I just made this post in an existing thread on Bitcointalk and I thought you guys may find it interesting. I am afraid it will get lost in the drivel that is the alternative crypto coin sub forum. It is my opinion on crypto currencies and adoption that has formed over years of research on crypto currencies, and is part of the reason why I support innovative crypto currencies such as Bitshares.
Re: Focusing On Adoption Versus Innovation And Development
I am glad that you started this conversation, as I feel it is an important one to be had. I believe that most people in the larger crypto currency community (Bitcoin/Litecoin/??) think like you do in regards to the importance of marketing to attract new users, and pushing for merchant adoption. While I do not disagree that those things help increase the utility of their respective crypto currencies, I see things differently.
This was one of the main reasons why I left the Litecoin community and no longer support it. The Litecoin community and I largely disagreed on this principle, as they mainly want to focus on marketing rather than innovation and improving crypto currencies on a developmental level and in an innovative manner. Basically, they are content blindly following anything that Bitcoin implements with the few developers they have, and the rest of the community is dead set on marketing and merchant adoption as the path to success for Litecoin. I think there are several problems with this line of thinking, and I will try to explain why.
Alternative crypto currencies are supposed to be the testing grounds for improvements upon existing crypto currencies and new features. If they are not doing either of these things, then I do not see the point of their existence and it screams of a get rich quick scheme. Any crypto currency that does neither of these things I consider to be a "pump and dump" and/or "scam coin."
Marketing and merchant adoption are important, but marketing and merchant adoption coupled with no innovation and development is akin to betting that people are sheeple. In Litecoin's case, they are betting that people will look past the lack of innovation and the fact it is pretty much a copy and paste coin. While I do not disagree that the vast majority of people in the world are sheeple in regards to problems with trusted third parties and FIAT, it is not these people that are adopting crypto currencies at this point in time. The sheeple are somewhat ignorant to the extreme need of crypto currencies and decentralized technologies. These people will come eventually when crypto currencies have already blown up, and are a vast improvement over the current financial system. It will happen naturally, not by some marketing scheme with an underlying code base that was copied off of some other crypto currency.
It is the free-thinkers (skeptics/non sheeple) that are in the process of adopting crypto currencies and decentralized technologies. These are the same people that will be doing the marketing and pushing merchant adoption. If the free-thinkers can look past your crypto currency’s marketing strategies and see that the underlying crypto currency is mainly a “pump and dump” and/or “scam coin” with no innovation or improvements over another larger already existing crypto currency, then how can they be expected to support it? How can they be expected to help with marketing and pushing merchant adoption, when they don’t believe in the underlying technology themselves?
I believe there are only two answers to that question in regards to alternative crypto currencies. The first being that the supporters of the alternative crypto currency are sheeple themselves, and the second being that the supporters of that crypto currency are only focused on one thing and that is making a profit by "pumping and dumping" at the expense of sheeple. Both answers to this question make me completely and utterly sick, and I do not think that Satoshi would approve either.
After much analysis and reading user’s opinions and thoughts in such crypto currency communities over the years, I have come to the conclusion that most of their community at this point in time falls under the latter answer to that question, which makes me even sicker when thinking about it. Crypto currencies are still in the early adopter phase. As I said earlier, it is mostly the free-thinkers that are adopting crypto currencies and decentralized technologies at this point in time, and I find it highly unlikely that the majority of these early adopters are sheeple. It is utterly shameful people are praying on sheeple for their own financial gain, and relying on “the greater fool theory” to fatten their wallets.
Again, this is why I left the Litecoin community. I realized that it is an either/or situation, and I was completely disgusted by it. Either I was surrounded by sheeple, or I was surrounded by cut throat free-thinkers preying on sheeple by the use of the “greater fool theory,” and either way I decided I wanted no part in it. There was an “ah ha” moment in which I decided Litecoin needed to be innovative and really focus on improving crypto currencies on a technical and developmental level, or the sad reality is that's just how it’s going to be and how it will always be as long as they continue down the same path.
I am a big believer in an altered quote from a corny 90s movie named “The Field of Dreams” in regards to crypto currency adoption, “if you build it they will come.” If you stop and think about it for a second, this is exactly what Satoshi did with Bitcoin, and look at how far Bitcoin has come today. If a crypto currency is innovative enough and a vast improvement over prior crypto currencies, the users and merchants will come eventually. Now and in the near term future, as a crypto currency community… the free-thinkers and early adopters… we should mostly focus on improving crypto currencies the best way possible through innovation and development.
Sadly, I think Bitcoin and Litecoin have mainly gotten off the path that Satoshi paved which was focused on innovation and development, and adoption happening naturally instead of forced upon people. A large part of their community has trouble seeing that both of these crypto currencies are not perfect and have flaws. Try bringing up the flaws of Bitcoin in the General Discussion sub forum and see the kind of hostility and ignorance you are met with. This kind of group think is poison, and it affects the improvement of crypto currencies on an innovative and developmental level, and will only slow down the improvement of crypto currencies. They are not in a large way focusing on implementing new features, improving existing features, and openly talking about flaws of their respective crypto currency.
Doubly sadly, I think most of this group thinking stems from greed. They do not want to talk about the flaws of Bitcoin/Litecoin, and they brush everything off as FUD or “scam coins gonna scam coin.” When in reality they are the ones that are doing the scamming, as they are so worried about fattening their pockets, that they stifle innovation and development. In general, they are so worried that if someone reads a genuine concern about a flaw or short coming about Bitcoin/Litecoin and believes it, that that someone will not invest in the crypto currency they have invested in. This affects the size to which their pockets can fatten, they do not like this one bit, and they make every attempt to shut it down and label it as FUD.
In summary, marketing and pushing for merchant adoption is important, but it is equally important to not succumb to greed and ignorance and to push the crypto currency and/or decentralized technology movement forward through innovation and development. I applaud innovative crypto currencies for paving the path to the future of crypto currencies, a path that Satoshi started and a path that the larger crypto currency community seems to be wandering off of. Once that path is filled with great new useful features and vast improvements over old crypto currency features, the general public will flock to that path once they realize it is so much better than the government built overgrown bumpy pebble path they have been travelling down their entire lives.
Thanks for reading,