They say that money makes the world go around, and when something disruptive like cryptocurrency comes along, opinion is often very divided.
Bitcoin has been no exception to this and its soaring value and popularity have sent shockwaves through the financial industry. Yet, we are still faced with the question of why do people resist Bitcoin?
Some governments have made it all but impossible to invest and trade in it. Leading figures from the world’s most powerful financial institutions have denounced it, and a lively debate rages around whether it is just a passing fad or something that could provide a viable option to fiat currencies and the monopoly that banks hold over the world’s economy.
The very nature of blockchain technology and Bitcoin which utilises it is something that signals a huge shift in the way that we consider money.
As a rule, people don’t usually like change and the changes that this new technology brings, and the all-encompassing implications they will have on our world make many uncomfortable.
While this resistance does hinder its growth, the crypto community is negating the setbacks and obstacles as quickly as they arise, and it appears that Bitcoin is not going anywhere, anytime soon.
Bitcoin is a fascinating creature – decentralised, anonymous, transparent, fungibility, and neutrality with low transaction costs and no taxes it is becoming an increasingly attractive option for those that are disillusioned with governments and banks.
While millions of people are investing and trading in Bitcoin every day, there are still many that are unsure if it is not just a bubble that will burst, leaving many out of pockets.
Here, we will take a look at the reasons behind people resisting Bitcoin, and whether their reasons have any merit.
Top Reasons For People To Resist Bitcoin
Lack of Understanding
Many people don’t understand the need to change from, or even create an alternative to fiat currency.
In a world where centralised currencies have been the norm and the status quo for centuries, it is understandable that many would not understand why we should consider other options.
The fact that it is intrinsically linked to a new, burgeoning technology as well, is another reason why people don’t quite get it. There are still many in our society that fear new technology and find it hard to have faith in it, and of course, understand it.
The various complexities of blockchain technology and Bitcoin itself are often too much for the man on the street to grasp and the enigmatic nature of the coin is more than enough to put many off. The creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto operates under a pseudonym and no one as of yet knows his real identity.
Until understanding about blockchain technology, Bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies in general, becomes more mainstream, there will always be a pushback against crypto.
Understanding will happen holistically as Bitcoin continues to make headlines around the world, and as people get used to new forms of technology in their daily lives, the resistance to such a disruptive technology will diminish.
Fear of the Unknown
“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest fear, is fear of the unknown.”
There is no doubt that Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are indicators that our society is moving fast into a truly digital age.
These far-reaching, fully immersive new forms of technology are completely new territory, and it is difficult to know or predict where it will take us.
Will it signal the end of fiat currencies? Will it form a part of a wider rebellion against authority and regulation? Or will it disappear into the past, bursting like a bubble, never to be heard of again?
It is the fact that we cannot yet answer any of these questions that creates fear in people’s minds and leads many to resist the advent of such technology.
I think it is safe to say that as cryptocurrencies continue to grow in popularity and value and people become accustomed to their presence, this will begin to create trust around the concept and people will become less scared, and begin to embrace them instead.
Lack of Trust
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency have not been without its controversies. From hacking and theft to accusations of facilitating money laundering – Bitcoin has been through the reputational mill over the last few years.
Add this to the fact that some leading figures from various investment banks have publicly stated that the whole thing is a fraud and a lie (nothing to do with their vested interest in the concept failing of course) means that many have little trust in cryptocurrencies.
If you combine this with the fact that investing in cryptocurrency means investing fiat currency and actual assets into something that is unknown, means that many are wary of losing their money.
Yes, Bitcoin has been misused, yes it has been stolen, and yes, it is incredibly volatile with its value fluctuating vastly, but as this is a new concept, it is to be expected.
I would not place too much importance on what governments or banks have to say about it as it is clear that it is in their interests for it to fail. Anything that poses a threat to their monopoly on global finances is bound to be discredited by them.
Lack of Adequate Communication
Another reason why people are resisting Bitcoin is due to the way that the mainstream media reports on it.
As with many things, the media are very careful how they portray particular stories, and many of them have agendas that are not in synch with the truth.
The problem with the reporting around Bitcoin is that the benefits, facts, and positive news items around it often do not make the news.
Instead, we are bombarded with news about scandals and governments cracking down on cryptocurrency trading. This creates a situation where we only hear negative things about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, so we being to only associate it with bad or troublesome things.
