In the last 24 hours, three of my colleagues have bought Bitcoin who previously hadn't. One this morning sent me a message asking about something and dropped it in that he bought yesterday, after his knowledgeable friend who has a lot of time to look at the markets convinced him. For almost two years I have been talking to these same people about it - and nothing. I tried - but I didn't have enough pull - enough authority - perhaps I should have spoken in terms they couldn't understand instead.
There is an interesting point in relation to getting into crypto that seems to affect the mainstream - they think that it requires technical knowledge of blockchain itself and as such, only technical people can really know about whether it is worth investing in or not. If you haven't noticed - most technical people have historically been quite negative on Bitcoin and to this day, still use what they learned about it in 2013 as their reasoning.
I think there is a conflation in skills here, where "normal people" seem to think that being technically skilled or good with numbers means that by extension, the skill applies to economics. What people tend to forget however, is that markets are driven by sentiment and a lot of the technical people have little understanding of how people work - Remember, people buy and sell beanie babies for tens of thousands of dollars.
But, what is more important here is about the understanding of dynamics in social groups, social proofing and of course, the power of authority. I think that most or at least many of us knew that as soon as there was an ATH in Bitcoin, people would start to FOMO and buy in hoping to not miss them gainz. Many are going to be disappointed over time at the next crash and get sour, but some will stick it out, as we have done over the last years.
Obviously, in this group of people I didn't have the social authority to convince them to buy over the last two years and I know that on many occasions, the problem with getting them involved at all (for example on Hive) has been hampered by technical people calling "scam" on it all - even when I have demo'd how things are working, how they can participate and earn for free and how there are social benefits as well as personal benefits to be in the first group to embrace a new industry.
I understand the dynamic, I understand the hierarchical structure of authority that comes into play, I understand that in many people's eyes, I do not have the "status" to command obedience to suggestion, I understand that one day, some of these people will start doing the math and working out how much they have missed out on in their life time by listening to their authorities. Don't get me wrong, we should listen to authority at times that their knowledge is likely to be better than our own, but when we start attributing authority across domains, we are going to get into trouble - A brilliant singer doesn't translate into an expert on the future of energy production - it doesn't preclude, but it doesn't translate.
This is part of any new industry, as while there are naysayers, those that are unfamiliar and on the fence are going to be more easily swayed to not participate than to jump in, as there is a "better the devil you know" as our resistance to change as well as risk aversion leverage to keep us doing what we have always done.
I am not a sociologist though, so you best not listen to me about human behavior. I am also not a coder or economist, so again, pay me no heed in those domains either.
But here is the thing.
As many people have noted, including many of those who just FOMO'd into Bitcoin, crypto and blockchain people are fanatical and it has been observed that it is very much cult-like in appearance. While I normally don't spend much time concerning myself with cults - I also don't think I am in general, the kind of person that anyone would associate with a cult or even enthusiastic about most things.
I don't care about sport, I don't watch the news, I don't know about celebrities or the latest tech - You know how it is always the lone, town drunkard who gets abducted by aliens? I am not him. Yet, I am openly passionate about my involvement with blockchain and crypto and do my best to answer questions concerning it to the best of my ability, including the sarcastic ones.
A year ago I sat down with a group and spoke at length about the economic potential and social implications of blockchain and crypto with a group and met a great deal of resistance from very intelligent people. Yesterday when in a chat with the same people the ATH was mentioned, someone asked if I was happy and when I mentioned that I wish I had more Bitcoin, the most vocal and technical in the group said, "Don't we all."
This post has nothing to do with "I told you so", it is about recognizing what is worth looking into with more depth and what is not. If an otherwise relatively sane and normal person is so enthusiastic about a topic, even if it is something that is unfamiliar and others are wary of, it might be worth digging a little deeper - and not in the usual suspect silo that is filled with confirmation bias - to explore why so many otherwise dissimilar people globally are so fanatical.
Though, I do understand the reservations as often the people who are put forward in any new area are somewhat out there in their behavior in some way and the early days of Bitcoin was predominantly technical people who were able to have some understanding of the tech behind it. Yet, now that it has been opened up to "the normals" through blockchains like Hive, normal people are able to participate and learn - yet to be honest, there are a lot of nutters on Hive still also.
I think though, what is going to be needed in the future is far less nut and a lot more authority from a social perspective, people who are able to influence others at the time they need to be influenced. While I have failed with many in the past, I have also succeeded with a couple over time, some of which are in the same circles. What this means is as far as my own "authority" is concerned, my influence has gone up in the group, which is why people are contacting me now - as they want the formally crazy person to give a stamp of authority on their move into Bitcoin. Social proofing through an analogue web of social trust.
What this means is that people who used to know better are now questioning what they know, as well as questioning the authorities that they have put their trust in for all of these years to keep them informed and successful. Peers groups have a massive effect on our behavior and I think that part of the problem Hive has faced is that most people don't want to introduce theirs to the community for various reasons, with the main possibly being that to do so requires losing some level of anonymity or at least, having to trust that their onboards are going to keep them secure - most people in crypto trust the trustless blockchain, not each other.
This sets up a social hurdle for mainstreaming as the average person needs to be convinced by average people before they will make a move, yet what they mostly see are unknown identities, not personalities. This is also part of the reason Bitcoin has had trouble mainstreaming too, as it doesn't have a face - there is no Musk, Jobs, Gates or Bezos to connect with - no human.
Hive is filled with humans though, filled with real people who are essentially the faces of the Hive blockchain and are relatable across a diverse population of potential users. Getting them out there is the problem though and it isn't about buying adverts or blasting Twitter - it is far more personal than that - it requires telling your friends. Rather than convince them as to why they should get into crypto, Hive or blockchain - show them what participation actually looks like - it looks like us.
What are investing into each other, building ourselves as authorities in a new industry.
[ Gen1: Hive ]
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