Cryptocurrency is on the precipice. Despite all its promise, there’s a chance the market could crash entirely, never to recover. This crypto-winter is not unwarranted and not undeserved. Propagated by social media platforms, irrational exuberance transformed what was once a noble movement into a sea of garbage and scams. In order for us to rise from the ashes of this bear market, we must demand accountability and transparency, and we must make the cryptoverse accessible to all.
Cryptocurrency was life-changing for me, and planted in me a passion for mass adoption. Contrary to popular belief, cryptocurrency did not bring great monetary riches for me, however, what it did bring was true wealth. The wealth of knowledge, new experiences, and being at the forefront of one of the most exciting technological revolutions of our time. I want to share that wealth with all people.
I am from a small town in Mississippi. As an American Southerner, I can relate to so many different types of people and dynamics, and I have seen and experienced many of the problems people face around the world. The agriculturally based Southern economy that I grew up in is no different than a lot of underdeveloped countries around the world. Culturally and economically, we are so often excluded from the knowledge and resources enjoyed in the big cities on the West Coast and in the North East.
Unfortunately, the rich and thriving regions in the United States dominated the technological revolution that brought us the internet and social media. Since these platforms exert tremendous influence over our culture at large as well as our day to day lives, it is the thoughts and ideas of a select few privileged, big city elites that informs the structure and the primary narrative in everything we do. In this way, even though it has brought some incredible advances in connectivity and engagement, this technology has left a lot of people behind.
How We Began: Information Deserts
I came into this space like many of you thinking, “Hey, maybe it will go up one day?!” It was a lottery ticket. I didn’t know a single thing about Bitcoin, and there wasn’t a good place for me to find decent information. All of the finance message boards would either immediately delete my post, or, worse, scold me for trumpeting a “scam,” or, “trying to buy drugs.” While Facebook groups about crypto were easy to find, it didn’t take long to realize that quality and trustworthy information was nearly impossible to find.
Thinking back to those times and the way I was treated for just asking questions, it can be disheartening to see new people treated the same way today by people in the space. By creating Crypto Coin Trader (CCT), I’ve been able to incorporate my experiences into a community and conversation about groundbreaking technology.
As my CCT family grew over the years to 115,000 people, I’ve made it my mission to make sure that people from all walks of life and every corner of the world have a voice. It’s been wonderful. Not just the numbers, but the vast diversity of experiences and thought that this group brings.
Unregulated, fast-paced and addicting
Before CCT, I wanted and needed to find a true calling, something that was hurting and needed my help and my talents as much as I craved its challenges. I remember when CCT hit 1000 members, before you knew it we were at 10,000, then 25,000 and ultimately crossing over that 100,000 member mark. It’s an incredible honor. I can truly say that I’ve found my calling, it’s not something that most people find, so I fully understand how special and rare it is.
From the very beginnings of CCT, we wanted a space where our friends could share news and information about crypto and we learned how to moderate it to enforce the values we wanted to bring to the cryptosphere.
Along the way, we’ve made some mistakes and had to master the art of comprehensive vetting. In doing so, we’ve discovered some of the hardest working and most innovative people and companies in the crypto and blockchain space. People we’re proud and honored to call our friends, the die-hards and phoenixes that are in crypto until the end and have ridden all the highs and lows together with us.
The Problem with Social Crypto
As brilliant and creative as the people of this space are, we have missed our chances to socially mature and grow on a platform level. We cannot mature and be ready for true mass adoption until the means of information improves, and we do not currently have a top tier source of information, or a community forum that can foster depth and authenticity.
If you scroll through Reddit, Telegram, or Facebook, you’ll notice that the comments are essentially monochromatic. Even when people disagree, the dissent will exist within narrow parameters — it won’t contain novel insights on fundamental questions of token economics, resource distribution, or foundational technology.
That’s because these platforms are designed to play to our biases and provide instant gratification. In 2016 and 2017, these platforms perpetuated a fixed mindset where we consistently took the easy way out and determined whether projects were ‘winners’ or ‘losers’ based on the price of their token alone.
Despite gaping holes in content and technology, white papers were believed as facts and influencers were always right. The transparency and accountability that could have been gained with healthy, vibrant communities was never achieved, and we found ourselves in a sea of unchecked garbage and scams.
That mania of the 2016/2017 era set up the winter we are weathering to this very minute. The same mindset that fueled the irrational exuberance of the bull run has now spurred the corrosive infighting we see in crypto social media today. Now that the prices have gone down, the atmosphere on most platforms is very negative and hostile with most comments searching for a source they can blame for making us all ‘losers.’
These influencer hubs were not designed with the type of deep, thoughtful community building tools necessary for a budding revolution to thrive. They each contributed in different ways to the demise of a once promising dream.
