Do You Make These 4 Mistakes When Explaining Cryptocurrency?

Do You Make These 4 Mistakes When Explaining Cryptocurrency to Newcomers?


Have you ever found yourself explaining cryptocurrency to someone who knows little or nothing about it? When you know a lot about a topic, it can be difficult to describe it to those with much less base knowledge than yourself. Check out these four mistakes you might be making, and how to fix them to achieve a better understanding from those you converse with.

Also read: Flavours Place — Buy Coffee, Tea Right From the Farm with Bitcoin

This video describes all four mistakes and how to deploy alternatives:

4 Mistakes to Avoid When Explaining Cryptocurrency to Newcomers

1. Don’t Use the Word “Cryptocurrency” — Really

You likely know that “crypto” is short for “cryptographic,” but many or most newcomers will not. And even if they did, they may not know what cryptography is in the first place! Skip the weird-sounding word and instead use terms that anyone can understand — “digital currency” or “digital money” will do just fine.

2. Avoid using buzzwords

The words “permissionless,” “disruptive,” and “trustless” get thrown around a lot — and they also mean very little to newcomers. Avoid the potential confusion and further questions that come from using buzzwords like these, and stick to concrete facts and/or your own experiences, instead.

3. Define jargon-like terms before using them

It can be easy to forget that most of the world has no idea what a blockchain is — even (or especially?) if they read that one article in The Economist. Define “blockchain” as a “ledger” or “record of ownership.” Define miners as “people whose computers use math to verify the accuracy of the ledger’s transfers of ownership.” Define “confirmation” as “a periodic point at which miners all agree that previous transactions are accurate.”

Defining your terms implies to your listener that it’s not abnormal to be unfamiliar with these words, and that they needn’t feel inferior.

4. Reference Satoshi’s design goals with Bitcoin

If the person you’re talking crypto to has a credit card that works just fine, why should they care about crypto to begin with? Satoshi stated a specific purpose with the information he embedded in Bitcoin’s very first block: to prevent banking crises — bail-outs and bail-ins. He presumably believed that these kinds of things were caused by secrecy in ledgers, causing him to invent the world’s first verifiably open ledger.

Do you have any other pointers from your own experience in explaining cryptocurrency? Share them below.

Featured image courtesy of Hex Jam.

Amanda B. Johnson

Amanda B. Johnson

Currency protocol analyst and host/writer of YouTube show DASH: Detailed.

  • OMG that is so true. I am talking to people right now about it. These tips are spot on thank you :)

  • OMG that is so true. I am talking to people right now about it. These tips are spot on thank you :)

  • Jon

    After working in the cryptocu… sorry, digital currency industry for a few years it’s hard to remember what is a buzzword and what isn’t, but I try. We need another one called “how to discourage newcomers from trying to get into bitcoin mining after they read an article from 2012″.

  • Milly Bitcoin

    LOL. The biggest problem is cultists like the author who use Bitcoin to promote a fantasy agenda. The Easter Egg Satoshi put in the genesis block does not describe the purpose, that is described in the white paper. The cultists have turned the Easter Egg into some kind of “religious” reference and they base all their claims on that. It is an easy way to spot a cultists when they start making these claims about the genesis block and once someone starts doing that it is safe to ignore everything they say.

    The purpose of Bitcoin is to make transactions without the use of an intermediary. It is a solution to a long standing computer science problem. The people who are pushing a political agenda have completely distorted everything because they are promoting their political agenda, not Bitcoin. These crackpots making all these claims are the main reason adoption is so difficult, not because some buzzword is used as implied by the article.

    As for Bitcoin, it is about doing trustless transactions. An open ledger is just an artifact of decentralization and that is not the main purpose. The main purpose is doing trustless transactions and it has little or nothing to do with bank bailouts, etc. It was just a cute reference that pointed out how trusting a third party can cause problems in some situations.

    BTW – the author, formerly known as Amanda Billyrock, has no experience in “protocol analysis” and is just another crazy cultists who has an agenda most people think is stupid. She latched onto Bitcoin because nobody listens to what she says when she promotes her agenda directly so she uses Bitcoin to try to get attention.

  • Milly Bitcoin

    Look at your web site … “Cryptocurrency is conquering the
    world of currencies and finance.” This is the kind of stupid stuff that makes Bitcoin look ridiculous. It is a new experimental system that is not “conquering” anything yet. Making these obviously false claims does not help promote Bitcoin.

  • You talk about Bitcoin being made to look ridiculous – Talk about the kettle calling the pot black. LOL. “Milly Bitcoin” What a joke. More like you’re bringing Bitcoin disrepute going around on your high horse being antagonistic and representing yourself as Bitcoin. So easy to hide behind a false persona you can say and do what you want and never be responsible for it.

  • Milly Bitcoin

    I have a screen name if that is what you mean. You kooks and scammers don’t have a case for anything you say so you try to attack people because of their screen name when the whole project was started by someone using a screen name. Stop making false claims about bitcoin, it has not “conquered” anything in finance yet. Maybe it will in the future but anyone who looks at Bitcoin can tell it has not. In any case Bitcoin is a great technology, it is the scammers like you making false claims that is the problem.

  • Amanda_B_Johnson

    Oh, great! I’m glad to hear that.

  • Amanda_B_Johnson

    Anyone have tips they’ve found also work well? I’d be interested to hear.

  • Yawn

  • Thanks Amanda :)