I’m 37 years old. My parents are 66 and 67. I am a representative of generation Y, while my parents proudly represent the Baby Boomers generation. Between them and me, there is a real generational gap in terms of technology.
When the Internet came along, my parents had a very difficult time embracing the Web revolution. Nevertheless, little by little, they did. Today, a major monetary revolution is happening with Bitcoin. For Baby Boomers, it’s very difficult to understand how Bitcoin works, what is Bitcoin, the why of Bitcoin, and more importantly, what’s in Bitcoin for them.
Beyond the simple fact that the current monetary and financial system seems perfect to them because it has allowed them to accumulate significant wealth, they find it very difficult to overcome the negative preconceptions that have arisen from the constant smear campaigns of politicians and central bankers over the past several years.
If you are in the same situation as I am, if you want your parents and Baby Boomers, in general, to stop believing that Bitcoin is just the entertainment of a few geeks, I advise you to follow the following 3 steps to explain to them what Bitcoin is.
By relying on things your parents know, you will maximize your chances that they will understand how revolutionary Bitcoin is.
1. Bitcoin Is Similar to Gold
The Baby Boomer generation represents those born between 1946 and 1964. My parents, who are 66 and 67 years old today, were born at a time when the Bretton Woods system prevailed. Following the Bretton Woods agreements, this system defined the broad outlines of the global international financial system after the Second World War.
From mid-1944 onwards, the world monetary system was organized around the U.S. dollar, but with a nominal peg to gold. So your parents grew up at a time when the U.S. dollar was becoming all-powerful, but also when gold was something essential. Gold has been a safe haven for many decades, and the Baby Boomers have mastered the advantages of gold very well.
When you want to discuss what Bitcoin is with your parents, the first thing to do is to make a comparison with gold. Baby Boomers know that the amount of gold on earth is finite. They also know very well that it is getting harder and harder to find new gold deposits.
Extracting gold is becoming more and more expensive because the amount of gold left to be extracted is becoming more and more limited. Bitcoin was designed to simulate the behavior of a commodity such as gold. Thus, Bitcoin exists in finite quantities just like gold, since only 21 million units can be put into circulation.
Like gold, it is becoming increasingly difficult to issue new Bitcoin. As time goes by, the issuance of new Bitcoin becomes more and more scarce. New Bitcoin is issued when a block of transactions is validated. Originally, 50 BTC were created and offered as a reward to miners who validated a block of transactions.
For every 210,000 transaction blocks validated, this reward is halved during an event known as Halving. In May 2020, when block 630,000 was added to the Bitcoin Blockchain, this reward has been halved to 6.25 BTC. And so on, until 2140, when all Bitcoin supply will have been issued.
Unlike gold, inflation in the number of Bitcoin available is predictable. The advantage of gold over the U.S. dollar is that it is very difficult to counterfeit gold. Methods to prove that gold is genuine are very reliable. These properties of gold have allowed it to establish itself as a store of value throughout history. Baby Boomers love gold for this reason.
Bitcoin is based on a cryptographic mechanism that makes it impossible to counterfeit. No one can counterfeit a Bitcoin. The Bitcoin you own can be easily authenticated on the Bitcoin Blockchain. Bitcoin is often referred to as digital gold, so this is no coincidence. Tell your parents, and the other Baby Boomers you’re trying to convince, that they shouldn’t listen to all the negative noise around Bitcoin, and just focus on the facts as I’ve just outlined.
2. The Bitcoin System Can Be Compared to the Way Email Works
Gold is a tremendous safe-haven value that has proven itself over many decades. Nevertheless, gold is taking up space. Moreover, gold has a certain weight in large quantities. Gold’s portability is very poor.
Your parents, who are probably Baby Boomers, know perfectly well that storing gold in their homes is not a secure thing. If a burglar visits your home, you risk losing everything. Many people choose to store gold in a bank vault, but by doing so, you run the risk of having what you own confiscated by an arbitrary decision.
If you want to move and change countries, you will find it very difficult to get through customs with your gold stock on you. Finally, you can point out the following problem to your parents: how would you proceed to send a certain amount of gold to a relative or friend on the other side of the world?
It’s possible, but it’s very difficult, and above all very expensive. Baby Boomers generally understand this problem very well. At this point, I would advise you to talk to your parents about email. Even if it has been difficult, most Baby Boomers have switched to the Internet.
Baby Boomers are now using email daily to communicate. Before email, they used to send letters. It took many days for their letters to reach their destination on the other side of the world. Shipping costs are also extremely high. With email, everything is instantaneous. Baby Boomers communicate with their friends on the other side of the world without costing them anything more than an Internet subscription.
Making a transaction on the Bitcoin system is similar to sending an email. You will be able to tell your parents that they will be able to send Bitcoin in any quantity they want to the other side of the world at a low cost. All instantly. Best of all, no one will be able to control how much they send. Without control by a third party, their transaction is anonymous. Likewise, no one will be able to censor their Bitcoin transaction.
The day your parents want to move, they can easily take all their Bitcoin with them. Whether you own 0.1 Bitcoin, 1 Bitcoin, or 100 BTC, no one will know when you take them with you when you move to another country.
3. Bitcoin Combines the Properties of Gold and the Workings of Email
You are now reaching the third stage. It seems that the Baby Boomers are still on the same wavelength as you. Gold and emails are things they have mastered by now, so they know the advantages. The next step is to explain to the Baby Boomers that Bitcoin has all the properties of gold and yet works similar to email.
With Bitcoin, they have at their disposal a great safe haven value, digital gold. Bitcoin is the scarcest man-made thing that can be used in a decentralized way and without any leader. Bitcoin that the Baby Boomers will buy will belong to them. No one will be able to stop them from using them as they wish.
While the gold that Baby Boomers own cannot be easily sent halfway around the world, sending Bitcoin to someone halfway around the world is as simple as sending an email. Bitcoin is therefore both a safe haven that will become more valuable in the future due to its scarcity, but also a great way to trade almost instantaneously and at a low cost.
So Bitcoin has advantages even for Baby Boomers as long as they stick to the facts.
Great beneficiaries of the various monetary and financial systems that have been put in place since their births, Baby Boomers are not a priori the best candidates to question the current system. From their point of view, Bitcoin is often seen as a risk rather than an opportunity.
They listen to critics against Bitcoin and believe that Bitcoin is dangerous because it encourages illegal activities. This is not true like it was already demonstrated several times that the U.S. dollar is more used than Bitcoin for illegal activities. To make them understand what Bitcoin is, and why they can benefit from it, you need to rely on things they know.
By using the comparison with gold and email, then showing Baby Boomers that Bitcoin is a great combination of the properties of gold and how email works, you will maximize your chances of making them aware of what Bitcoin is and why Bitcoin is also an awesome opportunity for them.
If you can do this, as I was able to do with my parents, you will be surprised to find that they are likely to consider embracing the Bitcoin revolution as well.