The World Hates Crypto

In case its a surprise - the world hates crypto.

It’s an industry that thrives off volatility, and what’s allowed so many people to be successful (at least temporarily) during major upswings and bull markets.

However - the same reasons why crypto made people lots of money in short periods of time are the same reasons why the wider world has such a negative association with it.

Let’s unpack.

Too Confusing

Most people don’t understand why you would want to buy a digital object.

Physical objects have more permanence and we’re still years away from the virtual world having true significance within people’s lives.People value the convenience that social media offers - the proximity to information and entertainment.

They don’t value ownership of digital objects.

A lot of this has to do with a lack of commonly held belief that these objects are valuable.

If 99% of the world thinks something has no value, they don’t care about the 1% of people who do.They also don’t want to hear your rebuttal or argument as to why it has value.

If it had value to them - they would buy it.

Instead - most people’s interaction with NFTs is either through being preached about its merit (similar to trying to be converted to a new religion) or reading about the dozens or scams that often are the only stories which break into their algorithms.

Too Complicated

Even if someone does take the time to learn about the merit of digital objects or the intention behind them - buying them is a nightmare.

Imagine being asked to swap to a new currency to buy something in your average daily life.

When people want to buy something onchain - 99% of products direct them to download a wallet.

This immediately sends them down a path of feeling overwhelmed and uneducated, turning them off to the idea of buying it in the first place.

Now pair this with the fact that you need to buy an entirely new currency - ETH - and the drop off rate is basically 100%.

No one is going to spend 10+ minutes to onboard into something which has an unclear role in their life.

While there are solutions to make this process easier - most crypto products bury things like email sign in and credit card check-ins behind other crypto-native flows.

This is because crypto companies make 99% of their money from crypto users, so the entire product is focused on people who are already onchain.

The problem with this is it boxes out the remaining 99% of the world who could be interested in something but doesn't have the time, energy or patience to jump through all the hoops.

Too Much Hype

Crypto has a major branding problem.

From the outside - people’s exposure to crypto is from individuals who have dedicated their whole life and career to the success of crypto.

This means they are met with an onslaught of people rocking PFPs that make it hard for anyone to take them seriously.

Top this up with someone preaching them about a project they’re invested in which “is the future of ____” and it all comes across as one giant ponzi scheme.

For anyone who might be interested in dipping their toes in, they have to constantly dodge dozens of crazed Twitter accounts trying to direct their attention towards the collections and tokens they have the most invested in.

It’s like trying to buy something at the grocery store but being flagged down to sign 10 different petitions.People just want to buy frozen fruit to make smoothies - they don’t want to be pitched on the latest and greatest blender when they have one that already works fine.

Too Distant

It’s hard for people to grasp how crypto will solve real problems they don’t have in their own individual lives.

This is why crypto has been more globally accepted in developing countries as the impact for payment rails is immediately noticeable.However - this makes up a small percentage of the wider public opinion on platforms like Twitter and Instagram so its difficult for these narratives to click.

People don’t want to buy into the future belief of what something will become - they want to buy what’s right immediately in front of them and what will give them value and belonging today.

And the harsh reality is - today crypto does not give them that value.

How to Solve This

Given all the above - ask yourself:

Am I really building for new people or am I building for an existing set of highly trained and highly experienced crypto people?

If the answer is the former - you need to be extremely extremely intentional about this and realize that your focus on crypto-native audience is going to take a back seat.

For any project which has historically prioritized their onchain users, there is going to be immediate pushback. The community is going to say the project “sold out” or that they’re turning their back on their early adopters.

And while there may be some merit in this - it almost doesn’t matter.

A product that is unable to attract new users will not grow and therefore will eventually cease to exist.

So, the decision to pivot more intentionally towards reaching new users will make itself more clear as more network effects start to form.

Once there is a consistent string of new users coming onchain for the first time - the early adopters will validate this and cheer.

Because - another harsh reality - new users give crypto people exit liquidity.

The more new money that comes into the space, the more opportunity crypto-natives have to sell their positions and ride off into the sunset.

Taking this a step further - this is why it’s important to try and start reaching new users as early into your product journey as possible.

This should create a more level playing field where upside can be captured equally amongst both audiences - instead of creating the dynamic which exists today of crypto-natives getting richer at the expense of new users having a terrible first encounter and never wanting to come back again.

Crypto at Scale

Its hard to fathom a world where the entire world is onchain.

There are years of technical improvements which must be made for it to be dead simple for someone to make an onchain transcation.

Luckily - progress suggests that wallets will only get easier to use, and networks will only get cheaper (if not free) to use.

But - that doesn’t solve the issue of getting someone to care.

Giving someone the ability to sign in and checkout with a credit card is only a fraction of the battle.

There needs to be a clear reason for why they are spending money and what they hope to get out of it. Today - those reasons are as blurry as ever.

This leaves the industry in the most divided place it has ever been and the most confusing spot new users are in when they join.

Crypto at scale is seamless.

It’s a world where your wallet is baked into your smartphone and signing a message is as easy as FaceID when unlocking your iPhone.

But that world is still drastically distant and likely won’t click until it becomes all that anyone can talk about.

So - embrace the fact that people hate crypto.

See it exactly for what it is and commit to finding new ways to solve these challenges.

Because someone will - and whoever does… is going down as one of the most progressive leaders of this space.

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