When will my wife start using cryptocurrency?


The mass adoption question is a tricky one. Those of us who HODL Bitcoin or other altcoins know that the network effect is the key to value growth of our coins. Simply put, as we, especially those of us who may have come to Bitcoin in the past year, seek to make our riches on cryptocurrency, we need demand for it to go up.

I know this is why critics call it a Ponzi scheme. In order for us to make money, some new sucker has to buy it at the higher price we require for our gains. But that’s the cynical view. What we are really doing is recognizing the laws of scarcity. The more something is valued for its utility or some other feature, and the less of it there is, the more it will cost to acquire. That reality of human exchange is baked into Bitcoin.

Which brings me to my essential question: what is it going to take for the average person to use cryptocurrencies every day? You can even make the question more personal than that. Take one of your favorite people–in my case, it’s my wife–and consider why that person would start transacting in cryptocurrency. My wife knows quite a bit about cryptos. Maybe not the ins and outs of the various coins or their use cases, but she understands the ideas behind them. She’s not opposed at all to Bitcoin. She doesn’t think it’s crazy or foolish. She likes to tell me what she’s read about price action or even some interesting news about adoption. But she doesn’t use it.

And why should she? There is’t a single merchant in her normal course of buying things that accepts it. She doesn’t fly much. She doesn’t use AirBNB. She doesn’t use Overstock. She doesn’t buy things on the dark web. Again, she’s not opposed to using cryptocurrency, but at the moment, her debit card, cash and credit cards are meeting her needs. She knows how to access them, secure them, transact using them, and reconcile them. The current system is meeting her needs just fine.

Adoption is going to be a sea change for her. It will require brain power she isn’t accustomed to investing into her routine transactions. Don’t mistake me, she’s got it in her, but she’s not used to using it. It reminds me of what happens every time we visit a new country. We spend time weeks before a trip gearing up for the mental gymnastics we are going to need to buy basic things there. If it’s a country where we can use our credit cards, things get a little easier. But if we will need to purchase things with cash, it’s like taking a course in alien technology. We are reduced to cognitive toddler, where we are unable to do basic math because we don’t understand the unit of account. It isn’t just her. It’s me too.

This is how it’s going to be for every single person during the mass adoption phase. Transactions are going to require herculean effort. And most people aren’t going to to do it willingly. They must have a vested interest.

And there is the key: in the video related to this post, I cover four (five really) reasons people will adopt. One was on the list: economic collapse or currency reset due to a debt crisis. The other was not: the tokenization of favorite things.

Either way, people will have that vested interest to make the change. In the case of an economic crisis that sees the failure of fiat, they will do it because they want to eat. They will quickly learn all of the necessary steps to acquire and secure their cryptocurrency. They won’t have much of it, but they will value every bit of it they possess. I would rather not have to face such a dire situation, but we all know it’s a possibility, and I think those of us who know what is going on behind the scenes know that it is necessary.

It’s the other scenario that I find interesting. Already things are being tokenized without many of us realizing it. I will be talking about this more in another post, but game maker Nintendo has already tokenized their ecosystem. What if the association that certifies speech therapists (one of the many roles my wife owns) tokenized their certification and professional development system? All educators are already familiar with continuing education units. What if those became tokenized. In essence, the more professional develop my wife might do, the more tokens she would receive. Those tokens could be exchanged for specialized workshop access or books from the association shop. Perhaps she could also buy tokens to access the same benefits. She would have full control over them and could exchange them with others for resources they had developed. All of this would happen in the context of her organizational structure.

To extend the illustration, many retired people like to spend the winters in the Rio Grand Valley region of Texas. They come down for the warmer weather but also for the birds. What if the region issued a special token that could be purchased and then used to access things in the local community like theaters, parks, certain restaurants, and social services? I bet they would use it if they saw that they were easy to acquire and then exchange. It would create a loyalty connection to that community and likely ensure their return. The value proposition would have to be better than a credit card (perhaps it got them into a rec center or other resource that doesn’t take money). Putting a premium on the use of the token would bolster its adoption.

