Building a Bitcoin Economy: how to stimulate adoption

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Building a Bitcoin Economy: how to stimulate adoption

This how-to guide is part of a series written by director Andrew Wagner on behalf of the Bitcoin Co-op.
Think you have what it takes to be a real Bitcoin
evangelist? Want to learn how to start your mission into the world of
fiat economics? Having preached the good word of Satoshi to laymen of
all kinds, I’ve made my mark and learned a lot about promoting crypto
adoption. Before you begin your journey, take a moment to read and learn
about the science of Bitcoin evangelism.
Most cryptocurrency initiatives require one of two
things: intellectual capital (to code the software and design the
systems that make everything work) and financial capital (to pay for
hardware, commercial space, legal fees, and intellectual capital if it
is lacking). Adoption is probably the only field of the crypto industry
that requires cultural or social capital, at least at the grassroots
level. But what does that mean in practice?
The first step on your mission is to assess the
connections you already have. In my case, that was a network of notable
Vancouver Meet Up groups, and a job as a venue promoter. At first you
won’t have existing merchants to refer to as references, so you’re going
to need to find people who really trust you. Plenty of free solutions
to accept exist, and once they realize the advantages of cryptocurrency,
they’re likely to stick with it.
Those advantages, however, are not enough. The
superiority of accepting payments via Bitcoin is meaningless if nobody
is spending their bitcoins. Even if Bitcoiners prefer to spend
fiat–maybe because the price is on an upswing–just bringing their
business to the adopting merchant provides the necessary incentive, and
there are a number of ways you can do that.
This is where experience as a Meet Up organizer will
come in handy. If you’re not a member of your local cryptocurrency Meet
Up, already, become one, or start your own group if none exists.
Community pages at Facebook and Google Plus will also help. Since all of
the businesses I signed up were event venues like coffee shops,
restaurants and bars, I was able to bring them business directly by
holding Meet Ups at their locations. Even for non-venue businesses,
though, a community allows you to connect producers to consumers and get
the word out.
Once you have a network in place, set about bringing
more businesses on board, and that network should grow. In addition to
the natural benefits of cryptocurrency, you now can now promise
additional benefits in the form of direct customers–look for businesses
likely to be open minded, like those already hosting Meet Ups or listed
on websites like GroupOn or LivinSocial. Each new adopter you post to
social media will bring more Bitcoiners into the fold, which in turn
increases the amount of business (and incentive) you can provide.
Eventually, your following should grow to the point that
you can bring more customers indirectly via publicity than you can
directly. You should probably have a couple local reporter contacts, by
now. New crypto Meet Ups and splinter groups will form, and inevitably
the majority of events and merchant connections will be initiated by
people other than yourself. This is natural in community building, and
even moreso in a community based on techno-libertarian roots–don’t be
Just go with it, take a step back, and use your newfound
marketing power to promote those working together for the cause. If you
maintain an honest, non-profit-focused campaign, you will become the
face of this new community; forward media inquiries where appropriate,
and engage positively with the mainstream media. Soon you’ll be ready to
take Bitcoin adoption to the next level.

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