Being a successful graduate of Belarusian State Economic University (BSEU), Maria has acquired competencies in economic and social studies. Given Maria’s previous research working experience, and desire to explore what's really shaping the future, the main research focus is placed on FinTech and Blockchain Technology.
While still young blockchain and cryptocurrency industries foray into both eastern and western cultures, the clash between those cultures has become drastically more pronounced.
It’s no surprise to international travelers when they find themselves in uncomfortable situations. Travel is fun for the very reason that it puts people in places where they are culturally out of their element, and must enjoy and embrace what they find.
But there are also times when cultural differences are more than just a photoblog story of summer vacation. Cultural differences can have massive impacts on the way politics happen, and the flow of money and business around the world.
This has never been more true than in the crypto explosion that has occurred since the founding of Bitcoin in 2009. As the nascent blockchain and cryptocurrency industries have made inroads into both eastern and western cultures, the clash between those cultures has become drastically more pronounced.
The Gap Widens
As an illustration, take the recent debacle with Justin Sun and his bid to have lunch with Warren Buffett. Sun’s vacillations were shocking to westerners, as he invited a host of crypto influencers, only to cancel the trip. Needless to say, it appeared that Sun had effectively lost his mind with all the media attention (consider, he invited the sitting President of the United States to the lunch!).
In another culturally confusing moment, the Tron founder was willing to publicly deface himself, profusely apologizing for the international missteps that led up to the problems. Then, after all the waffling and posturing, Sun’s western communications director, Cliff Edwards, announced that the meeting had simply been postponed.
And this doesn’t even speak to the deepening issues facing east/west relations spurred on by tariffs set by Trump. The saber-rattling and threats have created an environment where the cultural differences are keeping both parties from even coming to the negotiating table – surely a sign of massive cultural dissonance.
And even if these areas weren’t enough, there are already cultural barriers that keep the east and west from fluid and meaningful cooperation as well.
Taken together, the situation looks hopeless, particularly for new cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based businesses seeking inroads into the Chinese market. With cultural, political, and social chaos in the relationship, new strategies must be found to help companies penetrate the eastern barrier.
However, in spite of the challenges, companies are finding new ways to gain a foothold in the Chinese market. And no wonder, given the massive amount of financial gain to be had in becoming a cryptocurrency of choice for Chinese users.
These new companies, like the recently minted BiKi exchange, are using social media platforms, and cultural influencers as inroads to Chinese consumers. BiKi’s WeChat follower base is some 200,000 strong, and the exchange is able to push information on new currency additions out to this base, effectively starting the PR management for its clients.
Additionally, the company is taking advantage of the growth of influencer culture in China. By reaching on to influencers with many millions of followers, the company is able to connect on another level with a segment of the Chinese population that is most likely to consider cryptocurrency use.
The basic reality for these firms is that, while the cultural divide may be wide, technology has a special way of speaking a global language. By reaching out through social media these companies are offering consumers access to technology that is otherwise difficult to find. Because technology is ubiquitous, consumers not only appreciate the additional access, they also spread the news of the new offerings to friends.
While the culture will likely remain diverse, the hope for international connection is effectively possible through this system. Only through the International language of technology will the east/west divide find closure. And, with blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies growing in influence, the complexity of these cultural divides may be moving in a positive direction.