"To bring people into the blockchain world, first you have to woo them with a shiny object – that's bitcoin's price volatility." Paul Pounendis is a student at the University of Adelaide and the founder of his school's blockchain club. "After luring them in, that's when you redirect their attention to the wonder and power of blockchain."
These sentiments have been echoed throughout Consensus 2018. Few outsiders are interested in conversations about how the blockchain can benefit the automotive or insurance industries, but when they hear stories about people buying Lamborghinis with bitcoin, they become intrigued.
In a session with leading influencers in the blockchain space, the panelists expressed mixed feelings for the online culture of crypto enthusiasts.
"There's so much noise," said Meltem Demirors, founder of Athena Capital. Demirors described the exchanges she witnessed in various projects' community-wide Telegram groups: The majority of questions asked are related to price and trading. "When moon?" or "When listed on Bittrex?" are common questions she spots in these threads, but she hopes to see the community mature into asking more thoughtful questions about product development.
New members of the crypto ecosystem are mesmerized by the rocket speed of their investments, and curious about price predictions for new coins and tokens. Helping people transition from price-watching hawks to blockchain believers can be seamless and natural; several Consensus 2018 attendees shared their strategies on helping people make this pivot. Here are a few main strategies:
- Show people how to research the coins they hear about. Teach them how to think critically and to decide if a project even needs to be decentralized.
- Be active on social media. Share articles about companies making an impact with blockchain around the world; show people what's happening in countries that need borderless technology.
- Find out what your peers care about and send them relevant information on blockchain ventures in that field.
Eventually, people will grow to become interested in portable identity solutions, in insurance products that would distribute payouts without need for a claim, in simpler and more secure voting systems, in services that help people in developing communities build credit, and so on. The rest of the community is responsible for getting them there.