If there’s one thing that rival cryptocurrency factions can agree on, it’s their mutual dislike of one other. Everything else is up for debate, and not calm, reasonable debate, but the sort of fevered in-fighting that makes the crypto community resemble an unruly rabble. This internecine squabbling has arguably done more to hinder cryptocurrency adoption than any external threat.
Tribalism Will Be the Death of Cryptocurrency
Ripple supporters squabbling with Dogecoin diehards; Bitcoin Core and Cash maximalists constantly sniping; Vergelets lashing out against everyone; IOTA being IOTA. It’s easy to forget, amidst all the hullabaloo and name-calling, that we’re all on the same side. Crypto communities have more that unites them than divides them, and yet you wouldn’t think so at times.
Humans have been falling out with fellow humans ever since the Garden of Eden (replace the serpent with Segwit and the forbidden fruit with Lightning to complete the analogy). Religious factions (or “forks”) have been attacking one another for centuries over slight ideological differences, and on crypto Twitter it’s much the same.
Welcome to Crypto – Now Get Out
Last week, Jackson Palmer expressed his frustration at constant attacks from Ripple supporters over XRP data on his Arewedecentralizedyet site. Such attacks are by no means isolated, and Ripple is certainly not the only community to face such charges. Crypto would be boring if everyone always got on, and differences of opinion were settled by courteous fedora tipping. One of the reasons why altcoin communities bicker is because their members are so passionate about crypto, but this zealotry risks alienating newcomers.
In “Divided We Fail: The Irrational Insanity of Crypto Tribalism” Kent Barton writes: “We’re all part of the same technological revolution. Yet here we are, wasting precious time and energy attacking ourselves…tribal thinking will do nothing to make the world a better and freer place. Its only beneficiaries are the centralized entities we seek to disintermediate.” That’s not to say that detractors can’t call Ripple a “centralized security” or Tron “shitcoin vaporware” if they want to: the beauty of crypto is that nobody can tell you what do do.
You get to control your keys, your crypto, and the conversations you have with your fellow coiners. You can be insightful, funny, a jerk or a combination of all three. But if you’re constantly bashing other cryptocurrencies, or attacking anyone who criticizes your own, maybe it’s time to step away from the keyboard for a moment and remind yourself of why you got into cryptocurrency in the first place. It’s not crypto vs crypto: it’s crypto vs the rest of the world. Win the battle for mass adoption and there’ll be plenty of time afterwards for squabbling over scalability.