At the beginning of 2018, I wrote an article outlining a New Year’s resolution that I thought could help boost cryptocurrency adoption and awareness in 2018, as long as enough people were doing it. I took a break last week due to some prior engagements I had, but two weeks ago was the ninth installment of my year of cryptocurrency challenge. Between conferences, work, and time spent with friends, this has been a busy two weeks for the 2018 year of cryptocurrency challenge.
TRY TO SPEAK TO AS MANY PEOPLE ABOUT CRYPTOCURRENCY AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN
Recently, the cryptocurrency market has been nothing short of a bloodbath. At the time of writing, ETH was hovering around US$460, and BTC around US$7,500. This is something that crypto veterans are used to (I heard someone at TokenFest say, “Talk to me when it gets to Mt. Gox levels – then you’ll know it’s a crash”), but it has captured the attention of late show hosts and daytime television. Because of this, I chose to gear as many conversations as I could toward the technology, not the price.
- A family member of mine enjoys watching Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and his show last week attempted to explain the current cryptocurrency climate. While he did preface the segment by saying news reports on new technology often look foolish with hindsight, he spent a fair amount of time engendering FUD without providing an unbiased look at the technology and motivations of cryptocurrency. To Oliver, we are all Bitcoin bros and scammers. I had to explain to my family member how the blockchain worked, and that I did not work for a scam. After unpacking what blockchain was and acknowledging that there are some glaring issues with the young technology, we were able to move on to how useful it can be and why a currency not backed by any third party is actually a good thing. Overall, I’d like to think that I did my part in clawing back some respect for crypto for her, though I realize I’m not as influential as John Oliver.
- I was in San Francisco this week and was able to speak a bit more with a colleague of mine about the non-profit Chicago Blockchain Center. I am convinced now more than ever that we need more initiatives like this. Coupling the public and private sectors to explore and challenge new technology is the surest way to help encourage the adoption of blockchain technology and educate a seemingly skeptical public. From helping organize and support local meetups to facilitating meaningful conversations about the technology, the Chicago Blockchain Center and organizations like it are helping make 2018 the year of cryptocurrency as well.
LEARN SOMETHING NEW ABOUT CRYPTO
Something I suspected before but have increasingly better anecdotal evidence for is that many people currently “investing” in the crypto space do not take the time to do their own research. This is deeply saddening to me, because it only leads to people getting burned and then blaming the technology/project instead of taking responsibility for themselves. While whitepapers can be deeply descriptive in their technical detail, it is important that you actually try to understand something. Again, this space shouldn’t be about turning a buck, but about advancing the technology of an already revolutionary platform. Read. Learn. Contribute.
BE GENEROUS – GIVE AND USE YOUR COINS
I feel that a bet between friends satisfies the “use” part of this challenge. Recently, a few friends of mine and I played some poker. It was a 10 dollar buy-in, and the main reason we were even doing it was to catch up (we’ve all been really busy with work). My friends let me pay for my buy-in with ether. Since we were only five people, we played second-to-last “winner” gets their buy-in back and the winner gets the pot. Dear readers, I am a horrible card player. I was the first one out!
Are you also participating in this challenge? How has the challenge been going for you? Do you find yourself talking mostly about price or technology? Tell us in the comments or via Twitter! Let’s make 2018 the year of cryptocurrency!