For the crypto community, 2017 is marked by both astounding progress and disturbing imbroglio. Bitcoin has broken into the mainstream financial market with the launch of Chicagoan futures products. New investors flocked to exchanges unprepared for mainstream interest, bought up all kinds of coins and excitedly participated in conversations.
The crypto community may have never seen so many new curious members joining since Bitcoin’s inception in 2009. At the same time, the Bitcoin Cash hard fork pitted one part of the community against another, with anxious onlookers stuck in between. Governments are also beginning to watch the surge of investor interest with wariness.
Communication, governance necessary
Everything that happened last year, the good and the bad, should serve as a wakeup call for people that consider themselves part of the crypto community or even those who think they can just hodl some crypto, sit on the sidelines and watch. This is paradoxical considering the trustless nature of Blockchain, since making cryptocurrencies work requires communication, negotiation and ultimately governance. In fact, governance may be most important of all, as the canceled SegWit2x and the four-year scalability debate has shown. Even more ironic is that the crafting of a healthier ICO market may require anarchists to sit down with government officials.
So far, communication and the ability to work together is lacking in the cryptocurrency community. Instead, what we have are mysterious whales doing unknown things in the marketplace and Wild West pump-and-dump Telegram channels. Unifying voices are lonely and quickly drowned out.
While it’s probably wise to constantly look out for one’s own interest and reputation, it’s probably not wise to only look out for oneself. All who remotely care about the intermediate-term prospects of crypto would better serve themselves and others as both a member of a newly rising community and member of a new form of economy.
Community must unite
Bitcoin was born as a rebellion against the existing financial system. The roles of cryptocurrencies and tokens today are less clear. One way or another, as more money pours into coins, government action from different parts of the world is almost sure to follow. What will be the community’s reaction then?
At the end of the day, no one can stand alone.