As someone who has been fascinated with Bitcoin for a bit and, in turn, someone who has had to try to explain Bitcoin to many people in the past, I'm always looking to "sharpen the pitch" so that I am able to incite an "aha!" moment in the head over whoever I am (usually pretty poorly) attempting to explain Bitcoin to. There have been many forms of the pitch throughout the years as my understanding of Bitcoin has evolved with the digestion of new information. Most recently, during a conversation with Justin Moon on Tales from the Crypt, we stumbled into a simple explanation of Bitcoin that I think will really resonate with people who are trying to earnestly understand for the first time. Bitcoin is the currency for the common man.
To save money that maintains purchasing power throughout the course of your life in today's world, the average person needs to know about 401ks, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, and other investment vehicles they can park their money in because leaving it in a savings account will actually cause their money to lose value over time as inflation eats away at their purchasing power. So is the nature of the inflationary system that we derided in yesterday's issue. For the common man, this is an extremely arduous task as the amount of extra time + money needed to be spent on educating yourself about these investment vehicles is material. And a lot of people don't have the time outside of working a grueling job and raising a family to properly educated themselves about the viability of these products and the risks associated with investing in them. This leaves the common man at a severe disadvantage as he attempts to climb the social ladder.
Bitcoin, on the other hand, offers a system in which the common man benefits greatly from the fact that he knows his savings will maintain value in the form of purchasing power (and maybe even increase in value) over the long-term as there is no (overwhelming) risk of having your percentage of the overall supply diminished artificially via printing more bitcoins. It is a monetary system that could give the common man peace of mind and a better base from which to begin his climb up the economic ladder. No more need to expend time + energy and accrue stress as one attempts to traverse the treacherous seas that have become saving one's purchasing power throughout time in an inflationary monetary regime.
Many of the problems that arise when attempting to explain Bitcoin stem from the fact that it is so multi-faceted. It is often hard to decide where to begin. I've come to find that leading by trying to explain how Bitcoin works at a technical level (i.e. mining, consensus code, full nodes, etc.) is never a good decision when someone is trying to understand this system for the first time. However, I think framing Bitcoin as a currency for the common man is a very effective starting point because it helps people realize what it takes to actually save money in today's world and presents an alternative, arguably better, option that they can then begin to explore more thoroughly.
Understanding why money may need to be rethought may be a prerequisite to understanding how Bitcoin's underlying incentive + consensus systems work, in my opinion. What do you freaks think?
I am ready to meet the aliens.