The Currency of Communication

Digital currencies continue to proliferate. Do not, however, mistake acclaim for acceptance; because nothing legitimizes money like an icon or the image of an iconic figure, be it a dollar sign or a portrait of a queen or president; because, with the exception of the logo for Bitcoin, no other digital currency has a symbol strong enough to do what no amount of money can buy: credibility. Without the perception of credibility, never mind the fact that many digital currencies are already credible—and are forms of credit—the public will not embrace what others have endorsed until what is real for some is a reality for all.

The promoters of digital currencies must, therefore, simplify their message with symbols rather than words. They must develop their own branding for investment and finance, as a marketing expert explains, that says more with less.

For example: A dollar sign represents the full faith and credit of the United States; it converts Article IV, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution into a symbol; it replaces 46 words of national importance with a symbol of international significance; it translates what is intelligible to lawyers into a universal law of business—that America’s money is good everywhere.

Critics may disagree about the worth of a dollar, but they should not waste their time arguing about whether a dollar has symbolic worth. They should try to surpass that worth instead, so their dollars may be worth a lot more than any paper dollar.

They must learn to speak to people who cannot read, not because these persons are too primitive to understand finance, but because so few financiers understand that it is essential for all people to have some degree of financial literacy. To bridge that gap requires something everyone can appreciate, though only a handful may be able to apply as traders, merchants, vendors, bankers, or businesspeople.

We need to apply what we know, which is what we also want the public to see for itself: a symbol that denotes credibility and connotes trust, allowing digital currencies to gain widespread use and adoption.

We may not have the right symbol from the start, but the public has a right for us to get it right.

Regardless of the price we must pay, the burdens we must bear, and the hardships we must meet—regardless of what we understand, none of what we know is relevant unless we have a symbol that everyone can understand. Until that time, regardless of what others believe or others would have us believe, seeing is what counts; seeing is believing, since a symbol has a power that is intangible but invaluable; seeing that symbol is a source of comfort for those who value it; seeing how that symbol inspires a set of values, such as industry, thrift, and investment, is worth more than we can imagine.

Let us create a symbol of everlasting value. Let us refine it with care and protect it with eternal vigilance. Let us make it happen.

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