Telegram is a non-stop free-for-all epic disaster in the form of a massive high school group text, destined for the mute button. No one likes this platform. It’s like the IRS of crypto and the tax rate is 99%. For some reason, the size of a project’s Telegram group became one of crypto’s core metrics. Just stop. This platform is an embarrassment for crypto. It’s not safe for work, not safe for your mom, and not safe for *any* would be crypto investors.
Twitter is chaotic and noisy — a crowded room of voices screaming on top of one another, many of whom are bots, most of which communicate nothing of substance. Twitter is instant news but the skepticism of the market relegates crypto to re-Tweets from major influencers who typically mean well, yet lack the character-count to bring additional substance.
Reddit has interesting thoughts and well-researched discussions, but no real way to connect to the projects themselves. Generally the ‘sickest burn’ is upvoted to the top.
YouTube has some good crypto videos, but they’re buried under a landfill of garbage videos that aren’t only incredibly boring, they’re also relentless shills. Very few have professional production values or compelling, charismatic hosts. Comment threads are full of the typical angry ranting that is the norm on YouTube.
Facebook has provided a lot of of the things the crypto community needs, including the ability to have moderated content and live videos, but it’s just not structured in a way that helps people learn and grow. It could never be the ideal place to sift through and discuss relevant crypto topics.
None of the social media platforms offer the ability for communities and projects to really connect, and none of them allow for the moderation of content that the projects share with the communities. Misleading things can be communicated to followers with no reprisal — causing permanent damage to trust and reputations in the space.
The Cryptoverse was not ready for the attention back in 2013 and 2014, and three years later in the spring of 2017 we looked the same, just a bit older. We’ve been exposed as amateurs by everyone once again as we tumbled back down to our current USD value.
So…when you hear that new people still aren’t entering the crypto market, can you really blame them for being skeptical? Is it their fault? If you had to tell a traditional investor who came to you asking about Crypto and Blockchain, where would you send them? BitcoinTalk, Youtube, Facebook… or Telegram? (Insert palm to face emoji here).
Can anyone tell me at this very moment, right now, we are ready for another well-publicized bull run? Are we ready for the influx of attention? How can we expect mass adoption when we look like toddlers coloring in a book.
Building Healthy and Vibrant Communities
Look at the growth and history of Bitcoin on a yearly chart. Bitcoin, which celebrated its 10th birthday this past January has grown faster than any major currency in history. In the past, I let time do the talking and Bitcoin has always prevailed. However, this time is different. We need to clean up and look the part. Every now and then you have to put a suit on and comb your hair. Decentralization doesn’t have to be so jankity.
At the end of the day, we want to continue looking in the mirror and feeling good about our place in the cryptosphere. Even though crypto is based on decentralization and fierce independence, it still needs leadership and community working together in order to thrive.
Our new CCT platform will be a true home for crypto communities.
…A place with readily available information for noobs to get started in a way that feels safe and welcoming with judgment-free forums for them to ask questions from subject matter experts.
….A place where there is a clear code of conduct not just for the community members, but also for the crypto companies, so no bogus partnerships, or announcements of announcements, or anything misleading can be communicated.
…A place where novel, innovative, and compelling contributions from the community are acknowledged and rewarded so we can stop the corrosive infighting, and instead, deepen the debate.
…A place where we can focus on learning, improving, and growing from our mistakes.
…A place to ask the hard questions and challenge the space as a whole.
…A place that can be an island for worthwhile, engaging, and educational crypto videos.
…And a place where neutral and entirely transparent moderation give all of the above the best chance possible of success.
In order for crypto to gain the levels of credibility and trust needed to achieve mass adoption, it needs a social media platform that is custom-built for crypto. New People need to feel safe investing in crypto, and they need to be part of healthy, vibrant communities in order to stay and hodl.
It needs a well-moderated space that allows for both companies and users to interact with openness and transparency and for communities to be built on direct communication and real life friendships.
Hopefully, with healthy communities, Crypto 2.0 will achieve the forgotten promises of the original movement. Borderless societies, free to transact without intervention from corrupt governments or unethical corporations. Verifiable data privacy and a new internet. A true transformation with heavy, intentional investments in more equitable wealth distribution to achieve true democracies that act as a delivery system for human rights.
We are creating this platform to achieve that, because we’d like to see the true potential of crypto come to fruition.
Crypto Coin Trader started as a group of friends, we grew into a community, and we will rebuild on top of the holes left by those who came into crypto for the wrong reasons. I see this project every time I look into the mirror. It is who I am as a person. It has the fingerprints of every person who has ever posted and commented in CCT ingrained in its DNA. The idea that we shaped this through our love for the space, and built it on the collection of all our thoughts and ideas, is a testament to what this space and group can accomplish. It is just the beginning.
Structuring the cryptocointrader.com website in a sensible, realistic way that creates an environment of scalable growth, organized discussion, and verifiable information is critical, not a luxury we should hope for. It is fundamental to the future health and existence of crypto, and I can’t wait to continue this next phase of our journey through the cryptoverse with you.