Governments, journalists, experts, and more have issued or written guidance on how to understand bitcoin. But none of these guides are as helpful as Square’s new illustrated story about the birth of Bitcoin that even small children can understand.
The explainer, called “My First Bitcoin and the Legend of Satoshi Nakamoto” and titled in blazing ombre letters, uses colorful illustrations of machines and whirring gizmos to explain Bitcoin, all drawn by Square’s Cash App brand and design team. Satoshi Nakamoto refers to Bitcoin’s creator, about whom little is known.
The illustrations depict bitcoins as shiny letter Bs that can be chopped up into valuable fractions, kind of like a huge diamond. They’re made with “very complex math,” as explained by an illustration where computers with arms patch up a letter B while smiling. It goes on to cover exchanges, the blockchain, and even hints at the currency’s infamous volatility.
The illustrated guide to Bitcoin is surprisingly clear, if looking at Dr. Seuss-esque cartoons that bear no semblance to reality can make an increasingly complex subject more comprehensible. To be fair, none of the text in the guide is wrong (depending on how you feel about the gold standard), and it does come with a disclaimer at the bottom to “please make wise financial decisions.”
But, coupled with a shameless plug to use Square’s Cash App on iOS and Android to buy and sell bitcoin, “My First Bitcoin” might just be a dangerous gateway for more unknowing people to invest their money in a very risky and volatile coin without really understanding what they’re doing. As of this writing, bitcoin’s price is $9,950, marking its biggest monthly decline since January 2015.