The CEO of Goldman Sachs Lloyd Blankfein used the term “consensus currencies” in his recent interview:
And he’s right. There a lot that’s interesting and innovative about Bitcoin–and the cryptographic protocol that it is is chiefly among them.
And sure, the people here get that.
But the name you use to describe something is also the entry-point you use to introduce it. For many, the name they use to describe something is the majority of what they understand about it. And so, ask yourself: What’s the first thing people should know about these currencies?
Is it how they work? (Crypto)
Or is it for what purpose? (Consensus)
Consensus currencies, i.e. not government currencies, not fiat currencies, not currencies controlled by some sovereign–but by us; by our agreement.
From that, the questions flow naturally: How does it work? Do people vote? How do you prevent cheating or stealing? And that is a great opportunity to teach them about the cryptographic protocols.
Eventually they’d ask the most obvious question: “What if I don’t agree?”, which might be the most beautiful aspect of the consensus mechanism and voluntary association. “Then,” you’d reply “you simply start your own consensus of 1, and if your idea is a good one–get people to join in. That way, the largest currencies with the most robust consensus rose to the top by being the most reliable ones, backed by millions agreeing to work, associate and collaborate together”.
And in my opinion, if they know nothing else, that’d be the one thing to know.
Looking forward to your feedback on this idea.