Episode Two: Lien Truong and Lucas Cullen and the Great Crypto Divide BTC/BCH on Crypto Clothesline Podcast
The Age-Old Issue Of How To Keep The Children From Squabbling, Plagues The Bitcoin Community Too…
How do we increase adoption and practical use of Bitcoin when the various factions are bitching about which one’s best?
Lien Truong and Lucas Cullen continue last week’s discussion from episode 1 of the Great Bitcoin Divide, about what is the difference between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, delving into what may feel like upsetting conclusions about what is needed to foster greater adoption…
What They Are All Fighting for Really Is The Name
Lien Truong is convinced that it’s really all a question of effective, compelling marketing ensuring that either Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash actually solves a problem for people – otherwise it’s all a bunch of boys fighting over a name in reality, and that isn’t going to attract mainstream adoption.
Adoption is what’s needed to take cryptocurrencies out of the financial laughing stock scene and into real-life use-cases scaffolded by blockchain technology, which is easy to use for the average person as well as practical. Neither BTC nor BCH is achieving these outcomes currently, she claims.
Lien: “…it’s really a fight over the name… having the name Bitcoin brings a lot of prestige and it means you can claim that you were the first cryptocurrency…”
Interestingly the domain name bitcoin.com belongs to the Bitcoin Cash crew, so by default most noobs coming on the scene doing a search on Bitcoin, are likely to come across this website. It’s a website espousing all things great about Bitcoin Cash though… so in reality it’s creating enormous confusion for the new person who’s trying to work it all out for the first time.
Why Would You Want To Try That Hard?
With complacency and apathy being the disease of the modern world, why really, would the average person try and delve into the delicacies of how these two (or three or five) various versions of Bitcoin differ?
At the end of the financial day, the marketing algebraic number sentence reigns supreme:
(What’s In It For Me? + Solve My Problem = Flock To Buy More) x Millions of Users = Mass Adoption
Lien: “I come from a product background and what I can see is some technology that’s amazing, but I think its marketing application and user experience is quite lacking at the moment. And that’s probably why it hasn’t picked up as much as it could have in with cryptocurrency in general.”
Theirs Is The Real Bitcoin
Another crucial downfall which is making the Bitcoin vs. Bitcoin Cash scene not very sexy, is the challenging interpretation of Satoshi’s language in the original Bitcoin whitepaper.
Lien: “A lot of people seem to be claiming [to be right] through their interpretations of the [Bitcoin] white paper. It’s always a huge grey area when it comes to deciphering texts in white papers.
“I can’t even make sense of half of my husband’s text messages to be honest, so I would be the last person to tell to tell you he was translation of Satoshi’s paper is the most accurate.”
We see over the ages the same issue happening with the interpretation of the Bible – the arguing over the understood meanings of ‘God’s word’ – leading to so-called Holy Wars, as the minds of men bully it out blood and bones in the battlefield over who’s right in their thought-fused interpretations, their ideas, like some gruesome re-enactment of the Five Armies in the Lord of the Rings…
Is this simply history repeating itself as we have seen ad infinitum? How can we actually do things differently in order to secure a different outcome?
Telling People Fiat Is Evil Doesn’t Cut It
It’s not enough to try and educate people about the present international banking and finance system based on Fiat currencies. Yes, it’d be great if we could all wake up and get savvy on how the current system is keeping people enslaved in a debt-dependent economy, while making the banks a wad of cash in the meantime, but really…is that going to be enough to get most people off their butts in front of their wide-screen TVs?
Drag them away from their gaming and reality shows where, watching calamitous human relationship disasters keeps them from pondering the abuse of their basic human rights to freedom?
Most likely people need to experience great pain before seeking the solution that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin can potentially provide.
Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies’ Marketing Application And User Experience Are Quite Lacking At The Moment
Lien comments that the driving need to use Bitcoin or its off-shoots simply isn’t there in the spending community: there’s just not enough urgency right now in the retail market.
Lien: “Mass adoption comes when products, are cheap, convenient and easy to use.
“Your product has to be at least 10 x better than your competitor for you to jump ship right now. A clone [of Bitcoin] maybe 10 x better in an idealistic sense, but if it’s not cheaper, more convenient and easy-to-use, then it won’t be adopted.
“We need to do things to get people on board…”
Some suggestions Lien talks about include:
- crypto millionaires, like Roger Ver striking a deal with Frontier Touring (for example) which sells concert tickets. If they reserved a bunch of Taylor Swift tickets for those who want to pay with Bitcoin Cash, then that would drive adoption by creating the status of exclusivity
- offering discounts if you pay with crypto because everyone loves a sale, and it would be great if we had an annual crypto Boxing Day sale where everything is half price
- give people access to something they couldn’t usually get to with normal currency but which they can have with crypto payments
“[These] small examples aren’t revolutionary, but they’re ones that people are familiar with. And ones that foster instant gratification. I think that’s what the general public really wants.
“People do what they’re comfortable and familiar with, and they won’t [use crypto] until social norms change…
“Offering small instant dopamine hits when you get something cheaper or you get something faster: you get something that you couldn’t get with money, drives adoption.”
What Will Win Is Adoption
The person with the most votes wins – and according to Lucas, this is what will dictate adoption of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and its other grandkid forked chains like SV and ABC.
