If you’re not a developer or a seasoned market trader, getting started in crypto is confusing. Terrifying, even.
Think about it. From an outsider’s perspective, cryptocurrency seems like a quagmire of scams, hacks, and get-rich-quick schemes. Your non-crypto friends have probably heard all they know from panicky news reports or Bitcoin horror stories.
Those of us in the know understand that crypto has the potential to change the world. The problem is explaining that to others.
That’s why we’ve prepared this guide to help you talk to your friends about getting started in crypto.
Keep it simple
Perhaps the biggest barrier to getting started in crypto is the jargon. For non-crypto folk, trying to understand hash rates, 51 percent attacks, airdrops, and hard forks is a nightmare.
Unfortunately, most crypto news sources cater to people who already understand these terms. If your non-crypto friends look for information online, they’ll probably hit a brick wall. That’s where you come in.
Understanding complicated concepts are much easier when you’re talking with a friend. If possible, try to meet up with your non-crypto friend in person and explain the basics of crypto as simply and clearly as you can. You don’t need to get too technical at first – just focus on the key points: limited supply, traceability, rapid transactions, low fees. If it helps, imagine you’re trying to explain crypto to your grandma.
Of course, you can use online resources to help get the point across. If you find a site that explains the basics well for beginners, bookmark it. Your friends will appreciate it later.
Sites like Cryptpresso cater to people getting started in crypto by explaining things in the simplest way possible. Once you’ve given them your introductory lesson, send them to a site like this where they can start to build up their knowledge.
Ease their fears about crypto
Most people who are just getting started in crypto have some concerns. That’s understandable. After all, they’ve probably only seen negative coverage of the market on the mainstream news. They don’t want to lose their money, and they don’t want to accidentally break the law.
If you have first-hand experience as a crypto investor or trader, you can alleviate those fears. Explain to your friends in your own words – not flowery marketing language – why you believe in crypto. Talk to them about the advantages of cryptocurrency, and show them why your personal experience with crypto has been positive.
You can also show your friends what to look out for so they can avoid investing in scams or scamcoins. Perhaps you’ve invested in a coin that’s doing well, and you’d like to help get involved too. Alternatively, you could help your friend find a coin that aligns with their interests, or one they might use in the future.
Of course, the crypto world remains far from perfect. Don’t give your friend unrealistic expectations about how much money they’ll make or how easy the process is. Instead, remind them to research any coin before buying it, and to only invest what they can afford to lose.
Coach them through their first purchase
Simply buying coins for the first time can seem impossible for anyone just getting started in crypto.
If possible, take half an hour to sit down with your friend in person and coach them through their first purchase. Help them set up a secure wallet, then show them how to buy a coin of their choice. While this might seem simple to you, it’s almost certainly complicated for them, so they’ll appreciate your help.
This is also a good opportunity to teach your friend about crypto transactions. Send them a tiny transaction – let’s say 50 cents worth of BTC – then get them to send the same amount back to you. Once they’ve done this a few times, they’ll be much more comfortable managing a proper transaction in the future.
Your real-life help is worth much more than an explainer video or a poorly written set of instructions.
Don’t just tell them about mining – show them
Learning about mining is an inevitable part of getting started in crypto. It’s also one of the most confusing things for newbies to wrap their head around.
A few years ago, you’d have to park your friend in front of a specialized mining rig for several hours to explain the process. Nowadays, however, it’s easier than ever to mine altcoins using your everyday computer.
With the arrival of user-friendly mining programs, you can help your friend get started in minutes. All they need to do is download and install the app, then click the start button.
This is a great entry-level way to help your friend grasp the most important aspects of mining without burying them in complicated jargon. They’ll be able to see for themselves how much power the process consumes, how many coins they can mine, and how running other programs in the background affects the efficiency of their mining.
Avoid the anarchy spiel
If we want cryptocurrency to truly reach the mainstream, we have to realize that anarchy is not an option. The idea that crypto will replace banks and eliminate the need for governments is idealistic, not realistic, at least for the moment.
Unless your friend is already an entrenched anarchist, you won’t win them over by promising them the upheaval of society. In fact, you’ll probably just scare them off.
Instead of going full Satoshi on your friend, try to focus on how crypto can fit into our current society. Talk to them about how crypto is already helping unbanked people in the world’s poorest regions. Explain the business advantages of money transfers that arrive in minutes, not days. Show them how cryptocurrency breaks down barriers by allowing seamless international payments.
If you believe in cryptocurrency, you’ll know that mainstream adoption is the most important issue facing the market. You can do your bit by spreading the word and helping people who are just getting started in crypto.