How to onboard your folks to crypto #1: from gold to petroyuan and de-dollarization

History of money is a very sensitive and controversial story that shows us the dark side of human nature through centuries till modern times

Sam Aiken
Sam Aiken
Jul 9, 2019 · 25 min read

How to onboard your folks to crypto:

  1. Modern financial system from gold to de-dollarization (current)
  2. Debunking misconceptions about crypto deflation
  3. How not to lose your money when entering a crypto market
  4. How to choose the core holdings of a crypto portfolio
  5. Satellite holdings and rebalancing of a crypto portfolio (coming soon)

Disclosure: I own BTC, ETH, BCH, and other coins, but my portfolio is heavily diversified, so I don’t have financial incentives to shill for any particular coin. This article is brought to you by a privacy-oriented peer-to-peer marketplace LocalCryptos.

Table Of Contents


Have you heard that Bitcoin is backed by nothing and it’s a pure speculation?

Were your friends interested in cryptocurrencies during a price spike, but completely lost any interest during a bear market?

Did you try to explain your parents how to use a crypto wallet, but then gave up after a few tries?

Well, we’ve all been there. We’ve all had those dinner conversations, trying to convince our friends or relatives that crypto will change the world and revolutionize the whole financial industry, but all we heard back is that Bitcoin has no value, it’s a pure speculation, scam, bubble or pump & dump scheme.

To help you debunk these misconceptions, I’ve decided to write down a step-by-step guide that will increase your chances to successfully onboard your relatives and friends to crypto.

First of all, we have to set realistic goals. Of course, we want to onboard everybody to crypto “today”, because “now” is the best time to buy and start using crypto for payments, right? However, it’s almost impossible to convert a person overnight, because everybody have biases and stereotypes, especially, older people, who tend to be more conservative, less tech-savvy and are often brainwashed by corporate media or state-sponsored propaganda.

So… don’t rush. Be ready to have multiple conversations with the same people over a period of weeks, months or even years. Persistence is the key.

Keep in mind that people might take a very defensive position if you push them too hard. In that case it’s important to step back, give them more space, and wait until they will be more interested in crypto again (that usually correlates with price spikes and media coverage). In the mean time you can learn some persuasion skills, or research more about crypto to become a much stronger crypto advocate.

Be persistent, but not obsessed.

This article contains lots of external links, so if you’re fairly new to crypto, then you won’t be able to fill in all the knowledge gaps in one day. However, you can still participate in crypto-related discussions with people around you. Just try to come back to this article once in awhile, and check what topics you have to research more. You can either bookmark this article or remember the title, so you can always find it via search engine.

Here are the main steps all crypto advocates should be able to do:

  • initiate a crypto discussion
  • motivate people to learn about crypto
  • give strong fundamental background of fiat money
  • explain the main benefits of cryptocurrencies
  • explain how to store and transfer crypto
  • teach how to buy crypto or just give them some for free
  • explain why dollar-cost-average is a safer strategy than a lump sum
  • motivate them to pay in crypto whenever it’s possible

How to begin a crypto discussion

However, the best time to onboard is during a bear market, when prices and transaction fees are low, and network congestion is unlikely. The problem is that most people have a very low interest in crypto during a bear market, so you will have to make sure that you know all the bases and can hold a conversation.

Starting a crypto discussion by yourself can be a bit risky and you can face lots of resistance, so it’s safer to slowly move an existent discussion to topics such as investment, diversification, decentralization, democracy, or blockchain, and then shift it to crypto.

Here are some simple examples:

  • “I’ve recently read about stock market and real estate bubbles, Chinese ghost cities, as well as market cycles. Do you follow that?”
  • “Yes, I was also researching how to diversify my assets and possibly hedge against next recession. Can you recommend anything?”
  • “I’ve heard that blockchain technologies can improve voting, decrease corruption and make budgeting more transparent by allowing citizens to oversee government spending records. What do you think about that?”
  • “Have you seen an episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver about cryptocurrencies? I was laughing my ass off.”

Motivate people to learn about crypto

However, although high possible gains can be a good start, it’s not a good long-term motivation, because most people won’t have such crazy gains anymore, and don’t forget about high risks associated with crypto. Ideally, people should understand that there are many other benefits of learning about crypto, e.g.:

  • They can diversify their portfolio to hedge against fiat inflation, real estate bubble collapse, stock market crash, global recession, etc.
  • They will learn new tech, which is good for brain health (especially, for old people)
  • They will become a part of crypto community and will be able to participate in crypto-related discussions both online and offline
  • They will get an access to fast cheap privacy-oriented cross-boarder transactions
  • They will contribute to global effort to free people from central banks and oppressive regimes

This article is brought to you by a privacy-oriented peer-to-peer self-custodial end-to-end encrypted marketplace LocalCryptos, where you can buy & sell cryptocurrencies for fiat money. To start trading, create a new password-protected account or log in with your favorite wallet such as Ledger, MetaMask, or mobile apps like imToken.

