The Great Wall of Crypto Tribalism, or Crypto Community gone bad
Crypto tribalism is a double edged sword, piercing the Achilles heel of a silent revolution. It is a pawn to some and a poison to all.
what does tribalism have to do with crypto?
Tribalism is defined as the behaviour and attitudes that stem from strong loyalty to one’s own tribe or social group. This strong loyalty has pervaded the crypto sphere in both positive and negative ways. Tribalism in the crypto sphere can be observed on social media platforms where individuals are put down for their preference for one digital asset over the other. The debates over proof of work, proof of stake, decentralized, and centralised easily turn into wars of words which reflect the deeply ingrained psychology of crowds. Qualitative in its nature yet quantitative in its impact, crypto tribalism can be seen at work where a simple tweet by the leader of a ‘crypto tribe’ shaves prices off a cryptocurrency. Sure, it may be a momentary impact, lasting as short as 30 minutes but it is very telling of the sheer power of community in the crypto sphere.
As social animals, humans cannot help but form groups to complete activities. It’s what makes us who we are today. It’s why the human race has leaped across the spectrum of technological development. As the old saying goes, no tree can make a forest alone. Einstein may have not been Einstein without the physicists before him. Beethoven may have not been Beethoven without the early mentorship of his father, a conductor and composer. In the same vein, Satoshi Nakamoto and his revolutionary invention, Bitcoin, may not be in the history books of time without the aid of the early bitcoin community that helped develop the technology. Nick Szabo, the silent hero of the revolution, developed the concept of smart contracts even before Vitalik Buterin could bless the world with a new paradigm for business processes.
Crypto Community gone bad?
Despite these great displays of the positive power of community and teamwork, the crypto sphere finds its growth hampered (but not stopped) by the selfish desires for supremacy, monetary gain, and myopic ideologies. Over 2000 ‘cryptocurrencies’ exist and most of them do not work. Billions of dollars have been poured into the markets and drained out. There are various reasons for such failures but one of the most alarming is a divergence from the great need for togetherness within the crypto community.
A unification of vision would be of great aid to an industry, that now more than ever, needs to collaborate more. Tribalism may be traced to a thirst for power in some form. Yet, it is this thirst that may never be quenched. Other times, it may stem from a desire to retain power or at least maintain the equilibrium of a community. Crypto tribalism is a double edged sword. For some, crypto tribalism has kept out rogues but for others, inexperienced or unaware of the macro, crypto tribalism has opened the gates to trojan horses of the industry. Names should not be called but actions speak loud.
Crypto tribalism manifests itself in peer reviews (informal and formal) which can help to keep bad actors out of good communities but can also stifle the growth of a good community. A tribe may question the efficacy of a new proposition or ideology by a member. This can serve as a form of due diligence on new innovations within the community. It can serve to filter out bad actors who are in the community for monetary gain by any means possible. Yet, it can also deter good members from taking risks within the community or learning from mistakes. This is especially true when one considers that there are a lot of new people joining the crypto sphere.
where do we go from here?
As crazy as it may sound, the crypto sphere needs mergers and acquisitions of both technologies and communities that dissolve the borders of tribalism within it. Only then, can more collaborative efforts be made with more unified efforts that contribute to the progress of Satoshi’s vision. Crypto tribalism stands to deter promising community members from embracing blockchain technology for what it really is. Blockchain technology could foster a decentralised global network and community. The humans become the network itself. Crypto tribalism is an obstacle to such a world where technologies can be utilised to achieve transparency, certainty, and the benefits that stem from such achievements. In the words of @AristotleCrypto, “The square peg of tribalism cannot fit into the round hole of cryptocurrency so long as the fiat dragon has yet been slain.” Crypto is hear to stay. Hopefully, the great wall of crypto tribalism is