February 18, 2021
By Leslie Quander Wooldridge
What do you do when you want to share the promise of cryptocurrency with friends or loved ones…but they don’t get it?
Or they’re not really into it?
After all, some may have (falsely) heard that crypto is nothing but a scam. Or that it’s only used for nefarious purposes.
They may even ignore the market all together because they don’t understand it.
Nevertheless, it may be worth trying to explain it to them. Because as Bitcoin has been surging to new all-time highs in recent weeks—and mainstream media sites share news while celebs tweet about the space—it offers yet another chance to set the record straight.
Never before have those we hold special in our lives been so open to learning about digital assets. Still, there are still those pesky naysayers out there that still have folks questioning crypto’s validity.
For instance, in February, investment manager and financial commentator Peter Schiff tweeted:
“Now that #Bitcoin has hit $50,000 I must admit that a move up to $100,000 can’t be ruled out. However a move down to zero can’t be ruled out either. While a temporary move up to $100K is possible, a permanent move down to zero is inevitable.”
Clearly, not everyone isn’t a fan.
So, how can you responsibly talk to your friends and loved ones about crypto, helping them to understand the possibilities that come with these digital assets—especially if they’re afraid or doubtful? What will it take for you to share this unprecedented crypto market opportunity with them.
As we see companies like Tesla and firms like MicroStrategy pouring billions of dollars into the market, many of us don’t want our loved ones left behind. To help them to at least get the memo, the key is to take a calm and measured approach.
Here are some tips to consider:
Lead with facts instead of feelings
One key to investing that I often share is that emotions have no place in the market. The key here when you begin conversations about cryptocurrency is to just present the facts. As is the case with the stock market, let them know that while it’s possible to lose money, real gains can be made.
Also make them aware that inflation is real by noting that the Federal Reserve recently increased the U.S. monetary supply to the tune of trillions of dollars (also called “printing money”) impacting our government-backed financial system.
Or how about sharing with them that there is only a finite supply of bitcoin. This makes it more scarce than the U.S. dollar, providing it with the ability to demand higher prices.
Then there are the blockchain-based technological advancements tied to crypto that are transforming the way we live and do business.
While it may be tempting to share emotions, leading with the facts gives your loved ones a chance to evaluate news from their own perspective.
Use plain language
Yep, you’re smart. But this is not the time to talk about the “bags” you’ve been “hodling,” or to get on a (precarious) soapbox about “sh*t coins (which, by the way, is a phrase I think we should stop saying).
Or to share technical perspectives about your favorite “cold wallet.” Instead, use simple words that people can easily understand.
For example, talk to them about investment strategies, like holding versus day trading. Let them know that Bitcoin is one of many cryptocurrencies. And that while many projects may be scams, many of these (“altcoins”) have real use cases.
Also, admit that hacks are possible thereby underscoring the importance of having safe, offline storage options for their digital assets.
Explain things as if you are talking to a child. In general, by avoiding jargon and complex phrases, you can help people understand your messages, the Center for Plain Language notes.
Isn’t just a basic understanding the goal?
Listen and be willing to answer questions
If you’re starting a conversation about how digital assets that can’t be touched and that are not backed by central banks are going to affect the world, then be prepared to answer questions. People may be skeptical. And confused. You may need to have several conversations before your loved ones really get it.
Also understand that people have various learning styles. For instance, while a spoken conversation may help your friend, your cousin may learn better visually. So ask your loved ones how they learn best. Be prepared to share reliable resources like articles or the glossary at coinmarketcap.com. Give them the chance to review it on their own.
Consider providing a gift and discussing results
Some people also may need to see things to believe them. So feel free, if you have the means, to gift your loved ones a bit of crypto. Even $10 worth. Let them experience how it feels to have their own wallet and see how the balance moves. Then ask for their thoughts.
For example, if you’d bought them $10 worth of Bitcoin when it sold for $20,000, they would have seen it grow to $20 when Bitcoin hit $40,000 weeks later. These kind of (legal) returns are uncommon in other spaces.
In addition, sharing your personal experiences can be helpful.
Note: While you may be tempted to share your own gains, remember that everyone doesn’t need to know your personal business. Ahem.
Know that any next steps are their choice
While you may understand the promise that the crypto market holds, your loved ones may not agree. Or they may not want to take action. And that’s okay. Everyone has their own financial journey. (Think back to when and how you entered the market.) So if you’ve shared accurate information, and answered questions, any next steps are up to them.
Of course, hopefully, they’ll jump in at least a little. Just think of how fun it would be for family members to soak up gains with you this year so that you can do a toast together. But at the end of the day, even if your loved ones choose not to jump on board, you can at least take satisfaction in their knowing that this amazing opportunity for wealth building exists.