The Path To Mainstream Crypto Adoption: Introduce It To Children.
Today’s young adults have the burden of growing up in an exceedingly small world. As they learn about how to navigate through life, each step is Instagrammed or Snapchatted. This makes it harder to make mistakes as shame and ridicule are foreboding and everpresent. Yet, children have a wonderful ability to adapt, something that explains how kids today are so adept with their phones, in comparison to their parents or even older siblings. Thus, it might not be absurd to think of introducing cryptocurrencies to them, to push for a more mainstream space in public consciousness.
This is a thought that has inspired the cryptocurrency lead at Cinnober, Eric Wall, to ask:
“What if kids are the ticket to cryptocurrency’s widespread adoption?”
The Path To Adoption
Many have discussed the best ways to ensure that this tech is adopted. Better education and regulation is touted as the way to go. Another way is to tap into emerging markets and offer crypto services such as crypto finance and banking. Eric, however, says
“There’s a larger unbanked group that is far more likely to adopt crypto in the near-term. An innovative, playful group who are great at using apps: Children.”
Discussing his rationale over Twitter, he goes on to note a few interesting observations. Firstly, he says, kids actually understand social media. They recognize how it works and thus comprehend online marketing better than most age groups. Secondly, they are naturally better at picking up concepts, as their brains are always trying to absorb information. Finally, as they have no source of income or money, except for what they receive from their parents, children will be more motivated to learn about cryptos and money.
As Julia Herbst from Breakermag pointed out that young people are already aware of the basic concepts due to in-game currencies. She says:
“They already clamour for Fortnite V-bucks for Christmas. Video games and the virtual worlds they contain are ripe for crypto integration.” Apart from that money-sharing apps are mostly used by young adults, and she feels that “the addition of cryptocurrency wallets to general-use apps appears imminent.”
The Challenges Ahead
The idea of kids learning about cryptocurrency isn’t new. However, this immediately raises flags about marking to children. Though companies have been careful to release reading material sans any direct advertising. Then there are crypto firms such as Blockchains, that has selected a youngster to be the face of their company. Even some industry leaders, such as Vitalik just about fit that age group.
However, there are more disconcerting challenges. As Eric discusses this further, the online space is rife with trolls and more sinister activities, that will just as likely impact young people. He reckons that cryptos will mostly be used in good humour,
“The kids with the big social media accounts will use their reach to monetize pranks.’When BillyBob3 receives XMR we’ll drop this water balloon on our mom!’, stuff like that.” Yet he has no illusions and expects it to also”fuel a dark and perverse economy. Kids will extort and bully each other, and derive money from it.”
If historical precedent is any indication, it seems only a matter of time before the younger crowd will become inquisitive about the blockchain technology and hopefully embrace it. The key will be to educate people without overwhelming or trying to thrust it upon them.