History of money

“Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws.” © allegedly Mayer Amschel Rothschild

Once you got some attention, it’s time to show your A-game and explain that fiat money are not ‘backed’ by gold, or oil, or an economy of a country of issuance, because the whole financial system has already shifted away from commodity or representative money to electronic fiat money that is not backed by anything since 1971. Modern money is just papers or digits in the databases that people agreed to accept as a means of exchange and store of value.

So how can we explain that to our folks and friends?

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a professor, because telling people the whole history of money in details will often make them feel bored (I’ve been there multiple times). However, there are some crucial concepts one should know in order to hold a conversation:

And here are the most important events and connections we should be able to explain to everybody:

Gold & silver

We should be able to explain what are the commodity money, why silver and gold have value (portable, durable, divisible, fungible, limited in quantity), and how they maintained their purchasing power through the history while fiat currencies have all gone to zero.

How governments debased coinage for deficit spending on wars and public works, so all gold & silver coins disappeared from circulation, because people tend to spend what’s common and keep what’s rare (Gresham’s law). And how that led to the rise of market prices of goods and services. This concept is also a key to understanding how US exports inflation to other countries (more about that in the chapter about quantitative easing).

Paper money

What is a bank run and how central banks act as lenders of last resort for commercial banks. We should be able to explain the shift from banknotes issued by commercial banks to national banknotes issued by central banks, which gave more convenience to people, but also centralized the issuance of money.

Rise of US dollar as world reserve currency

Source: ZeroHedge

It’s important to explain that in 1933, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt prohibited export of gold and forced Americans to deliver their gold to the Federal Reserve in exchange for dollars in order to fight deflation caused by the Great Depression. That accumulated lots of gold in the vaults of the Federal Reserve and allowed the U.S. government to pay its debts in dollars, not gold.

We should tell our folks that many governments suspended a strict gold standard, because they were printing lots of money unbacked by gold to finance their war efforts during World War I and World War II, which led to huge inflation. And how most economies were turned toward war, converting farmers to soldiers, switching from cars production to tanks production, while the U.S. accumulated huge gold reserves exporting food, goods, and warfare machines to Allied nations, which often paid in gold or other minerals.

How currencies of Western European countries, Canada, Australia and Japan have been tied to the US dollar due to the Bretton Woods agreement of 1944.

How Korean and Vietnam wars’ expenses contributed to weakening of the dollar, so other nations started losing confidence in the currency, suspecting that the U.S. printed far more dollars than they had gold to back. As a result, in 1965, France and Switzerland both sent much of their USD reserves to the states for conversion into gold.

That forced the U.S. to unilaterally pull out of the Bretton Woods agreement, abandoning Gold Exchange Standard, which resulted in depreciation of the dollar and OPEC’s statement that they would price oil in terms of a fixed amount of gold.

Source: wikipedia

Petrodollar. Deal with Saudis.

Why many developed countries were forced to hold large amounts of USD in order to continue importing oil, and how that created a consistent demand for USDs, regardless of economic conditions of the U.S., allowing the U.S. government to run high budget deficits.

How Saddam Hussein started selling oil for euros in 2000, but then Iraq returned the denomination of its oil sales back to the US dollar after the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003. How Gaddafi was planning to sell oil for gold dinars and how the U.S. invaded Libya for crimes against humanity, so now the country sells oil only for dollars and has open slave markets as a bonus.

Let’s recap, OPEC countries were forced to sell oil for USD only, which created a constant demand for USDs across the world, allowing US to print dollars for deficit spending without runaway inflation.


Source: ChrisMartensondotcom

How the U.S. government with a help of Treasury creates bonds (IOUs) and, using banks as middleman, sells these bonds to the Federal Reserve, which creates money out of thin air. How the government then spends money on social programs, public works, and wars. How those money are then deposited into the banks and that the vast majority of money is created not by the government, but by the fractional reserve banking system, which expands money supply by ten fold, creating money out of debt, because money gets redeposited and relent over and over again. Side note: some analysts claim that fractional reserve is a myth and that banks make loans far ahead of reserve requirements.

Why inflation is a form of taxation, a result of debt-based monetary system. How currency is losing its purchasing power during high inflation, so people want to buy goods as soon as possible, increasing the velocity of money, which drives the inflation even higher. I.e., higher prices lead to expectations of higher prices, which lead to even higher prices.

