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Why Some People Can't Seem to Get Onboard with Bitcoin: Understanding Resistance to Change

Updated: May 24, 2023

Change is an inevitable part of life, but for many people, it can be difficult to accept, especially when it comes to new technology or financial systems. This is particularly true for older individuals, who may have a harder time adapting to new innovations or just don't simply want to move with the times.

In this blog, we'll explore some of the reasons why people are resistant to change, and why this resistance is especially common among older adults when it comes to exciting new technologies such as Bitcoin.

An illustration of someone too busy to change
Resistance to Change

Fear of the Unknown

One of the most common reasons people are resistant to change is fear of the unknown. When something is new and unfamiliar, it can be difficult to know what to expect.

This fear can be particularly strong when it comes to new technologies or financial systems like Bitcoin, which can seem complicated and overwhelming for those who are not used to them.

Many older adults may feel anxious or intimidated by Bitcoin, and may worry that they won't be able to understand how it works or how to use it effectively. This is completely understandable. After all, there are bold claims that Bitcoin could end up becoming the reserve currency of the world.

As a result, you can expect to hear pushback to these, admittedly, ambitious claims. For instance, you may hear things such as "Bitcoin is too volatile to become a currency" or "governments will never allow it". Whilst a Bitcoin Standard may seem farfetched, the process is actually already underway. In fact, Bitcoin is already legal tender in two countries.

Loss of Control

Another reason people may resist change is a fear of losing control. When something changes, it can be hard to feel like we are in control of the situation. This can be especially true when it comes to something completely new like Bitcoin, which may feel like they are taking over certain aspects of our financial lives.

Older adults, in particular, may be used to traditional banking systems and may feel like they are losing their financial security or comfortability when they are asked to adopt new financial technologies like Bitcoin.

Similarly to the previous section, for some people it is in their best interest to not like new technologies such as Bitcoin. On the one hand, there are middle-class citizens who can exploit fiat(Pound, Dollar, Yen etc.) debasement and enjoy it's lifestyle. And on the other hand, there are big banks that enjoy control over people as they sit next to the money printer.

It's no coincidence you see the likes of J.P Morgan & Chase CEO, Jamie Dimon, bashing Bitcoin. A Bitcoin Standard would very likely make banks like Dimon's non-essential. Therefore, you will witness resistance to change.

You may have heard of the term "the best form of defence is attack" and that is certainly the case when it comes to Jamie Dimon at J.P Morgan & Chase and others. Bitcoin is this, Bitcoin is that. Bitcoin is going to kill the planet. The list of false claims could go on.

Lack of Understanding

Another factor that can contribute to resistance to change is a lack of understanding. When we don't fully understand something, it can be hard to see the benefits of it. This can be especially true when it comes to emerging technologies like Bitcoin, which can be complex and difficult to explain.

Older adults may not fully understand how Bitcoin works, or why it is beneficial, and may therefore be less likely to embrace it. A lot of these points are very fair and understandable when it comes to sympathising with the older generation.

Is it a coincidence that stock market moguls, Charlie Munger and Warren Buffet, hate Bitcoin? Don't forget they are aged 99 and 92 respectively. The two of them come out with lots of negative comments about Bitcoin, yet when asked to explain their reasons why, they fail to come up with anything with true substance.

They relay the same FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) there was back when Bitcoin was just $100. That said, it's important to state that Munger and Buffett are no fools. They are incredibly successful and their opinion deserves to be heard.

However, you cannot expect two men in their 90's to be experts when it comes to identifying emerging technologies with untold potential. It's just not realistic. Consequently, it is very likely they, and many other older people, just don't understand Bitcoin.

Comfort with Familiarity

Many people may resist change simply because they are comfortable with what they already know. When something is familiar, it can feel safe and secure, and we may be hesitant to try something new.

This is particularly true for older adults, who may have established financial habits and routines that they are reluctant to disrupt. Why do we need Bitcoin when we have digital money as it is? We have online banking, we have a card that can be tapped for payment. These are all fair points.

But, I'm sure the same things would have been said throughout all of history. For example, why do we need automobiles with tyres when horses function just fine? Why do we need massive, expensive planes in the sky when ships do it's job effectively? And finally, why do we need to be on a gold standard when seashells are so convenient and easy to use.

We are constantly changing, adapting and improving. For most cases, we are comfortable with familiarity until change has been made. In the years, decades and centuries later, we then recognise the importance of making that agricultural/industrial/technological stride forward.

Perception of Risk

Bitcoin is a relatively new and complex technology, and there have been instances of fraud and theft in the past, which can make people perceive it as risky.

In addition, the idea of investing money into a digital asset that is not backed by any government or financial institution can be daunting for many, particularly for older generations who may have grown up with more traditional banking systems.

This perception of risk can make people resistant to change and reluctant to invest in Bitcoin. Crucially, the main word here is "perception". One of the main reasons 123Cryptos is here is because we want to educate the truth about Bitcoin and debunk the FUD.

Yes, there is fraud and risk related to Bitcoin, but crucially, it doesn't stem from Bitcoin itself. In the same way Bernie Madoff conducted his Ponzi Scheme, it didn't make entire financial institutions a fraud. There are bad actors everywhere.

Additionally, J.P Morgan & Chase (the bank that calls Bitcoin a scam) have been found guilty on numerous occasions of fraud and malpractice. The older generation, however, won't see this as a fundamental flaw within the system because it has been their financial norm all of their lives.

Scepticism of Value

Finally, some people may be sceptical of the value of Bitcoin, particularly given its volatility in the market. They may view it as a speculative asset that is not stable or reliable, and may be hesitant to invest in something that they perceive as not having a tangible (physically felt or seen) value.

Additionally, Bitcoin's decentralised and unregulated nature can make some people question its legitimacy and value, particularly those who are more used to centralised financial systems.

Value is difficult to determine especially in things that are emerging. What was the value of Amazon and Tesla during their early days? There was a lot of hype, potential and speculation, which resulted in the volatility being similar to what Bitcoin has today.

This never made Amazon or Tesla bad or suspicious, it was just the market trying to determine its value for something they either believe in or not.

Likewise to the comments surrounding Charlie Munger and Warren Buffet, the older you are, the less likely it is you will see or want to search for value in emerging and speculative assets. Ultimately, that doesn't make all emerging things, in particular Bitcoin, an outright scam.

In conclusion, resistance to change is a natural human response, and is particularly widespread when it comes to new technology or financial systems like Bitcoin, especially among older adults.

However, it's important to remember that change happens all of the time, and that embracing new technologies like Bitcoin can bring many benefits, including increased financial freedom, decentralisation, and privacy.

With an open mind and willingness to learn, even those who are resistant to change can learn to adapt to new technologies and financial systems, and enjoy their many advantages.

We discuss all things Bitcoin, money and technology in our course. It is beginner-friendly, jargon-free and only takes 100 minutes to complete.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out one of our other related blogs: Bitcoin is a marathon, not a sprint.

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