Lucas: “What I believe these chains are doing is creating a divided community, creating more confusion, which will perhaps be the one, you know, shoot themselves in their own foot, a fragment that community confused merchants
Healthy competition which doesn’t slag the other but instead sets up mutually agreeable outcomes like for example today’s credit card kingdoms, is a potential path to mindfully choose:
Lucas: “For myself, it’s the Visa/ Mastercard thing where you can have both. They do pretty much the same thing, but they just market things differently. There’s enough people to go around to adopt each one.”
Further to this, Lucas explains these various projects unfolding in cryptocurrency in general can tend to badmouth each other, instead of concentrating on cornering their market niche, where their value offering could be really utilised.
“I couldn’t tell you the difference between Visa and Mastercard, when it comes to speed of transactions…
“In cryptocurrency in general, sometimes you see projects put other projects in a negative light in order to rise above [them], rather than concentrating on the applications they could be using in their marketing, and all the efforts they could be making to make the currency more mainstream.
“I think there’ll always be competition. We have to remember that the intentions of both communities are the same – to bring that economic freedom to the world.
“And [we need to be] really aware that the distractions from these fights can hinder progress.
Having a united voice rather than the current fragmented one will also mean that merchants won’t feel so confused and wary. If retail outlets, both walk-in and online, understand this ecosystem, and are confident to offer mainstream crypto payment systems to the public, surely this will lead to more interest from customers, and more information being sought by the widespread spending community. Confidence in cryptocurrency spending lends itself to mass adoption like ducks to water.
Lucas: “What will make it better is when we have a united voice and adoption. When merchants aren’t confused around what is Bitcoin: which was hard enough back in 2013 and 2014. Now it’s even more complicated.”
“I think it’s really positive that we’re able to fork and clone coins when we disagree…
“I find that the unique thing about Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash is that we’re in a space where we can live both truths.”
The War In Tech Has Been Around Forever
Lucas also refers to the different protocols that rocked the world wide web only years ago, and that these technical squabbles have always been there. Perhaps in fact, we need this intellectualising to tease out the most viable and practical solutions. It’s only through ‘failing’ that one tries again from a different perspective, with results that reflect that pioneering, experimental human exploratory nature.
“…all of these battles have been played out in technology for years and years. HTML: there was actually user-groups that decided on what HTML was, and there was one camp that said, ‘Hey HTML should be compiled and we should be very strict just like any other programming language.
Any development in technology started from the premise that something currently not possible, becomes possible, or at least a variation of the original vision becomes manifest.
Aleks Svetski explores this notion in our earlier interview, quoting his Medium article: Don’t Be That Guy Dismissing Bitcoin, which demonstrates how today’s crypto naysayers were yesterday’s internet naysayers and electricity’s naysayers. Only through finding what doesn’t work in both technology and life, do we discover what does actually serve people and solve problems.
Lucas: “Go back and do a bit of history on some of the technology decisions on the Internet and computer science and then start to bring those conversations to the table.”
Vote With Your Feet
“…if you don’t like it, don’t use it. It’s kind of like it or lump it!”
Lucas justly points out in other interviews on the Clothesline, as well as this one, that big corporations like Facebook and the banks clearly and undoubtedly rip us off. The court hearings with Mark Zuckerberg were live-streamed (on Facebook lol) and teeth were gnashed and grumblings could be heard…but how of many of us closed our Facebook accounts? Precious few.
The Banking High Commission in Australia has found our major banks and their greed-generated infrastructures ‘guilty’ of atrocities including robbing the dead of insurance policy costs, for 10 years after a customer’s declared death. As Lucas points out, we roll our eyes and agree the banks are a bunch of a*seholes, but how many of us went out the very next day and swiped our cards to purchase groceries? How many of us closed down our accounts?
“It came out on your favourite mainstream media newspaper that, ‘Ooh, thanks a crop. Big shock there! [The banks are doing this and that]..
“What did everyone do? They’ve got up the next day they went to the coffee shop. They tap their cards. Nope, not one person closed their bank account because of that.
“Humans are just so apathetic… you know the banks are corrupt, they’re corrupt because we let them be, it’s that simple and until people start changing their behaviour, looking at a crypto or something else, [nothing will change].
“I’ve said this before, if you’re not part of that
, then you’re just part of the problem, it’s as simple as that.”
In Summary: ‘To Bitcoin Or To Bitcoin Cash, That Is (NOT) The Question.
Fostering healthy crypto projects’ competition, and enabling differing lights to shine for different markets, will lead to a more plausible and mature public image.
Marketing in general in this sphere needs to be dramatically spruced up so that Bitcoin and its crypto cousins can get an image facelift, which would be another key area to drive mass adoption.
Mass adoption decides which player stays afloat in a changing market, and that survival is usually dictated by the ability to solve someone’s problem. If Bitcoin and co. stay a theoretical, philosophical freedom-fighters’ tool, then that’s all very well, but it’s probably not going to wake up the average Joe Blow from his bum-cratered crouch to come listen to cryptocurrencies’ trumpets’ calling.
We need projects to offer real-life value to purchasers and vendors so that buying decisions become easier and something to not miss out on.
Listening to various Telegram groups of Gen Y technical intellectuals battle it out in witty, cutty and often downright abusive one-liners, is not very attractive and sounds more like a couple of bullies in the school yard battling it out for supremacy…
Let’s encourage Bitcoin and co. to mature out of those pesky teen years into the mature adult it must be to gain the credibility, trust and adoption of billions of adults world-wide.
Lien Truong on LinkedIn
Lucas Cullen on LinkedIn
Andreas Antonopoulos: We’re All Weirdos
Katrina Donaghy of Civic Ledger on Crypto Clothesline
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