Social media is one of the primary initiators of Professor Henry Jenkins’ concept of ‘participatory culture’, which has enabled people to become ‘prosumers’. The term ‘prosumer’ is a portmanteau of the words consumer and producer, meaning that social media has contributed to its users being able to produce and consume content freely. This has led to the development of the internet, ultimately creating the iteration of web 2 – an era of the internet that has permitted the use of participatory culture.
Ever since the emergence of cryptocurrencies in 2009, internet theorists and enthusiasts have discussed the potential inception of a new era online, an iteration uninspiringly referred to as web 3. The term ‘web 3’ originated from Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood in 2014, and the idea became popularised by journalists across the globe in 2021. The question arises – how do social media outlets (initiators to web 2) contribute to the progression of web 3?…
How Social Media Has Helped Advance Crypto
When Bitcoin (BTC) came into its infancy back in 2009, it brought something to the internet that had as yet not been discovered. BTC is described as a peer-to-peer network online currency, permitting transactions to occur without the involvement of an intermediary to facilitate them. Its purpose was to provide people with a platform where “online payments can be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution” – something stated by Bitcoin’s anonymous founder, who goes under the alias ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’. Bitcoin being the first cryptocurrency, it has pioneered the way for other blockchain networks. Taking elements of bitcoin’s blueprint, they have Frankenstein their own iterations to varying degrees of success.
Social media is a definitive factor in increasing the popularity and value of Bitcoin in recent years. Less than a decade ago, Bitcoin was worth 0.06 cents. According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Centre in 2021, more than half of Twitter users receive news from social media in the U.S – undoubtedly leading to the momentous rise of digital currency. Additionally, one of the most prominent social media platforms – Facebook, uses advertisements to reach a large audience. As of 11 July 2022, BTC is worth an eye-bulging $20,000.
The Influence of Social Media in Crypto Culture
Social media has also prompted the creation of memes, which have now transcended the world of crypto with the creation of meme coins. Meme coins refer to cryptocurrencies that are based on a viral image on the internet. The first meme coin to come into existence is Dogecoin (DOGE), which is based on the 2013 ‘doge’ meme that shows a Shiba Inu dog glancing at a camera surrounded by written monologues.
Big Eyes Coin (BIG) is a new meme coin entry into the crypto market, taking clear influence from Japanese culture by exhibiting a manga-designed cat mascot with adorable orbital eyes. By employing a cute feline as its figurehead, Big Eyes Coin has distinguished itself from other meme coins that traditionally use dogs as their mascots, such as Dogecoin (DOGE), Shiba Inu, and Floki Inu. Big Eyes Coin plans to conserve a vital part of the world’s ecosystem while concurrently bringing affluence to the decentralised finance (DeFi) ecosystem. The blockchain network plans to have a designated crypto wallet, where donations are made directly towards ocean sanctuaries. A philanthropic approach to a usually capitalist endeavour. According to an article published by Euro Weekly News, Big Eyes Coin plans to have their NFT collection explode into the top ten rankings, hosting NFT events seasonally.
It is undeniable that social media has permitted the growth of cryptocurrencies and aided the advancement of blockchain technology through various platforms’ consistent promotion. Most people get their crypto news from various social media outlets and internet forums. If these social media platforms continue to supply the public with information, it will not only influence people’s crypto purchases but also lead society to the normalization of using digital currencies daily – culminating in the arrival of web 3.
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