It’s not an accident that bitcoin has become the go-to pop-culture reference point for a complicated technology that normal, everyday people just don’t understand. Conceptually speaking, there’s nothing all that complicated about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, but the community around it hasn’t always had the most newcomer-friendly attitude. It’s easy to forget that everyone has to start somewhere, and that literally no one was an “expert” on bitcoin just a decade ago.
Let’s take a look at three great videos for absolute bitcoin and cryptocurrency beginners.
1. Bitcoin: How Cryptocurrencies Work
When you want to understand the basic science behind a complicated topic, there’s no better place to start than SciShow. This 9-minute video doesn’t focus on the deeply technical stuff, abstracting it just enough to explain how it all works, but it does provide a reasonably comprehensive overview of the essential concepts behind cryptocurrency and blockchain. It’s a great starting point for anyone looking to learn more about cryptocurrency.
2. Bitcoin Q&A: Explain Bitcoin to My Mother?
In the cryptocurrency world, Andreas Antonopoulos is something of a rock star. Not only did he write one of the first serious books about cryptocurrency — “Mastering Bitcoin” (O’Reilly Media, 2014) — but he’s also one of the most visible and active advocates for the technology. In his regular video Q&A series, Antonopoulos answers questions from both experts and curious newcomers, and when a viewer asked “Could you explain bitcoin to my mum?” he was more than ready to oblige. His explanation is largely non-technical, focusing instead on the real-world problems that bitcoin solves. If you want to understand “why” bitcoin is important, but want to save the “how” for another day, this is the video for you.
3. Bitcoin Explained and Made Simple
In less than three-and-a-half minutes, this 2014 video from UK newspaper The Guardian presents the essential case for cryptocurrency in a friendly, animated format. It completely avoids the technology, and instead explains bitcoin from the perspective of an everyday consumer who doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about. While this may not be terribly useful for people who want to get into bitcoin and cryptocurrency in a serious way, it’s the perfect thing to share with family and friends on social media when they ask you to explain the appeal of your new hobby.
Special Mention: Don’t Understand Bitcoin? This Man Will Mumble An Explanation At You
Still feeling like you’re just not getting it? Here’s a classic video from satirical news website The Onion that might make you feel a little better.