Why Talking About Cryptocurrency Is Annoying: the Crypto Bro Stereotype

  • If you can’t stand when people talk about crypto, you’re not alone.
  • The stereotype “crypto bro” may prevent people from learning more about technology.
  • We tend to withdraw from unfamiliar concepts, especially when they are pushing us in the face.

You already know the guy. He wears a moncler vest, is always on his phone and has very strong opinions on which NFT you should buy.

It also wants to tell you all about how much money you made with your last investment in cryptocurrencies and how it all works.

This character, known as the “crypto bro,” has proliferated over the past two years, as the rise in the value of digital currencies has made marginal investors become the cornerstones of pop culture. Crypto bro has become part of the cultural lexicon, gaining a GQ profile and hashtags Twitter e TikTok.

The stereotype is the result of the arrival of the crypto as The Next Big Thing. This year’s Super Bowl announcements have led some to call it the Crypto Bowl. NBC alumni The Baccalaureate they are immersing themselves in the influence of NFT. Both Miami and New York mayors are trying to change the brand of their cities as cryptocurrencies: Eric Adams of New York is receiving his first three payment checks in cryptocurrencies. Last month, people like Bill Clinton and Tom Brady gathered in the Bahamas to talk about “Web 3.0,” a collection of online services driven by blockchain technology called the “next phase.”

The hype left some air. Rebecca Jennings of Vox described a talk by Gary Vaynerchuk on NFT as “the most unpleasant event I’ve ever attended.” There’s a whole Reddit thread about why cryptocurrencies “are the most annoying.” And, as one person tweeted recently“God, I hate cryptography so much.”

Sasha Mutchnik, a 25-year-old who posts memes about subcultures on the popular Instagram account @starterpacksofNYC, compared the “crypto bro” to “financial faces” of New York City: think of the much-slandered Chad and Brad in their Patagonian vests . They’re also part of “tech bro,” the character in the hooded sweatshirt and sneakers who teases HBO. Silicon Valley.

“Right for a combination of money and advertising,” Mutchnik told me, “the crypto guy is so drunk on the success of this thing that no one (except him and his colleagues who came in early) really understands what it’s all about.”

Mutchnik thinks it’s a shame, given the many companies that work to make cryptographic platforms and technology feel relevant and useful for everyday life.

“The technology itself, and most of those who work with it, are not nasty or nasty or nasty,” he said. “Gate Keep it with annoying language and endless merchandise and ambiguous minimalist logos, however, is something like that.”

But there is something deeper than the annoyance of popular disdain for cryptography. It’s a concept alien to many, with confusing technical jargon and an ethos of a future Matrix-type future where even more of our lives are online, at a time when many people yearn for IRL interactions after two years of a pandemic. When we face such ignorance, we back down and even back down if they get in our face.

Crypto is like a weight loss drug

Celebrities of all kinds, from Matt Damon and Generation Z influencer Charlie D’Amelio to Gwyneth Paltrow and Justin Bieber, have begun partnering with brands like Crypto.com or the Gemini cryptocurrency app to promote the emerging currency.

Reese Witherspoon he tweeted in January, “In the (near) future each person will have a parallel digital identity. Avatars, cryptographic wallets, digital assets will be the norm. Are you planning this?”

Jonah Berger, a professor of marketing at Wharton, explains why this aggressive argument may not feel right for everyone.

“People feel like they’re being released,” Berger told me. “In some ways, it feels a bit like one

weight loss

drug, which also makes it feel a bit like a scam. Why do so many people work so hard? It may be because it’s not really real. “

It is a red flag after scams endorsed by celebrities in recent years such as Fyre Fest, Theranos and the Anna Delvey Foundation. In addition, the world of cryptography has experienced significant losses and scams of its own: the developers of a popular NFT game have lost $ 600 million in user investments due to a security flaw, and a “squid game” currency has increased its value in the middle of the popularity of a


program of the same name, before disappearing from the internet.

It doesn’t help that Kim Kardashian and Floyd Mayweather are facing lawsuits alleging that their cryptographic promotions were intended to raise the price of their own tokens to make money “at the expense of their followers and investors,” according to the plaintiffs. .

We are even more skeptical when something we consider suspicious seems to appear everywhere. Berger has spent a decade investigating consumer behavior. In his latest book, The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind, he explores how people back off when they feel pushed, a concept known as “reactance.”

