Only 1.5 billion of the world’s eight billion people speak English natively or as a second language. Bitcoin’s whitepaper, major literature, and icons are mostly written or spoken in English. This does not correspond to the appropriate framework for global adoption. Bitcoin content must be translated into other languages in order to achieve hyperbitcoinization. Let’s look at how far Bitcoin has been translated around the world.
Translating Bitcoin to world languages is increasing its reach and inclusivity. People who do not speak English can now learn, comprehend, and use Bitcoin in their native language. Even though translators have not been able to reach the entire world, the Bitcoin whitepaper, books about Bitcoin, Bitcoin wallets, and documentation are all included in the translations.
Bitcoin.org, which was established on August 18, 2008, is the most prolific website for Bitcoin content. Satoshi Nakamoto and Martti Malmi founded it as an open-source project to aid in the development of Bitcoin. The website is now available in 29 languages thanks to volunteer translations from the Bitcoin community, allowing people to learn more about Bitcoin in their own languages.
One of the challenges facing global Bitcoin translation is the incentive. Bitcoin does not have a marketing team, leadership, or funds to support its own global translation. Bitcoin translators are either funded by blockchain companies, donors, or volunteers looking to help their communities understand and adopt Bitcoin.
If the person or organization funding the Bitcoin translation is profit-driven, it will generally target a language with a large population. This excludes smaller communities that share a language.
While the world has over 7,111 spoken languages, Bitcoin content has only been translated into under 50 languages today. The major ones are Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, French, Arabic, Bengali, Russian, Portuguese, and Indonesian.
According to the visual investing website Visual Capitalist, approximately 43% of the global population is bilingual. This implies that there are a significant number of bilingual speakers who can access Bitcoin content via the small number of Bitcoin translations that are currently available. The remaining population is still locked out due to a language barrier.
Africa has the world’s youngest population and the highest mobile money usage. Some African countries are experiencing unimaginable currency depreciation, making Bitcoin adoption necessary for such communities to protect their purchasing power. For example, Malawi devalued its currency by 25% two weeks ago, causing a significant increase in prices. In 2012, the same currency was devalued by 33 percent.
If people living in these regions understood Bitcoin, they would dump their fiat currencies and use it to store and preserve value while reclaiming their sovereignty. Over half of the world’s population lives in regions with unstable currencies, dictatorships, high inflation, and unstable political environments. These people need Bitcoin as soon as possible.
Bitcoin Mtaani, founded by Guantai Kathurima, is a Kenyan startup focused on translating Bitcoin content into African languages in order to accelerate adoption. The Bitcoin whitepaper has already been translated into Swahili, Yoruba, Isizulu, and Lingala by the startup. The translations are presented in video presentation formats, allowing users to read and listen in their respective native languages.
Mtaani is a Swahili slang word for “neighborhood”. Bitcoin Mtaani aims to bring Bitcoin educational information to the neighborhood of African communities, especially the ones that cannot read or write in English. This education spans the Bitcoin whitepaper, how to buy Bitcoin, how to use Bitcoin, how to self-custody Bitcoin, and interviews with Bitcoin users and lawyers.
The Little Bitcoin Book
“The Little Bitcoin Book“was written by a group of seven authors led by Alex Gladstein, Chief Strategy Officer at the Human Rights Foundation, to help people understand what Bitcoin is, how it works, why it is valuable, and how it affects individual freedoms and opportunities. expand their reach, the team is using book sales profits to translate the book into more local languages.
The book is available in more than 20 different languages. The most recent translation was in Tigrinya to assist Eritreans in reading and understanding Bitcoin in their native tongue.
Exonumia is an African startup that has translated 12 Bitcoin-related articles into 27 African languages, as well as Nik Bhatia’s book “Layered Money: From Gold and Dollars to Bitcoin and Central Bank Digital Currencies.“
The translations are free for African communities to read and understand in their native languages. Exonumia is currently looking to translate “The Bitcoin Standard“book by Saifedean Ammous into Swahili.
Transifex is a globalization management system that aids in the translation of website content into multiple languages. The website was instrumental in uniting the Bitcoin community by translating the Bitcoin Core wallet into 154 global languages and the entire Bitcoin.org website into 75 languages. Please keep in mind that some languages have been fully translated, while others have only been partially translated and need more community input to be finished.
If you have Bitcoin content that you want to translate into various languages, Transifex might be your go to app.
Neatnik LLC is a small design and development firm that translated the Bitcoin whitepaper into braille in order to help people with vision impairment read and understand Bitcoin. Back in 2017, Neatnik created tactile diagrams to help visually impaired people fully comprehend the Bitcoin whitepaper.
The Bitcoin community is extremely cohesive and eager to collaborate in order to achieve the Bitcoin promise of global freedom money. It quickly supports Bitcoin content translation through donations and volunteer work. Sometimes, they make a proposal to an author through a tweet.
This rapid translation could be the driving force behind the rising number of peer-to-peer transactions in the developing world. Can you find Bitcoin content in a language other than English if you are multilingual?
Disclosure: I own bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.