If you ask blockchain users what their wishes are for this space the majority will say they wish for its mass adoption. If you asked the same people why blockchain hasn’t reached mass adoption, you’ll hear a wider range of reasons as to why. But what it really boils down to is that people are psychologically opposed to change. The same principle is true when it comes to blockchain.
Let’s have a look at the 10 reasons people are reluctant to chain-ge.
Inertia is at the core of our reluctance to embrace change. It is the tendency to want to remain inactive and do nothing. In a state of inertia the body prefers to remain rested and only exert energy if threatened or there’s the need for food. Blockchain is probably the very last thing most people want to spend their energy on, the least of incentives to getting them to actively learn about the technology.
This is where the mind needs to take over in prioritizing for action and change. People who’ve made a habit of constantly learning new information treat activity as a form of survival. Their brains are wired to see inactivity as a form of malfunction. Sensing this threat (malfunction), the body gives out the urge to want to do something in order to preserve its health. Thus to reach mass adoption, blockchain needs to reach a point where if people aren’t using it then they risk societal devolution.
2. Peer pressure
Since a young age the reason we really did anything is because our peers were also doing them. People are scared of being different, we don’t want to be left out. Everywhere we go we try to fit in because standing out usually isolates us, and leaves us vulnerable to many forces. Those that are brave enough to undertake a different path become leaders, trendsetters or early-adopters.
Peer pressure is a numbers game and it’s ‘majority rules’. The game may start out disadvantageous to the minority, but when they hold firm in their belief, other people notice and eventually join them. In actuality the numbers game is really a time game to test who can hold out to their beliefs the longest. In my opinion, the side backed by blockchain always wins because it is by a much stronger affirmation that keeps on compounding its superior presence.
3. Lack of trust
Blockchain has a lack of credibility, more especially from the perspective of the general public. From their perspective blockchain isn’t backed by anything and it might as well be “just another” technology for speculation. There’s also its association with get-rich-quick schemes that are currently plaguing the internet ad space. Little do they know blockchain actually has working solutions to eliminate such malicious advertisements.
It doesn’t help blockchain’s case either that there’s often the mainstream narrative painting blockchain as being used for all sorts of illegal activities such as money laundering and tax evasion. These begin to act as confirmation to the many other reasons they had for not trusting blockchain. Perfect excuses to not have to get up and do research on it.
4. Bad communication
Sometimes we as the blockchain community use language that can be frightening to an outside audience. Saying things like “blockchain will replace banks” or “blockchain will render the government obsolete” are scary things to hear for the average person. Especially since most depend on these same institutions for their financial and social well-being. Without realizing it, we end up marketing blockchain as a space of anarchy, without laws or functioning governance.
It is much better to introduce blockchain as a system that compliments the current state of things and improving on them, even though we know blockchain will end up being the new standard. Marketing it as a new technology for building awesome games and applications of the future such as VR and AI services, is a much better approach in educating people about blockchain.
5. Cost of entry
The few people that have some understanding of blockchain see it as an investment for the long term and most feel like they lack the funds to make any investment of significance. This could be because of the high dollar value some of the best projects have. But it could also be from a lack of understanding of how investing works. There are many “undervalued” projects in this space, but then again we can’t expect an outsider to know of this unless they are active in its communities.
Also people would be much more willing to try out blockchain if the accounts were free. Often times you find a blockchain has free accounts but still requires funds for you to interact with it. Blockchain is costly at the moment, and not just financially, but in time and effort required to get set up. This won’t be for long though as many projects in the EOSIO ecosystem have made great strides on that end.
6. Starting from the bottom
How long have you been involved with blockchain? Is it 6 months, a year, or maybe a couple of years, and how well has it served you in all that time? Unless you only have a week in blockchain, you know it has been a long negotiation with patience. Can you imagine having to start that exact journey all over again?
