If You Think Bitcoin is Complicated, Try Sending an Email in the 90’s


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Using the internet and sending email in the 1990’s was complicated. It’s easier to send bitcoin even though we’re still in early stages of development. | Credit: (i) Reuters; (ii) AFP; Edited by CCN

Critics of the No. 1 cryptocurrency always harp about the degree of difficulty in using bitcoin. For instance, user imteaz of Bitcointalk believes that the cryptocurrency is too complicated for the average Joe. The user mentions the need to purchase the digital asset from various websites. On top of that, the person finds the desktop wallet hard to use. Even though the post is dated, not much has changed.

It’s true that at its current iteration, an average person may find it challenging to buy and use bitcoin for daily transactions. However, purchasing and storing bitcoin today is definitely easier than sending an email in the early days of the internet.

One of the biggest flaws of crypto is that it is so difficult to explain quickly to a lay person. When people ask me to explain Bitcoin to them I know it’s going to take at least an hour before they really understand it.

— Ran NeuNer (@cryptomanran) September 8, 2019

‘Good Things Take Time,’ Says Popular Bitcoin Trader

Back in the day, people used to send letters and other documents via snail mail. As we all know, recipients had to wait for days or sometimes even weeks to receive their mail. Eventually, the email was introduced to the general public and it became an instant sensation.

However, people had to learn how to use the computer, the modem, and the internet to send an email in the early 1990s. There was a learning curve involved to go from writing letters by hand to using an electronic machine to send an email. If you don’t believe me, the widely followed Rhythm account shared an image of an article illustrating a step by step instruction on how to send an email.

If you think using bitcoin is too difficult to catch on, here are instructions on how to send letters with a computer.

Good things take time. pic.twitter.com/eio1Rxq1XH

— Rhythm (@Rhythmtrader) September 5, 2019

Even if you’re adept at using computers already, the process looks so complicated. It looks much more complicated than sending bitcoin to another user.

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A step-by-step guide to sending bitcoin | Source: WikiHow

Critics Thought the Internet Was Just a Fad

Many people spend a significant part of their day online, whether it is for work or pleasure. Back in the 1990s, some did not believe in the potential of the internet.

For instance, Clifford Stoll wrote a Newsweek article in 1995 blasting the hype behind the internet. He wrote that the possibility of telecommuting, online shopping, and multimedia classrooms was a bunch of baloney.

Also in 1995, the inventor of Ethernet, Robert Metcalf, predicted that the internet will “catastrophically collapse” in 1996.

In 1998, writer Paul Krugman stated that by

“…2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet’s impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine’s.”

Today, these predictions were proven wrong. It is very likely that similar to the internet, the use of bitcoin is likely to catch on in the near future.