AARP Releases Bizarre Definition For Bitcoin
The American Association of Retired Persons, or AARP, just announced a bizarre definition for bitcoin. The lobbying organization used strange analogies to explain to seniors how bitcoin works.
Bitcoin was one of a number of terms on the AARP’s glossary of Wall Street buzzwords. The AARP periodically releases a glossary of terms to help seniors understand what’s going on in the world around them.
“Improve your Financial Literacy With This Glossary”, explains AARP in its article. “Learn how to talk about finance with these Wall Street buzzwords.”
The definition for bitcoin, as spotted by Market Watch, is the crypto equivalent of the “get off my lawn” meme.
“A bunch of computer code that a bunch of criminals, idealists and speculators agree is worth “real” money. Sadly, its real-money value swings widely, making it impractical except for criminals, idealists and speculators.”
Yikes. That’s a ridiculous definition even for an organization that caters towards the oldest people in the country. It dismisses everything valid about the crypto industry while promoting everything bad about it.
Let’s face it: most seniors probably already have a negative idea about bitcoin. Many may not understand why computer code would have any value in the first place. Ridiculous definitions like this one from the AARP aren’t helping.
It’s Like “If Keeping Your Car Idling 24/7 Produced Solved Sudokus You Could Trade For Heroin”
The AARP’s definition of bitcoin reminds me of The Andychrist’s tongue-in-cheek definition of bitcoin on Twitter. Earlier this summer, The Andychrist (@Theophite) tweeted the following when someone asked how bitcoin works:
“Imagine if keeping your car idling 24/7 produced solved Sudokus you could trade for heroin.”
That tweet has since been repeated across the crypto community as a way to explain bitcoin to technologically-illiterate people.
The AARP also felt the need to define terms like “asset allocation” for seniors. They did a better job of defining asset allocation than they did for bitcoin. Here’s how they defined asset allocation:
“A fancy way of asking, “How much of my investments should I have in stocks versus bonds or other stuff?”— a crucial question for retirement investors. Not sure of the answer? Buy a target-date fund for your IRA or 401(k); the fund’s managers will make that decision for you based on when you’ll need the money.”
Unfortunately, the AARP followed up on their disastrous definition of bitcoin with an equally-terrible definition for blockchain:
“A different bunch of computer code containing an unalterable record of a series of transactions. The most famous is a digital ledger recording all bitcoin transfers…A word often uttered by companies hoping to snare investors’ attention – and dollars.”
I mean, the AARP starts with a decent definition of blockchain, and then it destroys any credibility with the second sentence. Like it or not, blockchain is a legitimate tool that is already integrated into commercial banks and financial institutions worldwide – and adoption shows no signs of slowing down.
The AARP is comparing blockchain with “snake oil” or the “Dot Com” boom. Yes, there are plenty of scams out there, but there’s also legitimate potential behind blockchain technology. By dismissing the entire industry as a scam, the AARP is doing disservice to the technology.
Ultimately, the AARP has 38 million members across the country. Nearly 1 in 10 Americans belong to the organization. The things the AARP says matter – and clearly, what they’re saying about bitcoin and blockchain is that they don’t matter, will never matter in the future, and will fade into obscurity just like kids don’t play with Pogs anymore.