While crypto and blockchain have their share of enthusiastic pioneers, these industries can’t survive and thrive without attracting new users. Many cite the space’s tech-forward complexity as a barrier, but does it have to be? And are industry leaders adding to the problem by not working to reach prospective users where they are?
The close-knit nature of the blockchain and crypto industries can be both a strength and an impediment, and it may be time for insiders to step outside echo chambers to better understand what prospective new users want to know and how to give them that information. Below, 16 members of Cointelegraph Innovation Circle discuss ways the blockchain and crypto industries can improve outreach to potential new users.
Stay true to transparency and decentralization
We must stay true to the objectives of the blockchain industry: transparency and decentralization. If leaders promote these traits in their discussions about the industry and its products, they put prospective customers in a much better position to understand the industry. Since everything is verifiable on-chain, it is much easier for customers to test what’s said over blindly believing. – Mohak Agarwal, ClayStack
Fight for the advancement of the whole space
We must stay true to Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision and educate on the importance of trustlessness and not depending on financial intermediaries. This space is full of nonsensical tribalism, which does nothing but turn new users away. True leaders should fight tooth and nail for the advancement of the whole space — together, we can make this the 12th sector of the S&P. – Ben Knaus, Rillafi
Push out simple, clear content
Simplicity and clarity are essential. Leaders should push educational content that is simple. Forget complex technical explanations that mean a lot to you but nothing to the broader audience. If the future of Web3 is for regular people, we need to be able to explain what it is in simple language that can be understood by all. – Shiran Herzberg, eToro
Leverage helpful analogies
It’s tough, but one method we’ve found helpful is using analogies that people understand. For example, when talking about DeFi insurance, first talk about how traditional car insurance is done and then explain the similarities to how it works in the crypto world. – Rupert Barksfield, Amulet
Build solutions people can use without being taught
Education is often misplaced — I find so many people trying to teach people how crypto works. Very few people understand how the internet works. What made the internet soar? Great software and use cases that just work. Apple didn’t educate people on how to use the iPhone. They created products that worked. Build solutions that people can use, not ones they need to be educated on. – John Wingate, BankSocial
Start with product education and security assurances
We need to focus on product education and security, ideally in that order. With product education, users can begin to understand how blockchain can serve them and alleviate the pain points of traditional finance. Next, prospective users need to feel secure with the technology itself. By focusing on these two factors, we can onboard new users to the blockchain ecosystem, which is arguably its biggest obstacle. – Megan Nyvold, BingX
Leave the drama at the door
There is so much tribalism in crypto that leaders of projects often get wrapped up in pointless social drama that turns off prospective users. Leaders need to leave the drama at the door and realize that we are all collectively building this tech. If blockchain and crypto is a party, let’s make it as inviting and welcoming as possible; no one likes to be at a party with everyone shouting at each other. – Mark Soares, Blokhaus Inc.
Drop echo-chamber language
The language we choose is critical from a technical and cultural point of view. The industry is consumed by its own niche language and anecdotes, and we should always consider that those we are reaching out to are not only probably unfamiliar with Web3-isms, but also have some skepticism. We’re one step closer to mass adoption if we make it easy to understand using non-echo-chamber language. – Sheraz Ahmed, STORM Partners
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Highlight real-world use cases
Focus on real-world use cases that create value and harness the technology to drive new business models. Ignore the hype and speculation — there is nothing in it. Ultimately, Web3 and Web2 have to work together. Web3 won’t rip and replace Web2, nor can Web2 uninvent Web3. Drive use cases, drive innovation and create paradigm shifts in business models. – Nitin Kumar, zblocks
Prepare people for how blockchain will change the world
Keep the big picture in mind, and don’t focus on the little details of the day-to-day. Focus on how lives will change in the post-blockchain-revolution world. Since this technology will take time to mature, explain how people can prepare and manage their expectations, and present the drawbacks along with the benefits to keep people aware of any challenges to mass adoption. – Jagdeep Sidhu, Syscoin Foundation
Emphasize the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ of emerging technologies
Due to its pace and scope, the crypto ecosystem generates an incredible amount of noise. It can be overwhelming trying to parse reliable information, especially when much of the focus is on value-based assessments. Instead, education should emphasize the “how” and the “why” of emerging technologies and situate them within a changing world. Greater context can only stand to enrich one’s crypto journey. – Oleksandr Lutskevych, CEX.IO
Simplify the language related to Web3
Leaders need to work together to simplify the language and explanations of complex concepts related to Web3. This industry is moving at a ridiculous velocity, and this pace will only increase with the advancements in AI tools like ChatGPT. Also, we need to place greater emphasis on sharing the positive use cases this tech brings to our lives. Combined with patience, these steps can reduce some of the confusion. – Matthew LaCrosse, MetaEngine
Reach audiences where they are
Platforms like TikTok can be daunting for Web3 natives who are more accustomed to Twitter and Telegram, but it is crucial to provide educational content beyond our own echo chambers. This is a great way to increase blockchain adoption — especially among younger generations. – Wolfgang Rückerl, ENT Technologies AG
Engage in open-ended conversations
Ask questions, and be prepared for an open-ended conversation. Prospective users hesitate for different reasons; it’s a mistake to assume you know how to address their concerns or motivate them to learn if you don’t understand their point of view. My teaching background comes in handy — it’s natural to use the Socratic method in small settings. On a large scale, focus the topic and define your terms. – Stephanie So, Geeq
Gamify the learning process
Combine gamification, education and rewards as a learning process. Educate users through challenges in the form of quizzes — the winners could receive nontransferable proof of knowledge NFTs. They could then be rewarded by their companies with discounts or special offers. World of Women and Ledger provide excellent examples of this. – Erki Koldits, OÜ Popspot
Focus on utility
We need to focus more on utility and the benefits for the people using the products, rather than focusing on the technology in itself. Beyond that, focusing too much on the incentives (aka tokenomics) may lead to acquiring users who are only interested in the financial gain and nothing more. These types of projects are only successful in frothy markets, as we saw in 2020 and 2021. – Moshe Lieberman, Share
This article was published through Cointelegraph Innovation Circle, a vetted organization of senior executives and experts in the blockchain technology industry who are building the future through the power of connections, collaboration and thought leadership. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Cointelegraph.
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