Why mortgages can lead to rising home prices, because consumers will have more money to bid up the prices for goods and services, causing demand-pull inflation. And how low interest rates and speculation contribute to creating even bigger bubbles, because the price of an object is determined by market expectations, rather than by its intrinsic value (the greater fool theory).

How US Treasury bills (T-bills) have a significant impact on the risk premium charged by investors across the entire market, because they act as the safest investment, so other investments have to offer a risk premium in the form of higher returns.

2008 global financial crisis

Source: macrotrends

How in early 2000s, after the dot-com bubble, the Federal Reserve significantly lowered interest rates (Federal Funds Rate) from 6% to 1% in order to fight recession, giving people an access to cheap credit and incentivizing Wall Street to use lots of leverage for their risky deals.

Source: macrotrends

How large financial institutions (Wall Street) took advantage of low interest rates and started borrowing billions of dollars to buy thousands of individual mortgages in order to bundle them together into mortgage-backed securities (MBSs) and collateral debt obligations (CDOs) and then sell them to big investors. And how credit ratings agencies were telling investors that these MBSs and CDOs were safe investments with AAA rating.

How banks were selling mortgage debts to Wall Street, rather than holding by themselves for 30 years, so they loosen their standards and issued loans even to people with very low credit score (subprime mortgages), which increased demand and drove housing prices even higher.

How unregulated over-the-counter derivatives such as credit default swaps (CDSs) allowed speculators to bet large money on whether the value of mortgage securities would go up or down. And how financial institutions such as AIG provided those CDSs without sufficient capital reserves to pay the swap insurance.

How from 2003 to 2006 the housing market was in a classic speculative bubble, because home loans were easy to get, so more people were buying houses. The increased demand for houses caused prices to increase, which created even more demand, as people started to see homes as low-risk investments.

How the housing bubble burst in 2007 when many home owners defaulted on their mortgages, putting lots of houses back on the market for sale, creating more supply, so house prices crashed. As prices fell, many borrowers suddenly had a mortgage for more than their home was worth, so they also defaulted, pushing prices further down. As a result, lenders, large financial institutions and big investors were stuck with bad loans.

Source: macrotrends

How the fear spread across the economy, so companies couldn’t borrow money for their needs on commercial paper market, because nobody wanted to lend money. As a result, many companies filed bankruptcy or shut down some business activities, leading to a rise of unemployment. Consumers’ confidence fell down, so people started hoarding instead of spending, dramatically decreasing velocity of money.

Source: wikipedia

How the largest US investment banks either went bankrupt (Lehman Brothers), or were sold to other banks, or were bailed out by the government with emergency loans (TARP). How trading and credit markets froze, stock market crashed, leading to a global recession that crashed demand for fuel.

Source: tradingview

We should explain to our folks that large financial institutions were bailed out from their own greed and bad management without paying the cost for bad decisions. That created a dangerous precedent, because if big banks know that they will be bailed out by the government in case of a catastrophe, they have incentives to make risky bets with lots of leverage. If they succeed, then rich people will become even more rich, but if they fail, the Fed will bail them out at the inflationary expenses of the lower classes.

Quantitative easing

It’s important to explain how the Fed, trying to prevent the next depression, flooded an economy with money created out of thin air by giving out emergency loans to financial institutions and buying troubled assets such as mortgage-backed securities (MBSs).

Source: ChrisMartensondotcom

In other words, quantitative easing is just a fancy name for massive fiat currency printing to encourage landing and investment, so the U.S. expanded their monetary base from $850 billion to $4 trillion from 2008 to 2014.

Source: FRED

However, even though the Fed was pumping money in the financial system, the majority of that freshly printed $3 trillion were not available for the mainstream in the form of new loans, but rather ended up in Fed excess reserves, earning 0.25% interest.

Source: FRED

We should explain to our folks that QE is the largest monetary fiscal experiment in the human history, and that risk assets became addicted to cheap money, so the Fed has to continue pumping money into the economy in order to prevent a potential economic turmoil.

