely protect and transfer communication, be it financial or data, etc.
The internet as we know it was not designed to be safe. Like most first versions, it was designed to be fast.
Blockchain however? When it comes to internet security, it was designed to be effective.