Bitcoin is Money
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Bitcoin is just money. Bitcoin can seem like a weird little cult full of nyms, laser eyes, random references to Greek mythology, and plenty of insider lingo tossed about that leaves an outsider asking, “Fiat? Few? NGMI? What the hell are these people talking about?”
It might seem to outsiders that Bitcoin is only for finance bros and coders. It might even seem to Bitcoiners who are so deep down the rabbit hole that it’s impossible for an outsider to understand anyway—so why bother trying? But quite simply, Bitcoin is money, and money is for everyone. People don’t need to be as obsessed with Bitcoin to the level that your average Bitcoiner is to just start using it. Everyone uses money, and everyone benefits from better money.
Step One: Know Your Audience
What does your friend do for a living? What are his goals for the future? How could Bitcoin help him? Bitcoin can be a useful tool for different people in different ways. Your friend who runs a small business might be interested in using Lightning for instantaneous transactions with low fees. Your tightwad friend with the giant savings account might be heartened to know he can store his money elsewhere without it losing value over time.
Step Two: Start Small
You probably don’t want to go into the philosophical/spiritual/moral metaphors of Bitcoin right away. Yes, I get it—Bitcoin is beautiful and world-changing and we could all wax poetic about it for hours. This kind of language is very common in the Bitcoin community, where it’s actually understood. But to a newbie, you might sound a little crazy. You might even sound a little like you’re in a cult (and to be fair, that’s probably not wrong.) So don’t start there. Unless, of course, your friend actually is a slightly crazy philosopher, in which case the philosophy of Bitcoin might be a great place to start. Again, I will refer back to step one: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE.
Start small when it comes to the technical stuff, too. Maybe starting with a full-on node setup at your friend’s place isn’t the best way to onboard him. There are many simple options when it comes to wallets for beginners, as well as many different options for them to start earning or buying some sats. Whatever you choose to set someone up on, pick one and teach them how to use them well. Understanding how to use just one wallet with best practices when it comes to both security and usability is far better than overloading them with too many options. There’s time for them to explore that later. Right now, just help them start stacking their own sats, and teach them how and where they can spend those sats, too, if they so choose!
Step Three: Know Your Stuff
Make sure you know what you’re talking about when you’re explaining Bitcoin to someone. Orange pilling is the real test of your Bitcoin knowledge. You will find out fast whether you really understand a concept or not when you have to explain it.
The good news is, you generally won’t need to get too technical when orange pilling a newbie. The bad news is, sometimes it’s actually harder to explain a technical operation simply. Go back to step one: Know Your Audience. Think about why a certain piece of knowledge will impact your friend, and go from there. Tell them what they need to know as it relates to them, their life, their experiences, and their everyday usage of Bitcoin.
It Seems Too Simple Because It Is
Getting into a conversation about money with a newbie can get overly complicated when it doesn’t have to be. Bitcoin is simple. Fiat money is not. Be wary of questions and attacks coming from a fiat understanding of money. Your answer isn’t wrong, even if it feels like it has to be because it’s too simple. Bitcoin IS simple, and that’s the beauty of it.
When all is said and done, simply passing on information and resources about Bitcoin to those around you is the best and only thing you can do. People can choose to continue using dollars, or they can choose to start using Bitcoin. The choice is theirs, and that’s what Bitcoin is all about.