Memes popular in cryptocurrency community
Gold is one of the most successful memes in history. Gold is a component used in the production of electronic products and jewelry, but its market value is close to $8trillion due to its characteristics as a store of value. Now, investors will invest in gold to create a more diversified portfolio, and countries will store gold at home or abroad. Therefore, it is not surprising that bitcoin’s “digital gold” meme has been successful among investors. During 2013-2017, Germany shipped back 54000 gold bars worth US $27billion from New York and Paris. Fearing the cold war, they initially deposited gold abroad. This process becomes very complicated, because if anything happens during the transportation, these countries must ensure the safety of gold. The “digital gold” meme is effective because it is much easier and cheaper to transmit bitcoin across borders than to transport gold. At first, it might sound absurd for bitcoin to be called “digital gold”, but now even Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is aware of this. Powell said: “few people use bitcoin to pay. They use it more as a substitute for gold. It is a speculative store of value.” We are still in the early stage of development of bitcoin. If price fluctuations are not considered, theoretically, it is a better value store than gold, because the total amount of bitcoin is only 21million, and it is easier to carry than gold.
Although the “digital gold” meme is very applicable to some people, it does not resonate with everyone. We need to organize activities in local communities to create memes that involve people from different backgrounds. For example, when people familiar with cryptocurrency talk about how bitcoin is anti censorship, many people do not understand why this is important. Some people associate the need to resist censorship with illegal activities, which in their view is not a good thing, while others do not know what anti censorship means.
Another popular meme among cryptocurrencies is “hodl”, which is used to highlight the idea of holding cryptocurrencies rather than selling them during periods of volatility. “Hodl” comes from the misspelling of “hold” by a user on the bitcointalk forum in 2013. Memes like hodl make the crypto community even stronger, because they tend to stick together when the market is not performing well. Although the existence of such memes is helpful, it may not make more people understand or use cryptocurrency, because people who are not familiar with cryptocurrency do not understand the meaning of such memes. We need to focus on creating memes that bring people into the cryptocurrency community.
Common memes outside the cryptocurrency community
Many people often think that cryptocurrency has a negative meaning that novices can avoid. Bitcoin has a bad reputation for being used in illegal transactions (such as buying drugs), although a study by elliptic found that such exchanges account for less than 1%. Some memes have indeed spread. For bitcoin, using it to buy drugs in the dark network market is a persistent meme. This means that we need to replace it with a stronger meme to eliminate this one-sided understanding psychologically. However, many early technologies, such as the Internet and video streaming, have gone through the transition from illegal activities to eventually becoming the mainstream of society. The way these techniques can overcome the initial false correlation is the emergence of important legitimate mainstream use cases. We want cryptocurrencies to go through the same transition.
Another common understanding is that cryptocurrency is an investment opportunity. Although this doesn’t sound ideal, I don’t think this meme is actually bad because we want people to understand the technology first. The opportunity to make money helps attract people and spread it. As some people invest in cryptocurrency, they begin to learn more about its principles and teach others about it. This is not very different from people investing in stocks, gold or real estate. On the other hand, some people will take advantage of this understanding and deceive people who get rich quickly by creating Ponzi schemes or other schemes that can guarantee profits. Therefore, it is very important to point out this behavior and set reasonable expectations for people outside the cryptocurrency.
Many people think that “cryptocurrency” has a negative meaning, while “blockchain” has a more positive meaning, because governments and companies often call it a promising innovation. Many cryptocurrency insiders avoid using the term “blockchain” because banks and enterprises often use it as a popular term to describe licensed databases that lack the openness of public blockchains. “Embracing blockchain rather than bitcoin” is a meme developed in traditional financial institutions and enterprises to confirm their view that blockchain technology is very useful while bitcoin is irrelevant. Given these different meanings, it may be necessary to adjust the words used according to the person you are talking to. For example, words such as “blockchain”, “digital currency” and “digital assets” may be more attractive to some people who are skeptical of “cryptocurrency”. If you want people to be interested in cryptocurrency technology, the wording will actually help.
My suggestions for the cryptocurrency community
My goal is not to make people think about encryption technology, but to prove that memes are very important to the success of cryptocurrency. We need to create new memes. There have been many attempts to promote the “digital gold” meme in the past, but it does not seem to resonate with many people around the world. For people from different communities, it is very important to help them recognize memes and share them, because they know which is the most effective. Having a small group of outstanding cryptocurrency insiders (usually proficient in technology) to create memes that resonate with people around the world is not our biggest appeal. It is also worth trying to use new terms to promote memes. Some of my suggestions are as follows. I hope they will help connect the cryptocurrency community with the mainstream audience.
• memes are easy to understand. The important thing is to try to make people want to share it with others from the bottom of their hearts. We can determine the likelihood of success by testing the meme with people and seeing if they remember it later. Ideally, memes should not be too long and should be easy to translate into different languages.
• customize memes for your audience. If the use of the word “blockchain” or “digital currency” helps to make people more willing to learn the technology, then there should be no problem. Then, if they finally enter the cryptocurrency community, we should publicize the popular memes in the community (such as “hodl”) to strengthen their connection with the community.
• use visual memes whenever possible. Visual memes can often transcend different cultures and languages and spread rapidly. For example, the dog coin associated with the cute Shibu INU dog has a market value of $300million. We should not avoid using memes such as “magical internet currency” to attract technophiles who may be attracted by it. By calculating the number of occurrences of visual memes in Google search or social media, we can judge the degree of attention paid to visual memes.
With the support of the community and correct memes, cryptocurrency technology will soon be accepted by the mainstream population. I have no doubt about this.
Responsible editor: CT