Why Crypto Platform Community Matters
Why strong communities are indispensable for the long-term health of decentralized networks. and Why WardenSwap Community, or called WARDENers, are extremely strong…
Let’s talk about it.
Community is about ownership
What is a community?
Community is about ownership — feeling not just that I am part of something bigger than myself, but that I have some skin in the game. It doesn’t matter so much whether that stake is economic or not — in fact I think non-economic stake (e.g. reputation) can be a much bigger motivator.
— Lane Rettig, Independent Ethereum Core Developer
Let’s identify 3 types of stakeholders:
- Users — those who utilize a network for its intended purpose(s)
- Builders — those who develop, maintain, or contribute to a network
- Speculators — those who purchase crypto assets in order to make a profit
Decentralized networks are open and permissionless, so their communities will always comprise of these groups. And no matter what kind of protocol you’re building, you should be able to characterize your stakeholders into one (and sometimes more) of these groups.
Fundamentals of Community Building
Target users and builders
Most people would agree that only users and builders — not speculators — are key for the long-term health of a decentralized network. A credible community building strategy should place the highest priority on acquiring users and builders.
Decentralized networks without builders will not be able to adequately maintain or upgrade their protocol over time — a recipe for death. Those without users simply don’t have a reason to exist in the first place.
There are challenges with acquiring both groups because they are so often highly specialized. As an example, let’s take WardenSwap, which is a built-in Machine Learning on Smart Contract to get you THE BEST RATE when swapping any tokens on BSC, Polygon and Arbitrum!
The cryptocurrency community has openly debated the role of speculators for years. In the worst cases, speculators have caused projects to prioritize the wrong things (e.g. short-term prices) at the expense of what really matters — delivering a useful network that can survive long-term.
When projects so clearly target speculators, I’ve found it to be a helpful indicator for identifying projects that are poorly run, or in the worst cases, in it for the wrong reasons.
In any case, there is no getting around the fact that open networks invite speculators. Therefore, your community-building strategy should be focused on converting speculators into productive users and builders.
Why community-building matters
#1 — Fewer contentious forks
Contentious forks are devastating to a protocol. But while it’s easy to fork a protocol, it’s impossible to fork a community. Projects that invest in their communities are thus proactively playing defense. When technical and philosophical disagreements inevitably surface, well-functioning crypto communities will have fewer contentious forks than their peers.
#2 — Better governance
Governance is critical to the long-term health of a decentralized network, but a strong community is the foundation of good governance. While many projects focus on establishing good governance mechanisms, these efforts are incomplete at best if you’re not building out your community simultaneously.
#3 — A faster pace of innovation
The larger and more diverse the community, the greater the pace of innovation. We can observe this most clearly with Ethereum, which has benefited from numerous community contributions over the past year related to initiatives such as privacy and scalability.
We’re still early days for cryptocurrencies. However, WardenSwap and the field are growing at a fast pace. It will only be a matter of time before projects start taking it more seriously and devising community development strategies in earnest.
Nonetheless, measuring community strength is hard to do. The community metrics we know of today (Github commits, Reddit comments, Telegram users, etc.) are game-able and incomplete.
With that said, we’ll soon be able to accurately quantify community strength.
It’s time to start prioritizing community building.
And yes. WardenSwap community is strong compared to others!
Panas, the DeFi Backpacker