Cryptocurrency’s success comes as a result of two things: innovations in technology and the community. Technology has enabled digital currencies to develop, but finding use cases and ensuring its success is a result of the community. However, as they become mainstream there is a possibility developers lose what made their currencies initially successful, as they tailor to a larger audience.
Sameep Singhania is the co-founder at QuickSwap, a UniSwap DEX clone utilising the most adopted Ethereum layer two scaling solution, Polygon Network, as well as the co-founder of Blockchain Development company. Singhania has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and has been a professional programmer for the past six years. He is a blockchain enthusiast who helps teams adapt their use cases to blockchain technology. Recently Singhania has been focusing his energy more towards blockchain technology (BC) to devising strategies for business clients to adopt blockchain technology to solve transparency and trust issues.
One of his main goals is to bring diversity in technology and promote widespread adoption of blockchain tech. With experience in the field dating back to before cryptocurrencies became mainstream, Singhania explains to The Fintech Times why communities must remain at the forefront of developers’ minds:
Crypto has forever changed the culture of innovation. From initiating the biggest transfer of wealth in human history with Bitcoin to empowering artists with NFTs, cryptocurrency is re-creating finance and culture in a decentralised way.
The thriving crypto economy that we see before us is mainly dependent on two factors: technology and community. One cannot exist without the other. An idea to solve major inefficiencies in the industry can be made a reality through technology. But to gain recognition and adoption in the digital asset space, it takes a loyal community that supports development during the highs and lows.
Further, if blockchain-based companies give power to a handful of investors and stop community-centric development, it would limit innovation and raise vulnerability among users. For example, if Ethereum’s codebase didn’t follow an open-source framework, we wouldn’t see the light of many prominent blockchain platforms and DeFi applications.
Thanks to Ethereum’s composability and community-first stance on development, programmers and developers have been able to customise and fork its code. As a result, they could borrow its functionality and create new networks and applications that serve newer purposes and bring added functionalities.
Building a better internet starts with protecting the integrity of open source
Considering the history of technological evolution in different industries, crypto included, it’s clear that open source has always been an enabler for driving innovation and solving problems.
For instance, the theory of the existence of the Higgs Boson was not proved for almost fifty years. But the introduction of open-source software built on Linux helped create a more feasible environment for experimentation and data evaluation. The software made it easier for thousands of scientists to share ideas and find the ultimate solution.
Time and again, it has been proven that open-source software enables mass collaboration, which significantly aids development initiatives. And that’s needed for developing the future of Web3. When open source becomes the standard for innovation, it opens up different possibilities for developers. They can use existing frameworks and built-in security features to formulate apps that impact end-user experience.
In the world of Web2, it’s understandable why open source couldn’t compete. They didn’t have enough resources and forming capital was challenging, but that all changed with decentralised protocols and exchanges. Now, innovators can raise the required capital by providing fractional ownership in the form of tokens. This helps accelerate the development process while cutting down initial deployment costs and creates a passionate, diverse community along the way.
With simpler capital formation, an open-source environment also makes a blockchain project more secure. Closed source projects in which only a few developers and/or community members can access the code face an immense challenge vis-a-vis auditing and finding vulnerabilities.
In the case of open source, all the apps can have similar security features inherited from the parent code. So if an exploit does happen, we can secure the entire dApp ecosystem that uses the same base code for security.
A community also acts as a protecting force in the crypto world. When something goes wrong, like a bug is exposed, researchers and hackers worldwide can come up with resolutions and receive high rewards in return. In the Web2 world, that’s not the case. With the code not being open source, it’s hard for community members to figure out the flaws in a platform.
Why communities should be prioritised above all
With NFTs, metaverse, and Web3 tooling, we are witnessing a massive wave of interest in crypto. So we will likely see many innovators in the tech space enter this new industry and develop something of value for this next evolution of the internet. In the process, they should not forget about the importance of community building and the main ethos behind it.
For any blockchain-based project, communities are the primary driving force and key to success. The size of the community is less important than how engaged and organic it is. Here are a few reasons why innovators should always protect community ethos:
Communities help create a positive feedback loop
When a group of like-minded individuals from different backgrounds rallies behind a project, it strengthens functionality and product development. A positive feedback loop is created when companies interact with communities and leverage their ideas and contributions.
User communities give feedback for the existing features and show what’s required in the future. So a firm can experiment with new product features within their community before commercialising it.
The power of blockchain communities is word of mouth
The value of any cryptocurrency is derived from its community. So, if a company prioritises building a community and sticks with the same decentralised principles, they will help spread the word and increase mainstream adoption efficiently. The best example here is NFTs. Most of the NFT projects are driven by communities and social media sentiment.
Similarly, crypto innovators need to leverage the power of communities that can help them spread honest word-of-mouth messages. In the long term, companies will see great returns in terms of market penetration and the functionality of product features.
You can find top-notch talent
Finding talented and passionate professionals with high expertise in blockchain was always a battle between crypto companies. But, now, with more mainstream acceptance, we are seeing accelerated growth of talented developers joining web3 from web2. So companies can use their communities to find top-notch talent as well.
Creating various learning opportunities makes it easier to identify candidates whose skills and vision align with the company’s goals. Companies can gain more insights within a community before hiring, making it a better approach in the long term.
The future of crypto depends on maintaining community ethos
Innovation shall not stop in crypto. Irrespective of market conditions, we need to keep developing new technologies to improve the human condition. Innovators need to preserve community ethos to make that happen in the decentralised world, which has helped us get so far in terms of adoption.
In the future, community ownership and participation will be the main factor differentiating Web3 protocols and traditional business models. So if we protect it, we will certainly reap the rewards.