What are the true reasons we feel pressure to invest in cryptocurrencies or learn about blockchain technology? Are we in it for the money, for the status? Or is there a more human element at play?
I find that at a very basic level, people are feeling the pressure to get involved in the world of blockchain because they intuitively sense the magnitude of change that this technology can have on us.
We hear about blockchain technology all the time. We turn on the news and learn that Bitcoin’s trading volumes have hit all time highs (or lows), or how its hash rates fluctuate in real time as prices go up or down. One day the news will tell us that cryptocurrency is on its way out and the next day we’ll hear about a major corporation creating their own blockchain.
We are inundated with news about cryptocurrencies and their history of origin, but we are left in the dark about their future. Not knowing what will come of the technology and the currencies it creates causes us to be speculative about its potential and the accuracy of its functionality. We wonder if blockchain technology can stand the test of time.
There hasn’t yet been any mass use case of blockchain technology besides some early investors making a massive return on their investments, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t still hopeful in its capital. There is still something about it that prompts us to want to get involved, whether that be an investment of our time, curiosity, money, or brain power.
Our curiosity and desire to get involved can be rooted back to a basic human tendency for psychological justification called “Sunk Cost Fallacy.” The Sunk Cost Fallacy describes humanity’s tendency to continue investing time, money, or energy into something that’s so far proven to be a losing proposition, simply because we have already incurred or “sunk” a cost that cannot be recouped. The more we invest, the more determined we become to see it pay off.
Therefore, our interest in its future impact remains strong whether we truly know about its technicalities or not, or whether we have actually made a return on our cryptocurrency investments. Those factors become irrelevant when our intuitive knowledge of its success is determined by the total amount of investment that our society, the world, and humanity has put into it. We’ve seen the massive amounts of wealth that has been made in blockchain technology thus far, and we intuitively evaluate it through its sunken costs.
We know that there is a large amount of market share that is investing in blockchain technology and we are aware that many corporations are adopting the technology to work with their current model in order to keep up with the rapid growth that’s threatening their company’s livelihood. There have also been huge promises of the technology by many reputable names including Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich and entrepreneur duo, the Winklevoss twins. Therefore, we can make the assumption that what the developers of the technology claim and what the people analyzing coin prices say isn’t the only thing that’s going to drive this technology forward.
What will make this technology prevail is the determination of the collective humanity that has already invested so many resources, hopes, and energy into seeing it through.
Therefore, we are obligated by our own psychological processes to take this technology as far as it can go. This widespread determination to see the technology’s plans come to full fruition is what will make this technology transform into what it has promised.
Just imagine if we had to see all the names of the people who invested in Bitcoin admit to being wrong. It’s unlikely. The psychological phenomenon of humans to see our investments pay off grows with the amount being invested. Right now we are seeing billions of dollars, the reputations of powerful people, and the manpower of big businesses investing their time, energy, money, and voice to make this technology into what we would like it to become.
We don’t have to look at the protocol’s details to know if it’s going to take off. If the determination level of the technology’s investors is high, and the determination level within the collective society is also high, then we can bet on the technology delivering on its projective promises for the pure fact that these people will figure out a way to make it so.
This is why we feel the pressure to get involved. It’s a hit from our internal intuition that tells us how deep society’s commitment to making something succeed is and how impactful the human collective is in its line of investment. We see other people joining in on its investments and we are no longer compliant to stand on the sidelines.
Brielle Pearson has had her eye on Bitcoin way before it was cool… but it wasn’t until early 2018, after attending a “Women in Blockchain” event in NYC, that she became fascinated by the blockchain technology that backed it and all the opportunities that came along with it. After having been disappointed in the blockchain community’s inclusive environment, she took it upon herself to inspire and educate others about blockchain technology. She is currently a blockchain writer, trainer, and community lead at Kadena.