At this point your folks might ask you why runaway inflation didn’t show up in US yet. Well, there are a few explanations to that:

  1. Velocity of money significantly decelerated (e.g., Fed excess reserves increased), because people were afraid to lend or spend money. However, once economy starts to recover, people will become more confident and thus less money will end up in Fed excess reserves, which can trigger a high inflation.
  2. There was lots of technological innovation in the last decade, which is very deflationary (e.g., smartphones become cheaper every day).
  3. Skyrocketing prices of stocks, bonds and real estate are also a form of inflation, meaning that money is losing its real value, so we already experience high inflation, but it’s not so obvious for an average consumer. Fun fact: US and UK don’t include house prices in inflation calculation. This allows governments to state that cost of living is not rising, because inflation stays low, even though house prices are skyrocketing.
  4. Since there is high demand for dollars across the world, US frequently exports inflation to other countries. How does it happen? US imports real goods and resources from a developing country in exchange for USDs, so many dollars end up in the local economy of that country. Since people are generally more confident in USD than in local currency, they start to hoard USDs (Gresham’s law), while local currency ends up on the market, decreasing the purchasing power of that currency, leading to higher inflation and potentially to full currency substitution. For example, global food prices skyrocket after 2008, spurring the Arab Spring.
Source: FAO

It’s important to point out that quantitative easing has greatly increased asset prices. Since most assets are owned by the most wealthiest people, it’s fair to say that QE made rich people even richer, leading to social unrest.

System of control

We can also explain that under the traditional democratic theory, if the government wishes to expand its activities, it has to ask the citizens to increase tax payments, so the citizens have a control over the government agencies. However, in the era of central banks and fiat money, governments can print out money (or increase its debt) for public spending without a consent of citizens, slowly shifting from democracy to tyranny. It’s also important to mention that in the times of deflation issuance of debt goes down because the value of debt increases.

Education material

I’d also suggest to watch the first 6–7 episodes of Hidden Secrets of Money series (3 hours) by Mike Maloney.

And if you want a shorter version, The History of Paper Money series (50 mins) will give you a basic understanding of many concepts mentioned above.



We should explain how US dollar dominates global economy. How money became a system of control and how many countries joined de-dollarization movement in order to bypass dollar-based economic sanctions: Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, North Korea, Pakistan, Turkey, China and others.

Source: ZeroHedge

How Turkey and Russia are dumping US Treasurys, and buying gold instead. How over 40% of the US on-budget deficit went simply to pay $325 billion in interest on previously-issued debt, and this number is set to explode higher in the coming years.

Source: ZeroHedge

How Russia and China are developing their own version of SWIFT to allow cross-border financial transactions among thousands of banks. And how EU is developing a euro-based international payment system independent of SWIFT.

Source: DW

Side note: I don’t support dictators who oppress their own people and abuse human rights. We are focusing on economics and finance in this article, so we will skip many topics such as dirty wars, petroleum cartels, and military-industrial complex. However, it’s important to discuss a few major political events in order to better understand why US dollar is losing its status of international currency.

“America is great if you’re American. America is horrible if you’re from somewhere else.” © Scott Horton


How US helped the Shah to repress any dissidents, until he was deposed by the Islamic revolution of 1979. How US imposed first economic sanctions against Iran during the hostage crisis when Iranian students seized US embassy, fearing that US could try to interfere again to overthrow the revolution.

Jimmy Dore: WTF is Iran doing in the middle of our military bases? Iran is being aggressive with us!

How Iran stopped selling oil for US dollars, weakening the petrodollar hegemony, while US surrounded Iran with military bases and continuously increased sanctions until nuclear deal in 2015. And how Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal in 2018 and announced new sanctions, so even EU tried to nullify US sanctions on countries trading with Iran, and to protect EU businesses from US sanctions.

Source: statista

How in 2019 the U.S. threatened to sanction countries continuing to buy oil from Iran, including major consumers such as China, India, and Turkey, so India started negotiating with Iran to pay for oil in Indian rupees in order to bypass US sanctions, damaging dollar’s status of international currency.


How republicans constantly ignore the devastating consequences of US sanctions and drop of global oil prices on Venezuela’s economy, but repeatedly blame socialism for Venezuela’s calamity in order to win more votes against democratic socialists in 2020 US elections. And how Western corporate media paints the US-led right-wing coup as legitimate in order to justify the regime change, erasing non-white nations as members of the international community.

How China heavily invested in Venezuela with a special deal to be paid back not with money, but with oil. How China also sells weapons and riot-control gear to Venezuela to support the regime. How Russia issued a loan to Venezuela with US-based oil company Citgo as a collateral, supplied weapons and started building up military presence in the country.

How Venezuela started selling oil in Chinese yuan, Indian rupee, Russian rubble, and Japanese yen, further weakening the dollar’s dominance in the oil industry. And how Russian government helped Venezuela launch its own cryptocurrency petro to circumvent US sanctions.

Important side note: it’s worth mentioning that petro didn’t get any significant adoption so far, and was mostly labeled as scam in cryptocurrency community. However, it’s a strong evidence that even though authoritarian countries such as China, Russia, and Iran, are not interested in decentralized money, because that will decrease their control over own population; these governments still support cryptocurrencies, because cryptos can potentially disrupt the dollar’s hegemony, and help bypass U.S. sanctions. E.g., the head of Russian oil giant Rosneft has recently stated that cryptocurrencies could be used to buy oil in the future.