My feeling is that all other things being equal (i.e. cash and credit still exist), the idea that Starbucks or McDonald’s accepting Bitcoin is not going to motivate anyone to jump on board. There’s still too much work involved for that to happen.

Adoption will require buy-in. It can either be forced or it can be motivated based on a strong preference for an associated activity.

Tell me what you think.What will it take for your wife, or mom, or granddad who can barely use his phone to adopt cryptocurrency?


Most people will only change when survival is at stake.
Adoption will be slow with various upticks as the economy jumps… up or down.


I think for me it’s when I start actually using them instead of me just putting my money into it. I think then she’ll be convinced


Agreed. There needs to be more ways to spend it, but the retailers need a reason to accept it (cheaper than credit card fees) and an infrastructure for processing it. Also, we still don’t really know how the transaction is taxed.


It’s coming…


Excellent. Time to gather up that BTC for the crash!


I told my wife that after I buy us a house using strictly bitcoin, I’m putting my bitcoin plaque over the mantle of our fireplace.

I think that’s the closest she will ever come to using it…unless of course she uses it and doesn’t realize it, which is probably the more likely outcome.


I’d love to be able to pay off the house with crypto. I am HODLing my ETC for that. Right now, I hate the idea of spending my BTC. But after the crash, that won’t be an issue.


My wife’s been pretty supportive, and will take the time to listen to my BTC banter, mostly venting on how it seems like nobody else cares! Gotta have that trust in marriage. I’m slowly putting little BTC nuggets in my 5 year olds head…I’ll say, Emma, what is Bitcoin? MONEY! she emphatically responds.


Great response from Emma, though as it was pointed out to me on my DCTV video, BTC is not yet a unit of account, so it is not yet serving the 3 functions of money.


Though I think you can make the case that in places where the currency has collapsed that it is in fact becoming a unit of account.


I smahsed the like button on your video last night. Well done. I’m looking forward to setting up my daughter with her first BTC wallet.


I could think of a few “ah-ha” use cases for people in my life to where they would transact in crypto. Both invole Dash. Almost all of my friends play fantasy football or bet on football games in some capacity. Some of them use fan duel, which is now paying out some contests in Dash. I could see fan duel incentivizing the use of crypto by making your betting dollar go further with presumably a lower transaction fee than using a credit card. The other use case is on the cannabis industry. What can I say, we like weed. Dash and the Alt36 project are solving the cannabis industries cash problem by developing an interoperable business system for supporting Dash and/or fiat transactions both from customers and suppliers, claiming an average 15% boost to their bottom lines simply by reducing the costs of handling cash. I could see incentivizing the use of dash by offering discounts etc. Basically, I think more and more companies will begin to incentize the use of crypto for products and services that our wives demand, and that’ll be reason enough for many to begin using.


McDonalds and Starbucks will help but it really depends on how well it’s implemented. Everything is about convenience today. That’s why Amazon is so popular people can buy things without leaving their houses. Or the Dunkin Donuts app on your phone. You pull up to the window boom scan your phone, no cash, no debit card, it’s easy.


We should all be setting up bitcoin wallets for our kids. Maybe I’ll do a video on that next.


What does it take for Amazon/Costco/Walmart to accept crypto as a payment?
Why they are not accepting it today and when will they?

When the big retail players start to accept, real mass adoption begins.


Hate to say it, but as of today, I think Crypto is not ready for mass adoption.
Adoption will come when it is ready.


really a great idea mike, even if we set up bitcoin wallets for our kids today and only put 10 or 20 bucks into to it here and there, could be big for them sometime in the future.

I would like to explore the idea of setting up bitcoin wallets as “funds” for certain things later on in the future.


You are right. No on-ramp for the masses at this point. Coinbase isn’t enough. Someone needs to solve the adoption problem.


I’ve thought about this some too. Should I create different wallets for different uses. Maybe put the one bitcoin I’m never going to spend away in cold storage somewhere.