Yesterday morning Grayscale, the world’s largest supplier of Kryptonex investment vehicles, temporarily stopped sucking up the supply of Bitcoin to focus on the most difficult problem in the entire Kryptonex industry: getting your friends and family on board.
Last Friday, Grayscale founder and CEO Barry Silbert joked about a massive purchase of Twitter ads with the intention of bringing crypto currency to the masses, and yesterday morning he delivered it, with ads on CNBC, MSNBC, FOX, and FOX Business, among others. The Grayscale blog, meanwhile, is launching the ad, titled “The History of Money,” as
A wake-up call for people everywhere to take advantage of what we feel is a unique opportunity in a generation about what digital currencies can offer.
On paper that sounds easy enough, but the practicalities are more somber, as almost all cryptomoney enthusiasts are familiar with the taunts, the furrowed brows, and the incredulous looks when talking about cryptomoney with family members on vacation. To succeed, this campaign would have to fundamentally recalibrate the average investor’s still generally apprehensive view of a decade-old asset class.
Slowly at first, then all at once: the bankruptcy of denial
In some respects, the timing seems right. Powerful people are finally starting to understand. Market makers, from their positions at the top of the economy, are using the same arguments that Bitcoin’s acolytes have used for years: it’s a hedge against inflation, says Paul Tudor Jones; their digital gold, echoes Tom Jessop. Consider the micro-history written on the forced smile on Jamie Dimons’ face in just a few months his smug smile when he talked about Bitcoin turned into a wet resignation; cryptomoney, he finally admitted, had a real use and a real future.
But while the good people of lower Manhattan are coming to their senses, the same cannot be said of small investors, who have been fed a diet of skepticism about digital assets by financial gurus.
However, the first signs of inflation are intermittent warning signs; corporatism is leaping naked and unashamedly across the capitol; a president is openly discussing the possibility of defunding two of America’s most important social safety nets, Medicare and Social Security. Central bank balance sheets, as a whole, have a parabolic arc. Unemployment remains in the double digits. Macroeconomic conditions daily invent new ways to demonstrate the need for crypto-currencies… and yet only a quarter of Americans are inclined to buy Bitcoin.
Space is therefore left with a stubborn obstacle to mass adoption: those populations that could benefit most from Bitcoin Future as it becomes a true store of value, middle-class savers and investors looking for a bulwark against inflation and uncertainty are among the least likely to understand the kind of asset that cryptomoney is, let alone know how or where to buy it.
If the general population is going to benefit from the purchase of cryptomonies, they need to know what it is. If Grayscale’s ad is going to achieve Silberts’ stated goals, it will have to do more than the advertising it has to educate.