When it comes to bitcoin’s use as money, word-of-mouth has been its biggest asset.
The journey from Internet obscurity to interest from financial incumbents has been a long one, but it started with passionate users, willing to discuss its benefits with friends, and those friends, intrigued by the idea, began to explore – and spend – the currency themselves.
Bitcoin, because of its peer-to-peer design, thrives on connection.
As this conversation goes viral, talk of digital currencies is spreading across the globe, and one community that has been drawn to bitcoin (and the blockchain) is artists. To date, this includes big-name festival staple Imogen Heap and rappers-turned-venture capitalists Nas and 50 Cent, among others.
This may not be surprising. Prone to fringe and emerging ideas, it’s a common belief that artists think differently, and bitcoin is certainly different. Plus, there’s the economic incentive as well. As Etsy can attest, many artists are small merchants hit hard by traditional transaction fees, and bitcoin presents a way to differentiate a product to earn sales.
But what is bringing this group to the conversation? And is this demographic becoming an active part of the digital currency’s user base?