Bitcoin First, Not Only: Fostering Widespread Adoption Through Education

By presenting bitcoin as the first step in a journey of financial literacy, we can create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for newcomers, Montclair State University adjunct professor Burak Tamac writes.

AccessTimeIconApr 15, 2024 at 1:54 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 15, 2024 at 1:57 p.m. UTC
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As bitcoin (BTC) continues to gain traction worldwide, the approach to introducing it to newcomers plays a crucial role in its widespread adoption. While some advocates firmly believe in a "Bitcoin only" narrative, this aggressive stance can often hinder the conversation and deter potential adopters.

Instead, a "Bitcoin first" approach, which prioritizes education and understanding, may prove more effective in fostering genuine interest and long-term investment in bitcoin.

Burak Tamac is an adjunct professor at Montclair State University, teaching politics and technology.

This essay is part of CoinDesk’s “Future of Bitcoin” package published to coincide with the fourth Bitcoin “halving” in April 2024.

The limitations of the "Bitcoin only" approach

Proponents of the "Bitcoin only" narrative often argue passionately for the superiority of bitcoin over other cryptocurrencies. However, this approach can come across as confrontational and off-putting to those who are new to the concept. When people feel attacked or told that their current investments are wrong, they are more likely to disengage from the conversation entirely. This is particularly true in countries like Turkey, where many individuals are already familiar with alternative investments like altcoins.

The power of education

To effectively promote bitcoin adoption, the focus should shift from telling people what to do to providing them with the knowledge to make informed decisions. By presenting bitcoin as the first step in understanding the broader cryptocurrency landscape, educators can help people grasp the unique features and advantages of bitcoin without disparaging other investments outright.

When individuals learn about the Bitcoin network's decentralized nature, its limited supply and its potential as a store of value, they can better appreciate its significance. This foundation of knowledge allows them to evaluate other cryptocurrencies more critically and recognize the authenticity of bitcoin's value proposition.

Encouraging people to blindly invest in bitcoin without proper understanding is a short-sighted approach. When individuals buy bitcoin solely based on hype or fear of missing out, they are more likely to panic sell during market fluctuations. This behavior not only harms their personal financial well-being but also discourages them to learn more about bitcoin.

In contrast, when people invest in bitcoin after learning about its fundamentals and long-term potential, they are more likely to hold their investments through market cycles. This informed decision-making promotes stability and helps to build a stronger, more resilient Bitcoin community.

The way forward

To accelerate bitcoin adoption, I believe advocates should prioritize education to start a conversation; and the education should not start about what they do wrong, but what they can do more. By presenting bitcoin as the first step in a journey of financial literacy and technological understanding, we can create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for newcomers.

By adopting a "Bitcoin first" approach that prioritizes education and understanding, we can create a more welcoming and empowering environment for newcomers. This shift in narrative, from "Bitcoin only" to "Bitcoin first," has the potential to accelerate adoption.

Edited by Daniel Kuhn.


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Burak Tamac

Burak Tamac is an adjunct professor at Montclair State University, teaching politics and technology.

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