Gotta admit that I feel pretty disappointed with Vitalik after reading those reddit posts a couple of days ago. Although I guess that was just me completely misjudging him.
Last I saw was him talking about one single guy on the team getting $150k because he earned something like $200k in his previous job. And that they had to pay of this 25% interest loan that had run up close to 1 million dollars so they had to cash out as soon as possible. Then there also was the whole sleeping in the same bedroom and living as frugally as possible thing the teammembers repeated on several occasions and then suddenly these numbers pop up. I didn't know Switzerland was that expensive, if that's the going rate for shared room lodging and bread and water.
I can understand people wanting to eat and pay the rent and all, I get that, but something here stinks. And not just with Ethereum who defend themselves by vaguely pointing to other people in unrelated occupations getting more money then them and trying to make it sound as if that somehow justifies their own abnormal salaries for the average start-up because I guess some feeling of their own superiority. One of the things I dislike the most, after all the hype about the non-profit crypto society they were talking about is the threats going around to drop the project if no new funds come in, as if running out of over $20 million funds in that short amount of time had nothing to do with them.
Mind you this is not just relevant for the ethereum devs, but I see this in several other crypto communities as well including bitshares. I see a lot of people feeling very self entitled and do a lot of comparisons with other jobs before they decide on a wage they feel they should get and then start making conclusions based on that. I get the distinct impression that most are in crypto as some kind of get rich quick scheme, which is clouding their judgment. The thing is, weren't we starting a revolution and trying to replace the broken financial systems and get rid of the asshole banks and inflation and all that.
Now here's the thing with most revolutions and start-ups, they usually don't start of with the founders having massive comfortable guaranteed salaries from day one. Actually most startups run into quite a bit of bad weather with only a small chance to strike it big. But we are not just a startup we are trying to start a revolution against the powers way bigger than any puny national one and realistically that should make people expect quite a bit worse weather than the average startup. Why does it appear that nobody in crypto expects any setbacks? I'm also getting a bit fed up with a lot of developers labeling anybody who isn't coding as some kind of freeloader or leech, as if our time, interest, efforts and word of mouth are nothing, Speaking for myself I'm not getting paid any wages at all, quite the opposite really, crypto is a massive financial loss for me so far, so I find these remarks coming from people giving themselves $150k wages in bad taste for lack of a better eufemism.
Wasn't one of the issues that we were trying to solve how the current financial system being a massive tumor sucking the life out of the economy? For starters it does sound a little fishy to me to still use their hyperinflated salaries as a comparison for salaries in this "better" system. In theory the cost of the system itself should be as close to zero as we can get which to me sounds diametrically opposed to the concept of the system making a profit. The "profits" should be generated outside with business models making use of the system. Trying to get rid of monopolistic bloodcloth toll-roads and instead create a more efficient road-network. What I'm fearing some crypto-devs plus communities are trying to do is building themselves the best tollbooth they can and be opposed to all other tollroads. In other words, I fear that quite a few people are starting to confuse the system with their business/profit models.
So I'm not opposed to cryptonomics setting themselves up as the contractors specialized in building new crypto-roads, as long as that doesn't mean they “own” those roads plus the roadsystem and have an incentive to optimize for toll-booths. I see nothing wrong with making money from building many many roads in the future. However the IP-move on the toolkit by bitshares/cryptonomex bothers me. Especially the listed motivations about not wanting/allowing competing chains in the same field and reserving all rights. I also think newmine has a point about the community funding the toolkit and now suddenly we don't seem to own it anymore.
Here's my biggest worry, the bitshares/cryptonomex team are only human, but having many conflicting interests is not something that works well for humans. Since most here seem to like the term incentive over interests, I'm very concerned over potential problems with the conflict of incentives in the move to cryptonomex/bitshares2.0.
Another concern I have is with what feels like a Cathedral type development model, with a select group of priest developing the new gospel in a hidden room, which the community at large then has to accept when they decide to publish the final version. I'm not seeing that many outside developers contributing or interacting with the source code, which I doubt is merely accidental or because of lack of interest. This doubt has been strenghtend when I saw the fear of being copied mentioned in the recent blog-posts as motivation behind the IP. While that model might be more comfortable to traditional corporations and people wanting control, it does limit community participation and winning hearts and minds naturally (IMO it also limits natural evolution), but I think it also requires a very strong traditional marketing. And lets be blunt, marketing is not something the team in Blacksburg excels at. Btw did PayPals referral program really work without a powerful marketing at all? The blogs mention that corporations/investors were unwilling to enter because of the lack of IP-control. Does that mean there is a lineup of big money guaranteed to enter that vastly outweighs potentially alienating of kindred spirits or even existing community hearts and minds?
Keep in mind that I'm not saying that the bitshares team have bad intentions, actually for a lot of these choices I suspect them being forced into them by “community” pressure. However I do think the bitshares-team-members are only human and they are not making it easier on themselves to stay the course. I also hope the bitshares community is looking beyond themselves making a quick buck and really think about what they are building with their voting power.