With any new market, there are specific demographic groups that become the early adopters and drive that market forward. Crypto and the blockchain are being embraced by millennials far more than any other age group.
Let’s look at some of the factors that play into this adoption by the millennial generation starting with the definition of millennial.
“Neil Howe and William Strauss, authors of the 1991 book Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069, are often credited with coining the term. Howe and Strauss define the Millennial cohort as consisting of individuals born between 1982 and 2004.”
This group is the first that has grown up with modern computerized technology as a part of their lives. It has been woven into their daily lives in a way that makes it seem natural and that older generations don’t always feel. Millennials are comfortable in a connected world, a world where they can accomplish daily tasks from ordering coffee, to grabbing a ride to work, to shopping for just about anything, and staying in touch throughout the day using devices that are a part of their lives.
They look for jobs, book vacations, have online conversations with future lifemates, and arrange side hustles - all through devices that connect them to an online world. Thus, the blockchain is merely seen not as something radical and new, but a logical extension of technology that already exists.
They “get” the difference between blockchain tech and the coin of that realm - cryptocurrency. They are perfectly positioned in their life cycle to “risk” an investment in crypto. They are not looking at retirement appearing around the corner with its demand for “safe” investment strategy. They are not settled down and locked in to a career and family. They are at the footloose and fancy free stage of their lives and look at risk in a far different manner than their older counterparts.
They are, generally speaking, more computer literate than older generations and understand how crypto and the blockchain work together, while seeing the vast potential of both. To them, smart contracts are merely a logical extension of automated banking transactions, without the corporate banking structure.
In the entrepreneurial startup world, funding, especially for tech startups, has traditionally been provided by Venture Capital firms. Because these firms want a quick return on investment, the startup is often pressured into growth that is too fast, or into a buyout situation that may leave the owners with zero control of their idea and the company they founded. Cryptocurrency is now funding most of the blockchain startups of today, eliminating (for the most part) the downsides of VC funding. It’s hardly surprising that many blockchain startups are being launched by millennials.
While other generational groups DO invest in cryptocurrency and buy into startup tokens, millennials are still the largest group in that marketplace by far. A perfect storm of a life long familiarity with the tech world, a life stage that is less risk averse, and the willingness to embrace both current and future advances in the crypto-blockchain ecosystem have combined to make millennials as a group the investor market for ICO’s and the cryptosphere.
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