In the altcoin world, Amanda B. Johnson is kind of like a celebrity.
But unlike most vapid mainstream celebrities who add little to no real value to the world, Amanda adds immense value. You may be awestruck by her physical beauty when you first watch one of her videos, but that is not her killer attribute, not by a long shot. You might think it is her intelligence that is her killer attribute, but you’d be wrong again.
I should first explain what altcoin means. Most people know about Bitcoin. Well, altcoins were born from the innovative blockchain technology that Bitcoin created. Today there are so many altcoins, it is hard to keep track of them all. To see a list of all the altcoins that exist, go to Coinmarketcap. It will blow your mind. Some of the most bizarre ones are: Potcoin and Trumpcoin. Don’t get me started on Trump, though, back to Amanda.
Amanda’s killer attribute is her ability to synthesize abstract technical concepts, break them down into their simplest parts and then communicate them in a passionate and caring way.
Lots of people in the world are passionate and intelligent but it’s rare to find a person who is passionate, intelligent and caring. This is why I’d much rather watch a video by her about blockchain technology than some random crypto “expert”. Most people who are “experts” end up talking over people’s heads, and quite frankly, they don’t seem to care or don’t know how to simplify concepts to reach a wider audience.
I’ve been in the altcoin world for less than a year, but one thing that really stands out is how passionate people are about their particular coins. It reminds me of tribal religions and cults. There exists a territorial nature, like a-dog-with-a-heavily-guarded-bone mentality which seems to dominate the altcoin space. It’s understandable when you think about it because once someone decides to invest either time and/or money into a certain coin, the future of the coin become synonymous with his or her personal future wealth or poverty. So, a dog-with-a-bone mentality begins to pervade the coin owner’s mind. This is one of the central problems I see as an outsider to this altcoin world.
What’s interesting about Amanda is that she started out as a journalist and became fascinated with Bitcoin and altcoins while in the process of discovery.
Her passion for the ongoing currency wars world spilled over and became a YouTube show called The Daily Decrypt. In this video series, she demystifies everything from smart contracts to prediction markets. She has since moved on and created a new show called Dash Detailed. Her new Dash videos are equally fascinating. Here’s the one that inspired me to buy some Dash a few days ago:
While digging around YouTube I ran across a Such Wow video interview that gets to the heart of her altcoin addiction. She mentions how the 2008 recession got her thinking deeply about economics because everyone was repeating the mantra, the bad economy. She asked the important question,
“Can an economy go bad just like a piece of fruit that rots?”
It wasn’t long after this that she was introduced to Bitcoin by Jeffrey Tucker. Amanda says she didn’t open the Bitcoin wallet for six months after receiving it because she was so afraid of it. Once she got over her fear and began to understand what it represented, she exclaimed,
“Holy sh**t! Is this competitive money? Is this the beginning of a market for different kinds of currency?”
Her mind was blown with this realization and she says that was the beginning of the dive into the altcoin rabbit hole.
She made the very astute observation that currency is a product to be bought and sold, just like any other product. The reason that we didn’t have that opportunity before is that there was no electric circuitry to exchange these different kinds of currencies. And if you think about it, who is to say that governments are the most talented at creating money? We all just assume that they are because that’s the way it has been done since we could remember. But we have come to realize that governments may not be the best creators of money and there are some countries who have decided to choose Bitcoin instead of doing the money creating themselves. The micronation Liberland has embraced Bitcoin as its official currency. The president of Liberland had this to say about the topic of Bitcoin:
VJ: It is truly the base of our economy. Even first boat in Liberland was bought using bitcoin. Very soon there will be an Uber-like app that will allow E-resident of Liberland to make business in bitcoins all around this planet. -bitcoin.com
Amanda’s observation that currency is just a commodity like anything else is ground-breaking and fascinating and I think very few people outside the Bitcoin community can comprehend this reality. I know I didn’t until fairly recently. I think her observations support Andreas Antonoupolos’ assertion that in the future there will be virtual countries, each with their own currency and which reflect their communities’ values. To some extent, this is already happening in the altcoin world, and my guess is that this trend will just go mainstream at some point.
But no one knows just which currency or currencies will bust out into the mainstream.
There’s a lot of dissent within the Bitcoin community about how to deal with the scaling issues. I think the coin wars are the wrong way to go about building virtual currency worlds. I think creating a valuable community for humans that addresses a need and that which also contains a certain currency is the way forward. Creating a coin and then not creating anything community-related is a pointless endeavor. If people are not bound together in a common goal that extends beyond their own pocketbooks, then I think the coin will fail.
You can have the best technological innovation in the world but if you leave out the community building part, you’ll fail.
History has shown us this over and over again. The health of a community is more important than developers realize. A healthy community, just like a healthy organism can withstand illnesses, attacks and wars. A weak community, just like a weak organism cannot withstand even a common cold.
I’ll leave you with one of Amanda’s parody videos which is hysterically funny. In it she plays a Russian woman who explains why she prefers cryptocurrency over fiat: