In my years living entirely off of cryptocurrency I’ve noticed a certain few trends in how the world tends to react to concept. I’ve paid my ridesharing driver in cryptocurrency many times, and a whole street in ritzy downtown Portsmouth, NH accepts Dash as payment for goods and services. Plenty of businesses still don’t, however, and in a continuing attempt to understand what makes people decide whether or not to use digital currency, I’ve discovered the harder group to reach: the middle class.
The rich are able to take greater investment risks
I’ve noticed a lot of success in convincing the financially well-off to experiment with cryptocurrency. Generally this demographic is educated and is likely aware of digital assets and how well they’ve performed in recent years. Additionally, they have the means to be able to take minor financial risks with a new experimental investment. If crypto goes down, the wealthy are still safe, and able to ride out the bear market without discomfort. More importantly, owners of well-to-do shops can afford to take payments directly in cryptocurrency as a novelty, and because their margins are not as razor-thin as some other businesses, they can afford to have the proceeds from certain sales to remain un-spendable to cover bills and operational expenses.
The poor are in a position to accept alternative payment
On the other end of the spectrum, the poor are prime candidates for cryptocurrency adoption. Many operate mainly in cash and have limited access to financial services, and those that they can use are often expensive and inconvenient. Using most cryptocurrencies, Dash in particular, is an immediate improvement due to low fees and no setup costs or friction. As long as a lower-end business or worker is able to spend or sell their digital cash somewhere, they will be willing to take that risk in order to reap its benefits. Financial disruptions due to the difficulty of using, or losing, crypto are not as scary since many in this demographic are used to the stress associated with living on tight margins to begin with.
The least immediately reachable are the middle class
The toughest nut to crack, in my experience, has been the average middle class worker or business. Like the rich, the middle class is already well-served by current financial systems and has no immediate need for an alternative, but like the poor they tend to live on slim enough margins as to wish to avoid disruptions to their daily financial lives. Digital currency is likely to not offer any immediately obvious benefits, and cost a certain degree of disruption and headache for an already-overworked business owner. While the rich have time and resources to experiment with other options, and the poor have few options to begin with, the middle class are more likely to stick with the safe financial solutions that work for their lives so far.
The middle class is still reachable with special effort
That isn’t to say, however, that it’s not even worth trying to reach the middle class. They simply require some extra steps. On the individual side, more time and effort is required to educate them on the root reasons for using cryptocurrency, including the inefficiencies, risks, and failures of the current financial system, as well as central bank devaluation of state-run currency, concepts that the rich may already be aware of and the poor are more ready to quickly accept (or have experienced the ugly side of banking first-hand). On the merchant side, a digital cash evangelist should be prepared to have a system ready to set up which makes taking digital payments as seamless and “idiot-proof” as possible, and which simplifies the use of those digital funds for payment of expenses. Usually this means a service like BitPay or Coinbase easily connecting the banking and crypto worlds. It still is possible to reach a “regular business” without the aforementioned tools, though it would be an uphill battle in those circumstances.
I’d be more than willing to use dash if converting to it were simple. Still waiting for that day.
You’re absolutely right. At the moment, it’s clunky and technical and convoluted. But I would like to give you another perspective. I have no idea how old you are, but if you are older than 35-40, you probably remember the early personal computers. They were clunky, they were technically challenging, and nobody really had any conception of how big, and how world-changing the personal computer would become. That’s where Dash is right now. At which stage in development would it have been a good idea to invest in Apple? In 2005, Apple stock was $5.85. In 2010 it was $35 and a lot of people thought it was over valued at that level. How did that turn out? What do you think the price of Dash will do when it’s easy to buy Dash online with a credit card, essentially instantly?
that all may be true, but i am not looking to be an investor, i want to be a user of a sound currency.
Noted and understood. But they are not mutually exclusive. Did you happen to see Joel’s interview at the Texas Bitcoin event? A very informative 17 minutes.
@RF2000:disqus I live on a 100% Dash income and have no bank account. It’s not easy, but it’s possible right now.
hello? are you on telegram or discord? can i have a chat with you on dash. need it on my blog.
I am on the Dashpay discord group. I am also a moderator on reddit dashpay as solarguy2003. I am also on the Dash.org forum as Solarguy.
This is pretty much the reason I often say that a decentralized but well backed exchange is crucial to Digital Cash. What do the middle class want? True ease into and out of the system. So easy that it practically doesn’t take thought and can be programmed in with auto payments and whatever.
If it is easy to get into, then the middle class person will be curious enough to get in and try it out, *BUT* only if it is well understood that it is *EQUALLY* easy to get out of back into fiat so they don’t feel trapped. Once the curious get in and feel safe in that they can get out easy, then they will play around within the system for a bit. Once they get used to using it and can see better some of the less easily understood benefits of DASH, then they may be more willing to stay in longer and longer till it is their mainstay currency. (so long as enough common businesses accept it… like local grocery stores)
Truly… easy and foolproof decentralized exchanges are the key.
Spot on. It doesn’t have to be a multicoin exchange either, just someplace I can easily buy dash for cash.
Now that Bitcoin has relegated itself to being some sort of “store of value” like glorified gold; clunky and expensive to buy and sell and exchange for goods/services………that’s leaves DASH to seize everything that Jeremy M. stated above. Dash, cellphone, click, boom, bang, done. Easy-peezy. Shoot me some Dash Cash and move on.
There are a few services similar to this already. Wall of Coins mainly comes to mind, though their Dash liquidity can be lacking at times (though that’s something that can be solved with more use).