One of the difficulties in getting people to embrace cryptocurrency for legal online sports betting is that most people don’t understand how crypto works.
This is often an impassable roadblock to crypto adoption in general, and over the last few years, it’s kept a lot of people from striking it rich and retiring at 40.
The solution to this – which is desperately needed for crypto to go mainstream and see truly ubiquitous use (and all the gains that come with that for earlier adopters) – is for people to stop asking the question.
You know the one. Whenever you’re promoting your latest greatest coin du jour, you’re going to hear it:
“But how does it work?”
Planting The Seed
Now, you probably don’t want to come right out and say “I don’t know, who cares,” but that’s just a matter of tactics. The sentiment is absolutely correct.
Because let’s be 100% honest, here: Who the hell cares? Unless you’re a data scientist with a background in cryptography or something, you won’t understand the answer anyway.
But that isn’t going to convince a trepidatious normie. For them, it might be better to ask a question right back:
“How does the dollar work?”
They’ll tell you that you can use the dollar to buy stuff.
So you’ll tell them that they can use crypto to buy stuff.
They’ll tell you that crypto goes up and down too much.
So you’ll tell them that the dollar goes down and only down too much.
They’ll tell you that they already use the dollar for everything.
And that might be it.
That final assertion is a hard one to combat, because being locked into an ecosystem is a thing. It’s the reason why you don’t switch to Android if you’ve been using iPhone for a decade, and vice versa. It’s why you don’t get a Rakuten Kobo for your next e-reader when all your previous e-readers have been Amazon Kindles.
The dollar is an established and familiar ecosystem.
Closing The Deal
But if they don’t utter that final rejoinder, you have some room to work with and can double down by circling back.
Again, ask them to consider – to really consider – exactly what the dollar is and how it works.
Not the surface-level stuff, mind you. Not the fact that you can use it to buy goods and services. In that context, it’s truly no different than crypto.
Instead, ask them to explain to you how the dollar gets its value, why inflation happens and how it can be predicted, and so on.
Ask them to identify for you the mechanisms in place at the national and international levels that make the dollar the dollar.
Ask them to tell you how the government decides how many sheets of the stuff to print at any given time.
Ask them what safeguards are in place to combat hyperinflation due to that printing.
Ask them about how circulation is calculated and managed with any kind of actual accuracy.
Ask them to explain – for the love of God, will somebody please explain! – the Federal Reserve.
Ask them all these questions and sit back as you receive nary a sensible answer.
Taking this tack, most folks will get the hint relatively quickly.
Because the answer is invariably going to be that nobody has any idea how or why the dollar does what it does beyond that first surface assertion, which makes crypto functionally identical. At least at the top.
From there, you can extol the virtues of crypto ad infinitum ad nauseum. But don’t push too hard. Save that for later.
At this point, you’ll want to take five minutes and walk them through setting up a Coinbase account (or an account at whatever exchange you personally use and trust), along with something like Atomic Wallet.
Walk them through a $20 or $50 deposit, show them the live crypto market cap, and explain why you like or don’t like a particular top 25 crypto coin.
Then pick a coin you trust to show near-term growth (even if that growth is minimal) and have them convert their fiat money to that crypto.
In a week or two, you won’t be able to shut them up about crypto.
What Not To Do
Taking this approach of simplicity, it’s also important to impart all your wisdom about exactly what not to do.
After all, as soon as a newcomer sees their first gains, they’re going to get excited. And we mean excited. That has to be tempered.
The temptation to immediately start day trading and swing trading – that is, selling your coins when you deem the value “high” to buy some other crypto that’s trending “low” in order to reverse direction once your initial coin loses some value on the markets – is going to be extreme.
Make sure your new crypto bro avoids these pitfalls. Tell them to pick a coin (or two or three) and ride it out. Sure, everyone wishes they bought into Shiba Inu when it was worth even more nothing than it is today, but hindsight is 20-20 and ironically blinds you to the present and the future.
As a quick aside, this very thing actually happened to a friend of mine IRL:
I bought $500 of Cardano back when it was trading at $0.04 per. I got my buddy to do the same, so we each had about 12,500 ADA coins. But while I stuck mine in a wallet and forgot about it for a few years, he didn’t. He started seeing small gains and tirelessly traded this for that and the other and back again, day after day after day.
And by the time ADA hit its all-time high of $3.09 or so, I was sitting on about $38,625. He had a total of about $1000 in his portfolio. He never cashed out a dime during all that time, but all that day trading cost him dearly.
Of course, I screwed up by not cashing out at the top, but the top never looks like the top when it comes. The important thing is to pull out your principal and play with house money. (I didn’t do that, either, of course, but I’m exceptionally lazy about all this.)
You also want to warn the crypto beginner against reading too many crypto blogs.
One of the most annoying things about crypto is all the touts that have cropped up over the years. (And yes, we engage in that sometimes, but only insofar as crypto sports betting is concerned, and only about the coins that the sites we review actually accept.)
Most of these blogs are utter fluff and nonsense, throwing around fancy but meaningless financial terms as if they meant anything relevant to 99% of actual crypto users.
These sites won’t give you any better investing advice than you’ll find right here (LMAO).
But depending on where you get your information, they might give you substantially worse advice.
Selling The Gambler
For gamblers and sports bettors in particular, crypto should be an easy sell.
Even to those who are hesitant on the above grounds, you can promote crypto (and we’re not talking about a specific coin, here, but the crypto concept in general) by simply presenting the stuff as a gamble.
If a bettor’s ever made a sports parlay, placing a wager with cryptocurrency is conceptually identical: Sports betting is a gamble, crypto is a gamble, and if you hit on both, your payout can be that much better.
You can also sell the idea that one needn’t understand the full intricacies of a thing to take advantage of that thing.
For sports bettors, most of them aren’t all that familiar with advanced tactics like hedging bets or moving lines. They don’t mess around with exotic bets like round robins or teasers or pleasers.
Most bettors understand the spread, they understand the straight, and they can wrap their heads around totals and props. Even the parlay analogy above might be a bridge too far, as most gamblers don’t generally place parlays.
In other words, you don’t have to understand every last thing about cryptocurrency to take advantage of it. Really, that’s the whole point of this diatribe.
TL;DR: Keep it simple, stupid.