Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
There is a lot of talk in the crypto world about mass adoption. But what does that mean? And how can we make it happen? Plenty of products are being created in the crypto space ranging from DeFi protocols to NFT marketplaces, and now there is a move towards Web3-ready browsers. Furthermore, crypto forecast data states that the number of cryptocurrency users will reach 350 million by 2027.
Most experienced crypto users who participate in the market are already familiar with it and use their knowledge to create solutions that ease business processes for others. However, these users almost exist in a bubble surrounded by people with the same level of understanding.
If you have spent any time in the crypto world, you have probably realized that even within a community of less experienced crypto enthusiasts, there is a lack of effort to self-educate despite the availability of resources such as FAQs, beginner guides and other forms of content.
The problem is that the average person does not even know where to start when it comes to crypto learning. They are intimidated by the technical jargon and do not have time to sift through all the information.
Lessons from TradFi
The world as we know it is cyclical, and the crypto industry does not exist in a vacuum. We can learn from the successes and failures of TradFi to better understand how to achieve mass crypto adoption.
Since its first appearance 200 years ago, the traditional finance market has evolved to become an essential part of our everyday lives thanks to its process of education. Education in TradFi has given the masses an explanation of how the system works in simple terms, raising understanding and increasing adoption.
The education system in TradFi goes back to early childhood when kids learn to participate in TradFi through play. They learn the value of money and how to save. A more formal education follows this in schools where children study different financial concepts such as budgeting, loans, and investments. But there is no such thing for crypto yet.
There is a need to raise a comfortable and familiar generation around crypto. Many crypto-educated American parents are already investing about $766 into extra-curricular crypto education for their children.
Companies and schools are jumping on the crypto education train
In addition, some companies have already started to invest in educational tools and resources to help people understand crypto. Binance and Coinbase, for example, have “Learn” sections on their websites to help users get to know different cryptocurrencies and even earn crypto rewards.
Withal, top universities, such as Stanford, Harvard, MIT, and Oxford, are starting to incorporate blockchain and crypto courses into their curriculum. Despite the positive trend, many crypto-related programs teach only the basics with a focus on financial literacy. Unless the students learn how the tech works, they will not become crypto natives, get hired by market players after graduation, or develop the most sought-after skills within the sector.
There are also “anti-cases” like the one with El Salvador, which became the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender. It was only in 2022 that the “My First Bitcoin” program was launched to educate children and adults about cryptocurrencies. The Salvadoran government should have started this educational program much earlier.
The same can be said about the UK, where the country’s Digital Minster is looking to make the nation a “crypto hub,” while nearly half of young adults in the country do not know how cryptocurrencies work. The discrepancy is further exaggerated by the fact that more than half (56%) of the UK’s young adults are willing to invest in crypto in the future, yet another 60% believe there is inadequate information available regarding learning about digital assets.
An Arms Race For Crypto Adoption
As it seems, countries across the globe are in a crypto arms race to be the first to achieve mass crypto adoption. However, no one is thinking about how ordinary people can understand and use cryptocurrencies in their everyday lives.
Having a few companies invest in educational tools and resources is not enough. There needs to be a coordinated effort by all crypto institutions to explain the concepts of digital assets in simple terms so that everyone can understand. True mass crypto adoption can only be achieved when the population adequately understands the industry.
At first, as a crypto entrepreneur, you may think that creating a high-quality product is enough. But it is wrong; people using your platform need proper training about it first.
The responsibility of the crypto industry to lead the initiative
As the crypto world expands, so does the range and palette of financial instruments. Every socially responsible business should therefore think beyond its product or service and consider its impact on the greater good.
It is the responsibility of CEOs and founders to learn from TradFi history and think about crypto education and how to make it accessible to everyone from an early age, thus guaranteeing future growth and adoption.
After all, to get a mature crypto community in the next 5-10 years, we need to carry knowledge about blockchain to the next generation, the future native users of the technology.