Sorry when we ignore junk mail in our inbox, junk mail, or an annoying TV ad. It’s also partly why some people are so resistant to cryptography, when we see it being promoted everywhere, from Witherspoon’s Twitter to “The Tonight Show,” where Jimmy Fallon and Paris Hilton compared their NFT purchases.

“People don’t like to be sold something,” Berger said. “When they feel that someone is trying to persuade them, their anti-persuasion radar goes off.”

Cryptography scares us

Talking about bitcoin and ether raises another kind of alarm: the fear of the unknown.

Most Americans have learned the basics of how money works from an early age. Paper banknotes and coins are tangible and easy to see that they are exchanged for goods. The concept of digital currency can be harder to understand, and it’s intimidating, as if you need to have the technological knowledge to understand it, Miss Teen Crypto, the 19-year-old cryptocurrency influencer, told me.

“We actually use technology every day that we don’t really understand, like using a debit card; we don’t know the technicalities behind the transaction, but we know it works,” he said. “This will be the same with cryptocurrency sooner rather than later.”

Not everyone agrees, and it has nothing to do with cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies themselves have been in turmoil recently, with the price of bitcoin more than 50% lower than its high at the end of 2021. “As a class of emerging assets, the relatively high level of


it can take a break for some, “David Lawant, research director at BitWise Asset Management, told me.

In addition, lack of regulation, environmental concerns about the amount of electricity needed, and disagreements over how to value digital currencies have sparked legitimate concerns about the future of crypto as a decent financial tool. Warren Buffet even said he would not buy “all the bitcoin in the world” for $ 25.

Regardless of the reasons for this, shyness generates fear. As Carla Marie Manly, a psychologist and author of The Joy of Fear, explained to me, it is an evolutionary response to our caveman days, when humans learn to be cautious, favoring situations that seem familiar and safe to us. Most have a low tolerance for risk, especially when it comes to their health, safety or finances, he said.

“Those who consider the cryptographic culture to be entirely foreign are likely to tend to feel overwhelmed and intimidated,” he said.

After all, some of us may feel closer to our caveman days than to a world where NFT, dogecoin, and Coinbase reign supreme. The names and the opacity of their meanings signal a shift towards a more futuristic society.

“Consciously and unconsciously, they would feel apprehensive about what future change would bring,” Manly said.

Blame the crypto bro

On the other hand, according to Manly, there is another category of people who are thrilled with the knowledge they have about cryptography, especially if they are in the minority.

“Those who understand this realm will probably feel very comfortable and largely unintimidated; their sense of competence often nullifies any feelings of intimidation and insecurity,” he said.

This group, as Lawant said, “created its own shared stories, narratives, memes, and other social norms.” That can be alienating or even threatening to some who do not share their values, he added.

This is in line with Berger’s research, which found that social influence can lead us to do the same (or the opposite) of others, depending on how we view their identity in relation to ours.

“People like to do things that people like them are doing and they often avoid doing things that other people who are not like them do,” he said.

Part of this involves deliberately avoiding a popular trend because certain people like to show that you are against it. “Some of the people who are doing cryptography have a particular identity that other people may not necessarily want to associate with,” Berger said.

He says those people may think, “This is not a ‘me’ thing. Although it has status for some people, this is not for me.”

This is because investing in cryptography and talking about them suggests that you are a certain type of person.

“This is a different strain from Silicon Valley technology,” said Mutchnik, founder of @starterpacksofNYC. “This guy probably doesn’t wear an AllBirds or Patagonia vest. He might wear an overly expensive Moncler vest or sneakers. There’s a kind of need (or at least desire) to be perceived as modern or plugged in between these guys.”

But the cryptographic type is a stereotype, like any other. As Mutchnik points out, not all cryptography enthusiasts are guys; there is a push for cryptographic brotherhood. Not all crypto enthusiasts talk non-stop about bitcoin either, and many are trying to make cryptography more accessible to people outside of the stereotypical “crypto bro” crowd. Boys Club, co-founded by Deana Burke, 37, and Natasha Hoskins, 29., is intended to welcome women and non-binary people to the cryptographic space. Another group, Women in NFTs, as the name implies, also wants open crypto for women.

But the fact that the stereotype exists is enough to discourage people. As Mutchnik put it, “Crypto isn’t all bad, it’s just been marketed badly.”

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