We all have to go through them. Whether you’ve completed these stages, you’re in the middle, or your haven’t reached step one yet, here are six emotional stages to understanding cryptocurrency.
DISDAIN – You don’t think crypto is worth your time. You ignore it saying to yourself things like, it’s just a fad. Crypto isn’t going to affect my life so I’m staying out of it. Nothing will change in the future and the internet right now is, “all you need.” Sure, you understand that crypto solves the double-spend problem by verifying transactions without using a third-party like a bank, making counterfeiting impossible, but so? Your fax machine still works fine. And just the other day you got a fax offering a Caribbean vacation for just $399. You don’t need to change.
SKEPTICISM – So crypto is digital money. So what? Your money is already digital. It’s all online already anyway. You don’t need crypto to do online banking. So what if it’s not backed by a central bank or government and it’s controlled by the users making it completely decentralized. And it’s cheaper and faster to send money. You’re still not sold. Your online banking works just fine even though it’s centralized. Your Taylor Swift tickets were purchased on a centralized system and those arrived just fine.
CURIOSITY – Crypto is everywhere. Your significant other owns crypto and loves to talk about it, your local coffee shop accepts Bitcoin and there’s a Bitcoin ATM on your way to work. You reluctantly and through osmosis, learn a few things about crypto. You start asking questions and things start to click a little. Why do banks charge so much to wire money? You’ve never actually given one thought to how banks actually send money. So you do some blockchain research. Now, you get that the blockchain is a revolutionary technology that records transactions on a public, digital ledger that everyone can access. And the blockchain could save billions of dollars in transaction fees, but the big picture still eludes you.
EXCITEMENT. THEN CONFUSION. THEN EXCITEMENT AGAIN. – “No, yeah I get it.” You know some buzzwords. Blockchain, double-spend problem, ledger, Satoshi. You “Get it.” You watched three videos and completely understand this potentially game-changing technological revolution 100% with no margin of error. You don’t need to learn or comprehend anything further from this point out. You could teach a class at Harvard on crypto and the blockchain. But then, you realize wait, “I don’t get it” What does this really mean for the future? So you dig a little deeper and then… boom! It hits you like a ton of bricks, or blocks rather. Pardon the pun and it’s “Oh wow! I see now!
CLARITY – The clarity sharpens to a laser focus. Duh! It’s so much bigger than just changing how we send money! This is the future!” I actually get it now! Wow! The blockchain is on every node, ie computer that’s attached to the network. You get that every node, including you, has access to the entire blockchain and get how it works as a completely trustless system. No one has to trust it because it’s publicly available. If a bad actor tries to send a bogus transaction, the other nodes will spot it and the transaction will be denied. There’s no coming back from this level of understanding. The skies have parted and you’ve seen the light.
EUPHORIA – You can see 100 years into the future. Nostradamus has nothing on you. Crypto will save humanity and the world. Trumpets are playing and you realize crypto is here to stay. You realize that blockchain could change how political donations are made to be fully transparent, college transcripts are stored so companies could spend less time verifying applicant’s degrees, they can simply check the blockchain, how real estate transactions are recorded… the possibilities are endless. So with nothing left to do, you list your fax machine on Craigslist and shout to no one, “Satoshi for President!”
Welp, there you have them. Tell us which stage you’re in or which stages we missed on Twitter.