Crossing the Crypto Chasm: Paving the Way to Mass Adoption
As cryptocurrency moves into the mainstream, increasing general public understanding is essential to achieve mass adoption.
Since its inception in 2009, cryptocurrencies have become both a cultural and a financial phenomenon. As news headlines tout its ever-increasing currency values and disruptive potential, investors and banking experts have become frantic. And yet, although digital money is on the minds of many people, there is still a lack of understanding about what it is and what it can do among mainstream consumers.
This is because cryptocurrency is a discontinuous or disruptive innovation, and its adoption requires significant changes in consumer behavior and the infrastructure of supporting companies. To be successful and get closer to the point of mass adoption, cryptocurrency as a product needs to create a car effect and generate momentum for it to become a de facto standard. This process is called the technology adoption life cycle, and media plays an essential role in it. The crypto industry needs a marketing model that can effectively advertise its continuous changes and innovations.
In his 1991 book Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey Moore explains that all disruptive technology must go through five stages of adoption: In the first stage, innovators play with new technologies; in the second, the first users discover it; In the third and fourth stages, an “early majority” and a “late majority”, the two largest groups, come on board; and in the final stage, the “laggards” arrive.
Plaguing the adoption process is what Moore calls “the abyss.” The chasm separates the first users from the first majority because the demands of these two groups are often very different. Unable to gain a foothold in the mainstream, new technologies will fall into the abyss and perish. Anyone who has studied Silicon Valley culture has probably seen some version of Moore’s scheme dozens of times. If it seems more relevant now than before, it is because he explains the adoption of cryptocurrency so aptly.
The recipe for mass adoption
How do new technologies cross the abyss? According to Moore, they have to connect with the initial majority. These early consumers are hungry for information about new technology – how it works and how it can change people’s lives. Most importantly, they need a story told in their own language to overcome their skepticism.
Without a compelling story, the new technology is unlikely to reach the first majority of users. This is where media professionals come into play. They are the ones who weave that story and educate the public. As Moore sees it, they play a bigger role in the industry than many people think.
Crossing the crypto abyss
In the early 2010s, a core group of cypherpunks and crypto enthusiasts understood the revolutionary potential of cryptocurrencies. But for the vast majority, it was an enigma, if it was known at all.
That began to change in 2015 when crypto pioneers and technologists developed alternative crypto assets, such as Ether (ETH). Between 2017 and 2020, the first users acquired digital cash. And in 2020, the cryptocurrency had reached a critical juncture – it was on its way to the so-called “Terrifying Great Chasm.”
The first chasm it crossed was in 2017. Full of promise, it turned early users into enthusiasts and enthusiasts into visionaries. The new technology could no longer be discounted: it seemed to herald a great leap forward, a future whose economy would look radically different. And like a killer app taking the world by storm, it went public in a big way, with an initial coin offering.
In 2020, large institutions such as PayPal, Square, MicroStrategy and JPMorgan spearheaded the bull run for cryptocurrencies, while retail investors, who found it easier than ever to buy Bitcoin (BTC), fueled the takeoff. But to continue its ascent and move from the early majority to the late majority, the cryptocurrency has yet to prove its viability on a massive scale.
According to Moore, for a new technology to break into the mainstream, it needs to find a beachhead. Cryptocurrencies have certainly found their way: consumers looking to conduct fast and cheap cross-border transactions without third party intervention. As it happens, many of these consumers live in countries with economic and political instability, which explains why Bitcoin is booming in places, such as Argentina, Iran, Turkey, and Nigeria.
Does crypto seem to be on the right path to adoption? However, there are still risks. Sales-driven companies that chase the entire crypto market, but lack customer and product focus, can easily fall into the dreaded abyss.
Fighting to make your way into the mainstream
So what is the recipe for mass adoption? New customers need to know why they should buy from the cryptocurrency market and how; therefore, at this stage of the market, it is crucial to develop a solid communications strategy.
Vigorous marketing campaigns show us the value and importance of new products. In the case of cryptocurrency, the media needs to take a three-pronged approach: explaining digital cash in terms that everyone can understand, getting influential thought leaders to support it, and familiarizing customers with the competition, primarily those banks, the Federal Reserve and stocks, those with the intention of crushing cryptocurrencies.
Also, if crypto as a product wants to acquire pragmatic clients, those who are on the edge of the technology adoption life cycle, you should be aware that these clients want to buy from a market leader with a strong reputation. That is why establishing thought leadership is the key to any communication strategy.
Still not sure if the crypto industry should focus on communications? Well, the process has already begun, and a snowball is likely to develop from here, gaining momentum as more opportunities to invest in cryptocurrencies emerge.
In the coming months, we expect to see big developments in the industry, such as major banks launching crypto custody services, brokers opening access to crypto products, new retailers accepting digital cash, and large institutions launching apps, on public blockchains.
But perhaps the most important change will be in how we talk about cryptocurrencies, where the conversation will change from Why should I invest? a Why haven’t we already invested?
Disclaimer: This press release is for informational purposes information does not constitute investment advice or an offer to invest. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of infocoin, and should not be attributed to, Infocoin.