We do not hear about the incredible things that the blockchain is capable of, or how it can change our lives for the better. We do not hear about the potential that Bitcoin has or how it can be used in positive ways and ways that will improve our lives, the economy, and the way we do business.
This lack of comprehensive coverage is extremely damaging and unfair and is one of the leading reasons why many, are still resisting this incredible new technology.
Thankfully, due to the power of the internet and the independent and free press that is abundant, there are many impartial and non-agenda driven sites where members of the public can learn the truth about Bitcoin and its crypto-counterparts, and then make an informed decision for themselves.
Benefits and Rewards
Human nature means that we automatically wonder “what is in it for me” before we decide to do something. We are naturally selfish and unless we can see an immediate benefit or bonus in it for us, we tend not to be too interested.
This is definitely an issue when it comes to Bitcoin – people just don’t fully understand what benefits it can bring to them.
Apart from elements such as anonymity, decentralisation, security etc many don’t realise what other benefits are to be had, and many merchants are slow to realise the potential that incentivising customers to use Bitcoin could have.
More retailers and e-commerce sites should seek to incentivise users to pay with cryptocurrencies by offering discounts, for example.
There is also an issue when it comes to convenience – there is a very limited amount of Bitcoin ATMs and if merchants are not incentivising users to pay with cryptocurrencies then apart from investment and trading purposes, there is very little reason to use Bitcoin.
Hopefully, this will change, small steps are already being taken and we are seeing an increasing amount of retailers move towards accepting the various currencies, and bit-by-bit members of the public will start to become more aware of the benefits of using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
We are creatures of habit and are generally not fond of things that change our routine. To accept Bitcoin on a global scale, there would have to be something of a mass paradigm shift.
After thousands of years of our money being centralised and totally controlled by our governments, people are so used to carrying out transactions with fiat currencies through banks, and physical coins and notes, that making a change to a purely digital currency would be a huge leap of faith.
Even in 2018, there are people that don’t like to use internet banking, we have people still writing cheques, or wanting to speak to their bank in person, rather than on the phone.
Imagine the hurdles faced when introducing a new currency that is not centralised, that works on a blockchain and has no customer service department to back it up.
The fact that decentralised cryptocurrencies drive people to engage in new ways of executing financial practices, as well as introducing a full range of new practices and procedures, is enough to put a lot of people off.
Thankfully, there is a whole generation of people that are embracing change and new technology and that are happy to embrace a new routine and a totally new way of doing things.
Lack of Security and Safety
Bitcoin is incredibly volatile. Its value against the dollar moves up and down wildly and unpredictably and the fact that it is not linked to any reserves, or any centralised authority means that many cannot get their head around how it works or how it can be secure.
People are understandably wary when it comes to parting with cash, and a need for reassurance in the safety and security of their investment means that they often avoid investing in anything that is not perceived as being so.
While it is volatile, much of this volatility is tied to the media coverage and the behaviour of banks and governments as they continue to resist it.
Yes, investing in Bitcoin does require something of a leap of faith, but as more and more people take this leap, it will begin to stabilise.
Is Bitcoin Just a Fad?
The cynics amongst us, are totally convinced that blockchain, Bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies, in general, are nothing more than a fad.
They believe that they will disappear into the ether and be forgotten much in the same way as QR codes, Google Glass, and MySpace which all enjoyed immense popularity, before vanishing almost overnight.
It is highly unlikely that this will happen with cryptocurrencies.
There are hundreds available and with more being released almost daily, and a never-ending stream of ICOs, it doesn’t seem conceivable that it will all just disappear.
Yes, it has faced and will continue to face many obstacles, but the fact that most acts as not just a currency, but have other uses as well will help to ensure that they don’t just evaporate into thin air.
This is a new technology and yes it may take a while to get the public on board and to iron out a few of the kinks, but I can guarantee that cryptocurrency and Bitcoin are not going anywhere.
These are just some of the reason that people are resistant to Bitcoin and to cryptocurrency in general.
As with all changes and new ideas, there are always going to be people that don’t quite get it and don’t want to get it.
This does not mean that you should not consider investing in it (if you need help, check our Guide To Successfully Invest in Altcoins and ICOs).
In fact, it is better to get involved in it now, instead of waiting for the future – when everyone will be at it and the opportunity to profit and make lucrative returns, is diminished. The future is now!
What are your thoughts? Why do people resist Bitcoin in your opinion? Share it with us in the comments below!