That’s the fear would-be blockchain users are face with. Not only in financial terms but the many hours to be spent learning about the nuances of tens of blockchains. A survey in 2018 showed that 80% of Americans had heard of bitcoin and yet 87% of them don’t own it. It’s my opinion they don’t own it because starting from the bottom is a lot of work. Just buying cryptocurrency for the first time can be a hassle. You need to download wallets, learn about keys, and the huge responsibility to learn the best ways to protect your funds.
7. Loss of status
Changing means one has to adopt a new environment. In this new environment nobody may know who you are nor your achievements. Your identity is blurred and you’ll need to make new friends as the ones you have didn’t join you on your blockchain quest. This is the huge obstacle especially for celebrities and social media personalities. If they decide to cross-over to blockchain then they’ll likely leave their following behind. And properly educating a large following about blockchain is hard to do in an online environment of short attention spans.
The last three spell out F.U.D.
We know how effective a tool FUD can be in preventing people from even touching certain blockchain projects. Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt are abstract components of human nature. Each individual deals with their own fears, uncertainties, and and doubts personally. In the blockchain space however, they are materialized, weaponized and then used to alienate a blockchain project from potential users. A blockchain project that has been demarcated with FUD has their work cut out for them. It’s hard to convince people otherwise once a project has been estranged. Without further deliberation let’s examine F.U.D.
Fear (of the blockchain) derives from many different factors. Regulation fears, fear of loss, fear of safety and security etc. There’s also the fear that comes from having experienced, or knowing someone who’s lost funds on the blockchain. Although this loss almost always comes from the negligence of the user, it doesn’t stop people from having this fear. Blockchain is under the immense pressure of facilitating everything from financial transactions to the storage of sensitive data. Fear for your data and finances is a reasonable concern especially for a new “untested” technology.
However, this fear quickly subsides after your first blockchain transaction. After experiencing the improved transactional process, you can’t wait for your next blockchain transaction. And soon after that you realize blockchain is much better than the current systems for transactions. As people got used to the idea of banks, so will they for the transparent systems of blockchain. They best way to get over fear is to understand it, and the best way to understand blockchain is by learning and using it.
In the same 2018 survey mentioned earlier, only about a third of Americans believe “that cryptocurrencies will become widely accepted as a means of transaction”. In other words, over 60 percent of Americans are uncertain about blockchain’s future. Nobody is going to waste their time on something that might cease to exist when they wake up tomorrow.
Blockchain isn’t going anywhere and anyone who’s used it at least once knows that. 60 percent is a huge number and one that shows us where blockchain marketing needs to be directed. And that’s showing people that blockchain is here to stay by introducing it as a compliment to their daily lives.
Uncertainty and doubt pretty much mean the same thing and that’s ‘being unsure of something’. However, there’s a very fine line between them. Uncertainty is willing to consider both sides while Doubt just highly disbelieves something to be true. So when someone says blockchain is the future, Uncertainty responds “maybe” and doubt responds “probably not”.
To convince doubters that blockchain is indeed the future, you need to show it to them. Doubters believe by seeing things for themselves and not by being told. Therefore, for blockchain to get through to doubters it will need to produce mass market applications that will demonstrate its capabilities to the general public. FOR FREE.
Change is just too much work…convincing others to embrace change is an even harder process that requires time and patience.
People know that change brings with it a new set of possibilities and problems. And working out what these possibilities and problems are is too much work for most people. It is much easier to let someone else do the work and let them present their findings. Only then will people weigh the possibilities against the problems that come with the change. Whether we like this or not, it is the current nature of the world.
The same principles are true when it comes to blockchain. People don’t understand the possibilities it offers and also the potential problems it brings. It is our duties as blockchain users, developers, and investors to figure out its potential obstacles and promote its possibilities. Thus global events like the upcoming ‘The Future of Money, Governance, and the Law’ are important in addressing these issues. Such events give the global audience a chance to learn about blockchain’s applications in the real world. You can sign-up to watch a stream of this event here – https://ezxpo.net/gbaglobal/attendee_register.
Thank you for reading!
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