The Nagging Babies of Blockchain

Despite being a gathering of some of the universe’s most intelligent people in one industry space at a time, it isn’t bereft of “hanky pankies”, drama queens and sheer ridiculousness. The Blockchain industry and ecosystem has attracted and continues to attract the best of the best, but it is also sometimes plagued with in-fighting that can be likened to ‘unexplained childishness.’

Differences in opinions, ideologies and visions are to be expected in every organisational set-up or human institution, afterall, the best products come about as a result of jaw-jawing and bouncing ideas off great minds. However, these have too often descended into a clash of ego and even sometimes transcended intellectual levels into the gutters and downright to what is tantamount to sheer stupidity.

Some people in the space believe that their ideas and stance are so sacrosanct and as such it is sacrilege to contradict them. They believe that they have earned the right to ‘Blockchain Papacy status’ due to their relatively longer years of presence in the space. Some even claim to have been in the inner circles and workings of the father of modern day Blockchain, Satoshi Nakamoto himself!

Truth is some of these braising differences in opinion have sometimes led to the springing up of new products and Blockchain networks and we have even gotten some interesting ideas out of them, but majority of the times, the industry comes out worse off. At a time when synergies should be the aim to help drive adoption through the creation of use-cases, the “lords of the space” will rather want their egos massaged whiles raising their self-righteous noses in the air!

For Example…

BCH Versus BSV

In my opinion, the most ridiculous of all the in-fighting, was the recent one that occurred in the last quarter of 2018 where the Bitcoin Cash Team (BCH) engaged in a show of “who-is-who” that resulted in the creation of the BSV chain. This easily avoidable spectacle resulted in the wiping off of as much as 50% (about $100 billion) from the crypto-market – Imagine that…

The fighting between BCH team led by Roger Ver and Craig Wright (who grandiosely claims to be Satoshi) now of BSV was just an absolutely needless show of d…. Can’t we just all get along for the betterment of the industry? When we have real-life deliberate enemies of progressive tech like Nouriel Roubini out there?

BCH Versus BTC

Another one is when the same Roger Ver alongside Jihan Wu thought that believers in the real Bitcoin (BTC) as it is were daft and as such they needed to lead a fork of the Bitcoin Core chain and get BCH. Even though this did not wipe anything off the crypto market (in fact it added to the bullish run of 2017), it was absolutely needless because it only helped to divide the ranks further and gave crypto-naysayers more arsenal to attack.Admittedly, those holding BTC then turned up to become sheer beneficiaries of free BCH coins (free monies). Those of us at the right side of history (I will want to so believe) knew that the fork of 1st August, 2017 was wrong – that notwithstanding, we kept our BCH. Some few months later however, I switched my BCH for BTC because after the fork, Roger and his team instead of concentrating on helping to drive adoption for the digital asset, put more energy into fighting and threatening Bitcoin Core. I simply could not understand how a pioneer of this industry will have enough time on his hands dabble in tangential issues when we are many years behind other techs by way of adoption, and despite impressive valuation, we are still behind fiat in terms of use. I even had to write about this in January, 2018

And to cap this, the last couple of months have been a deeply depressing bear market, but BCH holders have been some of the most hit as the currency has taken a faster nose-dive than the market average.

The Self-Righteous

The self-righteous ones like Austin Alexander of Kraken who go about discrediting some sects of the industry in the belief that only those playing in his sect are worthy, when in truth, many sects of Blockchain come together to make the space thrive. I had to address his less-than-tasteful remark during the World Blockchain Summit in Dubai in November last year through a piece I penned after the conference. He voices opinions that suggests that he does not believe in the Blockchain-fund-raising space, but funny enough about half the assets traded on the Kraken exchange are products of ICOs… is that hypocritical or is that hypocritical?

Yes, the ICO space has been ‘froth’ with some unscrupulous persons trying to pull a fast one on the ignorant, but the space keeps evolving and developing like fine wine and these ne’er-do-goods keep getting pruned out.

Social media over core development

We seem to tweet more than we work. I might be wrong, but I seem to see relatively too much tweets from people who should be leading the way than actual visible developments. True, I will surely not be preview to a lot of their project’s developments first hand, but the Ethereum Constantinople hard fork has been put off one too many times to have Vitalik tweet this much – my opinion tho.

Mr. Buterin is a genius, and truth be told, all those new smart contract Blockchains draw their inspiration from Ethereum, but we need to fix the ETH, we need reduced inflation. And are we really going to do this Proof-of-Stake (PoS) thing? If we are, then we should get to it once and for all.

It is however important to commend the Ethereum community thus far as it seems that it has largely run on consensus even in the most difficult of times and they have less in-fighting as opposed to the Bitcoin community. Some might want to claim that ETH is more centralized than made to seem, but I believe that consensus, team work and understanding are very powerful tools and even decentralized networks can move along in-sync once you have these ingredients on lock.

Bitcoin maximalists

Bitcoin maximalists who believe that all crypto-enthusiasts should hold only Bitcoin are another sect of people we can liken to fanatics. These ones go on to propagate a gospel that all altcoins are worthless and often lump them together as a basket of sh*tcoins.

We all love Bitcoin, in fact without Bitcoin, majority of us in the space will not know what Blockchain was or is. Most people get into the space owning Bitcoin as their first cryptocurrency, this however does not negate the fact that other currencies have helped to play and continue to play their role in giving us a more robust industry and much needed diverse ecosystem. Team members of altcoins have done many remarkable things across industry and they keep on playing lead roles in ensuring that the world gets a taste of this technology we are all enjoying. The core Bitcoin community will need to learn and imbibe the benevolent act of tolerance.

It is true that at the moment, we have one too many digital currencies (1000s of cryptos is way too much), but this industry is still nascent and many of these coins will die off as the space takes shape. In fact we will first need more coins before the real pruning starts to happen. Projects in similar space will begin to form synergies and share same coin networks (this is a topic for another day), but until then, tolerance and togetherness is the way to go.

Charlie Lee and his Litecoins

And Charlie Lee of Litecoin (LTC)… in as much as he might have been trying to be an independent referee in the Litecoin ecosystem, his announcement that he had sold all is LTC positions so has not to be seen as ‘one with vested interest when he makes comments about Litecoin’ was a very wrong move. He might have meant well, but I will say that this single action of his is one of the reasons LTC has taken a big hit in spite of the bear market. A good number of people sold their LTC as soon as he made that announcement because it came across as a project leader who did not believe in his project enough to hold the coin. I am of the belief that he meant well, but I guess the market sentiments did not follow this belief.

Charlie, kindly go back and pick up some LTC.

Bickering, backbiting and inter-chain war mongering will not take us anywhere. These energies should be channelled into the creation of more viable and reliable networks and ultimately help to drive adoption.

Adoption is a more potent long-term value-creator than any Futures or ETF instrument we can ever see or dream of in the space.M

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