Saudi Arabia

How Saudi Arabia threatened to sell oil in currencies other than dollar if US passes the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act (NOPEC), which will make international oil cartels illegal, exposing OPEC members to US antitrust lawsuits.

Source: statista

How US, despite rising anti-Saudi sentiment, didn’t cancel arm sales to Saudi Arabia over human rights concerns even after a murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul. And how Donald Trump vetoed a bill passed by Congress to end US military assistance in Saudi-led war against Iran-backed rebels in Yemen, which already killed thousands of civilians and inflicted a devastating famine. And how China signed multiple huge deals with Saudi Arabia, trying to replace US as the regional power.

Side note: the purpose of the paragraph above is not to portray any country as a poor evil, but rather to show that there is a growing tension between US and Saudi Arabia, which can potentially lead to a divorce that will greatly influence dollars hegemony and can trigger global economic turmoil.

“CHINA!” © Donald Trump


Source: ZeroHedge

“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by sword. The other is by debt.” © John Adams

How China rapidly expands its empire via Belt and Road Initiative using the same techniques as US did: military escalation, meddling in foreign elections, massive bribes, and debt-trap diplomacy in order to:

Source: VisualPolitik

How anti-China sentiment spread across the western media over allegations of unfair trade practices, intellectual property theft, Huawei’s ties to Chinese intelligent agencies, massive espionage, internet traffic hijacking, cyber attacks, internet censorship, export of mass surveillance technologies, huge protests in Hong Kong, status of Taiwan, aggression in South China Sea, environmental concerns, exit bans and human rights abuses such as political kidnapping, widespread torture, oppression of Tibetans, detention of one million Uighurs in internment camps, forced organ harvesting, persecution of Falun Gong practitioners and other religious groups, creation of a surveillance state, and suppression of dissidents (even with foreign passports) across the globe.

Source: VisualPolitik

How the world’s biggest oil importer, China, launched the first crude oil futures contracts priced in Chinese yuan (RMB) as an attempt to challenge dollar’s domination in the industry and establish an Asian benchmark that will reflect Chinese consumption demand patterns. And how China and its biggest oil supplier, Russia, are actively reducing dependence on the dollar in bilateral trade.

Source: VisualPolitik

Update: ambassadors from 22 countries signed a letter to the U.N. Human Rights Council criticizing China’s detention camps in Xinjiang and massive persecution of Uighurs. In response, 37 countries supported China’s policies in Xinjiang. The letter to U.N. was signed by ambassadors from Saudi Arabia, Russia, many African countries, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Belarus, Myanmar, the Philippines, Syria, Pakistan, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

22 versus 37

This clearly shows that China already has more influence than western countries led by U.S. It also worth mentioning that most of the countries that backed China in U.N. has already joined Belt and Road initiative.

Education material

Joe Rogan’s talks with Tulsi Gabbard and Abby Martin are a good source of information about current US domestic & foreign policy; the Tatiana Show’s episode with Scott Horton will inform you about Iran, Venezuela, and the Middle East; while Steve Mosher will introduce you to China.

Since corporate media is heavily subsidized by oil companies, banks, and defense contractors, it’s hard to get unbiased news, but you can follow some relatively independent content creators, e.g.:

Global: VisualPolitik, The Grayzone, Moderate Rebels

US: The Jimmy Dore Show, Empire Files

China: China Uncensored, ADVChina

However, there are no completely neutral news outlets, so always do your own research. For example, The Grayzone and Moderate Rebels are great at exposing US imperialism, but they are often biased toward China, especially regards to HK protests.


You will definitely impress your folks by the amount of knowledge you have, so they will give you more credibility once you’ll start explaining how crypto can help us solve there issues by separating money from the state and enabling fast privacy-oriented cross-boarder transactions outside of bank/state control. More on that in the next few articles of this series.

If you want to see more candid articles about crypto, please share this article, retweet, or donate here, that will definitely speed up the process. And don’t forget to bookmark this article, so you can revisit it later.

Highly informed and educated public can build a better future.

Disclaimer: I am not a licensed financial advisor, and this article is not a financial advice. The information presented here is for educational purpose only, it represents my personal opinion, and is not purported to be fact. Cryptocurrencies are very volatile and can move quickly in any direction. I’m not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods, services or companies mentioned in this article. Seek a duly licensed professional for an investment advice.

If you’ve decided to invest in crypto assets, consider reading the next article to avoid most common mistakes that amateur investors make.

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