Those of us who work in the world of Web3, blockchain, NFTs and crypto know that it’s still foreign terrain for the vast majority of people. Part of our job is to knock down those barriers, reduce friction and explain ourselves in a way that even Grandma would understand.
So I loved the little anecdote that I overheard this week on the Bankless podcast that casts crypto in a different light.
Tomicah Tillemann, Global Head of Policy for a16z, an arm of VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, was asked by host David Hoffman how he explains crypto to policymakers on Capitol Hill. He answered this way.
A few years ago, I took my kids to Yellowstone. And when we went to Yellowstone, due to some questionable decisions by their parents, my kids had not spent time in a big national park in the West previously, and all they really knew is that there were bears and there were these scary thermal features, and they hadn’t heard that much about it beyond the fact that it was scary and a little bit dangerous.
We got there and very early on we encountered some amazing forest rangers who sat my kids down, told them what they needed to know and got them to a point where this amazing ecosystem that had previously been kind of terrifying to them all of a sudden opened up and became really exciting and something that they cared about and wanted to protect and wanted to experience.
Our work with policymakers is kind of similar to that. You have a lot of folks who have, for lack of a better analogy. been stuck in the city for a long time. They’ve heard that there’s this ecosystem out there, but all they really know about it is that there are occasional bear attacks. And our job is to take them into this incredible, vibrant, dynamic new universe and help them to experience it. Help them understand why it’s valuable. And ultimately to become champions and defenders of that ecosystem in the way that all of us are champions and defenders for the ecosystem.
So that’s that’s the mission and fortunately, we’re finding that a lot of policymakers are open to this. They understand that the status quo is neither desirable nor sustainable. They are tired of living in a Web2 world where their information and their personal data is manipulated and used against them on a daily basis and used against everyone. They’re looking for an alternative, and we have a pretty good story to tell in that regard.
That’s a good way to introduce people to the topic and remove some of the trepidation that newcomers understandably feel.