Cryptocurrencies have been in the headlines for close to a decade. At this point, it is accurate to assume that most people have heard of crypto. But how many actually understand it?
A survey carried out in Brazil, Mexico, and the U.S. in late 2021 found 98% of respondents lacked basic crypto knowledge. These statistics have likely improved since, however, the study highlights an issue that persists to date: most people don’t understand cryptocurrencies.
If asked why, most people would probably say that crypto is so hard to understand. But is it? Or is it that it’s hard to find information about cryptocurrencies?
Why Many People Don’t Understand Cryptocurrencies
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are relatively new phenomena. Bitcoin (BTC), the most popular cryptocurrency, launched in 2009, which is only 14 years ago. And for a long time, it was relegated to a small audience of technology and cryptography enthusiasts.
It wasn’t until the twenty-teens that crypto started hitting mainstream news outlets. Even then, much of the talk around crypto centered around the massive gains (and losses) that people were making with this new asset class. This explains why a lot of people only know cryptocurrencies as “magic internet assets to throw all your money at and hope for the best.”
But cryptocurrencies are much more than that. Today, the development of smart contracts on blockchain platforms like Ethereum, BNB Chain (BSC), Cardano, and many others has created many financial applications in what is now known as decentralized finance (DeFi). And here is, perhaps, where the huge gap in knowledge exists.
Advancements in blockchain have introduced a lot of new technicalities to what was already a complex topic. The crypto world has become more than just about “internet money.” There are now smart contracts, scalability layers, passphrases, multi-sig wallets, crypto bridges, aggregators, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), etc.
Grasping the concept of crypto wasn’t exactly easy in the days when it was only Bitcoin. But now, with all these new developments, it has become outright overwhelming, which is a big problem.
Fortunately, this problem is not without a solution. As with any complicated topic, getting people to understand is a matter of educating them. But herein lies the main reason why people still struggle to understand cryptocurrencies – education in crypto isn’t the most beginner-friendly.
A Lack of Appropriate Educational Materials
In the 14 years since the launch of Bitcoin, a lot of what can be considered educational material on blockchain and cryptocurrencies has been published on the internet. And with each new advancement, more resources emerge. But as mentioned earlier, the crypto space is largely dominated by technology and finance enthusiasts.
What this means is a lot of the material currently available on the blockchain and crypto is tailored toward such an audience. So, they tend to explain concepts at a level that, while easily understood by someone already in the space, is too high for a newcomer.
This situation has made it difficult for many people to learn about crypto. Already believing that it is a hard topic to grasp, they are easily discouraged when they encounter material that is delivered above their head.
The Space Needs a Different Approach to Education
The world of cryptocurrencies is a technical one. But that doesn’t mean understanding the technologies involved should be as difficult as it currently is. So, the space needs to take a different approach to education.
This means creating educational material for newcomers. New resources should break down technical crypto concepts and ideas into bits that are easy for the average beginner to digest. That way, the crypto market won’t look so daunting.
Fortunately, the industry is waking up to this. There are several notable attempts to create easy-to-understand educational resources on crypto. One of these comes from CoinMarketCap Alexandria, the content arm of CoinMarketCap, which targets a wide range of audiences, including beginners.
Dypto Crypto is another example. Unlike other projects on the internet, it is aimed primarily at beginners, using resources, such as a crypto dictionary and comic book, that distill technical concepts into digestible bits so everyone can learn about cryptocurrency.
These and other similar efforts will eventually pay off. When that happens, learning about cryptocurrencies will be much easier, which will ensure the technology is better placed for mainstream adoption.