This post was written by Brian Haggerty
I first learned of Bitcoin in 2013. I immediately fell in love with the concept. I spent the next several months consuming all I could in order to learn as much as possible. As an educator, it doesn’t take much for me to form an obsession, and obsessed I was. As the next few years went by, Bitcoin Mania took over in the fall of 2017. It was then I recognized the importance of explaining it to people. More and more people were hearing about it, but few understood it. And so, the teacher in me decided it was time to offer Meetups and public seminars in which I would invite the public, free of charge, and teach them about Bitcoin.
In the meantime, there was Litecoin, its tiny little sibling, full of potential and just waiting to go from crawling to walking. There was never a lack of people anxious to come to learn about this phenomena called Bitcoin which so captured the public’s interest that people, stupidly, mortgaged their homes to jump on board, despite understanding how it worked. Education was what was, and still is, needed and I sought to do my part.
Alas, the market then began its decline. Bitcoin hype turned into Bitcoin fright. Panic selling, daily FUD and plenty of detractors ultimately scared away the unseasoned, ignorant and ill-prepared, leading to the ultimate Bear Market which ensued. But I stayed the course. I continued offering talks, seminars, etc. The difference was, no one cared. No one came. Well, maybe two or three. But that was it. The greatest technological revolution in money in the history of our planet and no one even wanted to hear about it. The coverage stopped, the headlines waned and crowds grew slimmer by the week.
Of course, I knew full well that Bitcoin was not dead and would rise again. I fully understand trends and how the unfortunate nature of the public herd functions. So, if no one would come to me to learn about it, I decided to bring it to them: the students and young people I know. I have an educational program called PLEASE™ which teaches life skills, soft skills and communication skills to students. I also teach critical thinking. I decided to add Bitcoin and, of course, my new first love, Litecoin, to my teaching. It was easy. I would teach the students about it, then I would have them download the Loaf Wallet and I offered to give each student some Litecoin.
Naturally, who would turn down money? Over the next year, as the bear market kept the cytpto market in hibernation, I introduced Bitcoin and Litecoin to well over one hundred students who downloaded the wallet and learned firsthand about the future of their money; all while watching how simple it was to receive it. I wound up feeling far better about this approach, as were it not for the decline of the interest of the adults of the public, I maybe would never have thought to teach the youth. Having become a Litecoin Foundation Volunteer in the spring of 2018, I met so many amazing people like Jon Moore and John Kim (Who’ve earned a place on the Mount Rushmore of Litecoin) as well as the rest of the “Litecoin Fam”. Once I saw the passion and commitment of the members toward education and adoption, I knew Litecoin would never be stopped.
In addition to my students, whose pictures I of course cannot use, I also had the young staff members at my gym, as well as the wait staff of my favorite restaurants download the Loaf Wallet. I gave them some Litecoin and tip them any time the opportunity arises.
Of course, in the past few weeks, the markets have awakened. I fully expect this is the beginning of another bull market. And that means the crowds of people will be wanting, once again, to learn about crypto. I’ll be there to teach them. But, I am glad that these wonderful young people had the opportunity and the interest to get a head start on their futures!