Through my hours of browsing and reading articles here, it's becoming quite obvious that the prevalence of the userbase of Steem consist of very intelligent people. This does make sense as the majority of us consider this community the forefront of blockchain technology and as of now it's not that likely a random internet user would merely stumble upon Steemit. I myself doubt if I'll fit in the community after reading all the fine articles of mathematics, cryptography, and finance written by some of the users. Since I'm still not an expert at anything, I figured I would tell everyone an interesting story worth reading.
Everyone can feel the excitement; the anticipation of what's going to happen next with Steem and where it will all take us. It truly is wonderful time to be alive, with so much change and how fast the rate of advancement in technology is growing. However a big concern amongst the cryptocurrency community, starting from bitcoin to the latest altcoins out there, is mass adoption. The difficult question of "How do we convince everyone to use this?" I love cryptocurrency very much and I believe it is the way of the future, but every day I wonder how and when regular people will get wind of its great advantages and ultimately begin mass utilization. So today, I'd like to share this experience that made me think deeper of this issue. Hopefully it will also give the readers a different insight of this modern world of information technology.
As I have mentioned before in my introduction post, I live in the Philippines and that I study welding. To be more precise, I study in a government funded institution known as “TESDA” that teaches people trade skills such as welding, carpentry, automobile repair, and electronics servicing with hopes of getting them employed and work in the blue collar industry. The majority of trainees here come from very poor families, and to make things worse some of the trainees don’t even feel inclined to finish the courses, despite the courses being very short at 6 – 8 months to complete. As part of our curriculum we were given lessons about basic computer usage, writing documents, using spreadsheet software, and creating a presentation. I had no trouble with the lessons as I practically grew up in front of a computer. As soon as I finished my tasks, our teacher gladly allowed me to help the students that found it difficult. Mind you, these were people that came from families that couldn’t afford computers and internet connection. One of them could not find the backspace on his keyboard and I had to teach the other one how to delete, rename, and copy files. I assisted them as best as I could and fortunately all of them finished their PowerPoint presentations on time. As the bell rang and we exited the computer room, I thought about how ineffective our teacher’s methods were. She gave the class procedures to follow and execute, but never did she give value in what they were doing. She did not explain how knowledge of the software was beneficial to the students.
One week passed after the computer basics class, and one of my fellow trainees came to me for help. The last exercise for the computer basics was that we had to e-mail our teacher a document. The problem is, he hasn’t made an e-mail address yet nor does he know how to make one. He was visibly frustrated. I calmly told him that I could help and brought him with me to an internet café nearby. From there I showed him everything that I felt he had the right to know. In great detail, I explained to him the links, the buttons, the layout, and everything else associated with E-mailing. But I also knew that once he passes the assignment, it’s unlikely that he’ll ever feel the need to use e-mail again. He will return to going about his old ways, never once thinking about the opportunities he can avail if he took advantage of what I showed him completely. So I took an additional action of showing him on the internet browser that many countries abroad are hiring skilled welders, and that the employers can be directly contacted with the e-mail address they leave on their websites. He became visibly excited and hopeful. “E-mail is a very important tool you’ll be using throughout your life. It’s an indispensable tool that can land you many jobs if you use it right.” I told him. As we left the net café, he said over and over again that he was grateful I taught him that. It gave him new ideas. It gave him motivation. But it wasn’t until later on that day that I had realized how much of a difference I made. I had the ability to teach people how to thrive in this age of information and technology. I could make people who were previously unfamiliar with the internet love it.
Now, we return to the question. "How do we convince everyone to use digital currency?” Still I don’t have a definitive answer to that. But what we know is that it will take longer than we may have originally thought. As of 2016, only 40% of the global population have access to the internet. In 1995, this was less than 1%. Among that forty, how many use the internet on a daily basis, and how many of them know about digital cryptocurrency and perhaps get daily news about it? With this taken into consideration, one may think that it’ll be a long time before a world that runs entirely on bitcoin and altcoins would be fully realized. The good news however, is for many people; all it takes is just a small spark of curiosity to get them interested. Just a small dose of education, like with my friend, can speed things up ten-fold. The internet has more information than any library in the world, and it has made me what I am today. How much faster would our community grow should 100% of the world population be using the internet? This all I can say for now. Thank you for reading and please feel free to comment your thoughts.