Bitcoin’s biggest hurdle is not technological or legal; it’s social. I’ve been very bullish on Bitcoin’s future for over two years. In that time it’s had many ups and downs and many hiccups. None of them have ever fazed me in the slightest or made me afraid. That is until now. Over the last few weeks there has been a relentless smear campaign by the mainstream media that threatens to relegate Bitcoin to the dustbin of history. It matters not that Bitcoin is a superior technology with endless potential. As capitalists we know that value is subjective. And if the vast majority of people hate Bitcoin we’ll spend the rest of our lives living under fiat tyranny. Let me explain.
Bitcoin has suffered a ton of bad press lately from a number of angles. Whether it’s all coincidence or conspiracy matters not. The establishment is controlling the narrative.
Here is a short list of their favorite talking points:
- Bitcoin’s price is too unstable and/or just lost half of its value
- Bitcoin is a ponzi scheme
- Bitcoin is used for money laundering, child pornography, terrorism, and drugs
- Bitcoin Foundation member arrested on money laundering charges
- $400,000,000 lost or stolen from Bitcoin’s largest exchange
- Alleged creator of Bitcoin denies all involvement
I want you to try to imagine two things for me. First, I want you to put yourself into the shoes of an average westerner. You’re not a libertarian. You’re not an activist. You’re just a person trying to get by and feed your family. Next, I want you to imagine what your opinion of Bitcoin would be if your first and only impression(s) of Bitcoin were what you’ve seen by the mainstream media.
If you’re honest with yourself you’d admit that Bitcoin would be viewed very poorly.
The average person falls into one of three categories:
- People who understand and appreciate Bitcoin
- People who do not understand and dislike Bitcoin
- People who have never or barely heard of Bitcoin and have no strong opinions
There are two groups of highly motivated factions:
- Libertarian-minded individuals promoting Bitcoin
- The establishment denigrating Bitcoin
There is a race between these two factions. The race is this: to convert as many people as possible over to their side. If the establishment can brainwash the masses into distrusting and disliking Bitcoin then the government can ban it. This does not mean that the establishment can kill Bitcoin. What it does mean is that they could force it underground. Imagine no longer being able to purchase goods from legal businesses. Then Bitcoin would be relegated to the drug trade, money laundering, and other activities which would only reinforce the establishment’s line that Bitcoin is for criminals.
However, if the liberty-minded can manage to get the masses to fall in love with Bitcoin, any future attempts to ban Bitcoin by the establishment would be met with as much fury as we can imagine would happen were the government to ban the internet.
The stakes are high. Time is of the essence. We cannot rest on Satoshi’s laurels and expect Bitcoin to sell itself. We must be better than the establishment. And that’s a tall order. The establishment recognizes the threat of Bitcoin. We may have snuck under the radar for the first four years, but I assure you they are fully aware now. They will pull no punches in attacking Bitcoin. Expect continued escalation from both sides until we have secured victory or suffered defeat.
We cannot simply sit behind our computers and write positive comments about Bitcoin under very negative mainstream media articles. We have to proselytize Bitcoin to our family, friends, and colleagues; focusing our attention not on those who hold a negative view of Bitcoin but on those that are neutral. But more than just talking, we need to give. We need to physically help them set up their first Bitcoin wallets. We need to give them their first bitcoins for free. Give them enough free bitcoins so that they can purchase something meaningful from an online retailer, like Overstock.com. Walk them through the entire process. Bitcoin cannot be fully understood until it is used. Do not stop helping them until you see it click in their heads. Consider it buying them Christmas or birthday presents. Yes, you’ll spend hundreds of dollars. I assure you it’s a very small price to pay to ensure Bitcoin’s success. The alternative is unthinkable.