Influencers and complex jargon deter many from learning Crypto —Here’s how to drown out the noise to discover unbiased educational content
In high school I was neither part of the nerdy bookworms nor the sporty jocks, I floated somewhere in between.
I hated being confined to a particular group of people, who all dressed the same, listened to the same music and used the same lingo. They went to each other’s birthday parties, dated each other and even as if by osmosis, shared the same ideas and philosophies about life. Trying to infiltrate any of these groups was intimidating unless you looked and acted the same.
Unfortunately, it’s not only high schools that foster these Echo Chambers, the Crypto-sphere has an abundance of them too.
Tim Urban, the founder of WaitButWhy.com, defines an Echo Chamber as:
A safe space for a sacred set of ideas and people who express them, a dangerous space for opposing ideas and people who express them.
People in Echo Chambers cultivate similar characteristics:
- Wolfpack mentality — They can’t think for themselves, instead, they follow and worship the herd without doing their own research and forming their own opinions
- Lack of humility — They’re never wrong and always right. Arrogance prevents them from listening to opposing views. The more people believe in one viewpoint the more strength and conviction builds in their ideas.
Urban summarises it beautifully:
Members of an Echo Chamber tend to share both an oversimplified conception of the world and an inflated view of their own intellect. When everyone around you shares your delusions, the communal fog strengthens delusion, which allows conviction to rise to laughable levels.
The danger as a newcomer to Crypto, is that you may not have had a chance to build your knowledge or form pre-existing opinions and instead end up blindly following groupthink. This can lead to bad investment decisions which could end up losing you money.
Hence, it’s important to exercise a certain degree of independent thinking when researching Crypto – having the confidence to draw on your own innate intelligence and depend on your own judgement, rather than someone else’s.
Don’t be discouraged by Crypto Echo Chambers.
Like it or not, Crypto is going to form part of our everyday lives so it’s essential to understand the fundamentals because;
- The technology will revolutionise the future
- It may mark the end of central banking systems and traditional modes of exchange
- It will change government structures and their financial control
- The way we think about and use money will change
You have the power to decide whether you want to invest in it, trade it, use blockchain technology or simply ignore it.
There’s a reason why people call Crypto a scam.
Watching YouTubers promise Lambo’s is how people first get into Crypto. But what they don’t know is that influencers and even financial journalists are illiterate when it comes to understanding Crypto.
They get paid to promote coins and Crypto projects without understanding them.
Having worked in Finance for over 15 years and spending the last few years learning Crypto and asking questions from the experts, I’ve noticed the rise of the following Crypto Echo Chambers:
The Lambo Traders
Your know these guys, their YouTube thumbnails are bold and out there and they usually pose in front of a mansion or red sports car. Not sure if they actually own those assets or whether they have been ‘borrowed’. Either way, they give the illusion that they’ve made their riches trading Crypto and you can too.
And maybe they are legit, but the majority have no idea what they are investing in. A survey showed that one-third of investors who bought Crypto at its peak in 2021 had zero knowledge of what they were investing in.
‘Influencers’ also fall into this category — don’t be fooled by their celebrity reach. Promoting a coin doesn’t necessarily mean they understand the technology behind it or its price trajectory. Regulators recently fined Kim Kardasian $1.26million for doing just that.
How to spot them?
- They suck you in by using FOMO — If you don’t trade X now then you’re missing out and will remain poor.
- Get rich quick schemes – You can 100x your money if you copy my trades.
- Flash pack – They love showing you their purchases and the exclusive parties they attend.
- No original or educational content — Just tell you what to trade when without the proper finance/trading background
Crypto lingo calls these guys ‘Maxis’ the epitome of Echo Chambers — you’re either into ONE cryptocurrency or you’re not and no other opinions matter.
Usually, that one coin is Bitcoin.
Famous Bitcoin Maximalists include Michael Saylor and Dr Saifedean Ammous.
How to spot them?
- They use sensationalism to get you to invest — Sell everything you have and go ‘all in’ on one coin
- Lack of open-mindedness when it comes to other coins and technology — everything else is either a scam, inferior or a distraction
- Won’t entertain the idea of any other Crypto being useful, so don’t even bother trying to convince them
The Freedom Fighters
Blockchain’s key characteristics — decentralization, transparency, efficiency and trustlessness — are what give rise to the ‘Freedom Fighter’ Echo Chamers.
They are anti-government, anti-establishment and anti-regulations. Don’t get me wrong, it’s ok to believe in these things for the greater good. What’s not ok, is forcing others to believe in these ideologies too.
How to spot them?
- They believe Crypto will solve the world’s problems
- They see government regulation as a threat to mainstream adoption
- Bitcoin was born as a movement by the people for the people
The Techie Crowd
These are the guys and girls at the forefront of blockchain technology working on projects that are going to change the world.
Here’s an example — The guy in the middle is the founder of Ethereum — Vitalik Buterin.
How to spot them?
- Not always wearing PJs
- They speak an entirely different language from normal folk and are difficult to follow unless you come from the coding world
- Have a strong bias towards their own projects
- Usually, venture capitalists fall at their feet and sometimes decide to FOMO in without understanding the projects — As was the case with Do Kwon, founder of Terra Luna, which went bust and took down over $3 billion in VC funding with it.
It takes immense time and energy to understand the ins and outs of Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology behind them. Sifting through rubbish content also adds to the technostress of trying to understand technical jargon to uncover the benefits of Crypto.
Once you’ve identified and ignored Crypto Echo Chambers it’s time to look for unbias educational content and focus on learning the fundamentals before you can begin to form your own Crypto sentiments.
Look for content that:
- Explains complex Crypto terms in simple language — you don’t need to be a coder to understand Crypto
- Doesn’t use sensational claims about price predictions
- Is transparent— Educators who are honest about the composition of their portfolios and profits
The best example of this is Guy from Coin Bureau. He has easy-to-understand educational content and breaks down the fundamentals in informative YouTube videos. He also deep dives into macroeconomic and regulatory impacts on Crypto.
Once you’ve learnt the fundamentals other open-minded notable educators who can help you build upon your knowledge include Raoul Pal, Anthony Pompliano and Lyn Alden. You can read more about them here.
The Crypto universe boasts a myriad of distinct tribes and schools of thought which can prove intimidating when first learning about this space.
As a newbie you’ll usually stumble across the following Crypto Echo Chambers:
- Influencer traders
- The Maximalists
- The Freedom Fighters
- The Techie Crowd
The peril of participating in an Echo Chamber is that people are able to seek out information that reinforces their existing views without encountering opposing views, potentially resulting in an unintended exercise of confirmation bias.
Don’t follow the Crypto Echo Chamber sheep. Instead, approach Crypto learning with an open, unbiased mind.
Read, research, ask questions and then form your own opinions about Crypto.