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It's time to talk about Crypto Twitter

Shiv Madan is CEO and co-founder of the startup blockchain ticketing, Blockparty. Previously, Madan was COO at the Time Inc. music brand NME.com.

The following is an exclusive contribution for the 2018 year of CoinDesk under consideration.

2018 years in review

The hash war between Bitcoin ABC and Bitcoin SV has shaken the markets and dominated the cryptocurrency news cycle for a few weeks last November. It was logical that the battle for bitcoin white paper had spread among developers and early adopters for many years.

Moreover, the hash wars, whose warring factions deploy thousands of high-end computers to forge a new network consensus, are expensive and brutal, with obvious and not obvious winners and losers. A hash war can not bring lasting peace, but at least it has the virtue of a final. The hash wars are, in this way, much more distinct than their worst cousin: the endless wars of the hashtag.

Twitter acts as the voice of the encrypted world, but sometimes that voice is strangely distorted.

For example, Twitter is the place where we discussed the Bitcoin Cash fork, we reacted to the presence of Bill Clinton on the stage of a Ripple conference and drowned our sorrows in the bear market memes. It was also the time when Tim Draper predicted a price of $ 250,000 in bitcoins by 2022 and John McAfee said the BitFi hardware portfolio was not enabled, only to be hacked weeks later.

What dominates on crypt Twitter: innovation or invective? Do the endless debates on Twitter ever represent a positive change? Or are they simple generators of memes and fury?

Many readers here will be familiar with some of the most popular memes and hashtags in the crypt Twitter.

You can be a member of the group the #xrparmyor you could ridicule them like a bitcoin #maximalist. Or maybe you prefer to stay out of the fray, spread peace, joy and #dogecoin to everyone.

Whatever the faction with which you sympathize, and any subject you can find convincing, almost inevitably, "FUD" – fear, uncertainty and doubt – insinuates itself. Whatever philosophical, economic or technological position you may hold, there is likely to be someone out there with a vested interest in denigrating or downsizing it.

In addition to continuously comparing a cryptographic project or an ideology, hashtag wars offer bad actors a convenient entry into cryptocurrency. How many scammers have attempted robot-based pump-and-dump schemes? How many identity thieves hooked on handles and fake domain names in hopes of a quick payment from slow students?

Surely there must be a more productive use of all this energy?

Good examples

So, how could an optimal Twitter cryptocurrency appear?

For me, one of the best things I saw on Twitter in 2018 was one debate between Ari Paul and Murad Mahmudov. That conversation, that too he designed Joe Weisenthal of Bloomberg, ended not with full agreement, but with the parties involved who promise to collaborate on a podcast together.

Although no party was "victorious" in the debate, everyone was satisfied: Paul and Mahmudov had considered their convictions, reflected on possible objections and defended their positions.

As Paul sayspersuasion is not necessarily the point; rather, "even if it does not lead to a different conclusion, […] clarifying our implicit assumptions we learn about the system in general and we can look for new information that could distort our conclusion. "

I could have chosen any number of other topics or friendly debates to emphasize my point. For example, even the most intransigent maximalist bitcoins must admit it The Twitter presence of Vitalik Buterin It's impressive

Few people have more reason (or more reason) to launch noisily, but it is always civil; he takes more pleasure in giving impulse to the ideas of others than in shouting his own.

Instead of charging exorbitant fees for a 280-character tout of some new alternative cryptocurrency, Buterin gives freely. In December, he donated $ 300,000 per ethereum to developers who wanted to work full-time on blockchain but did not have the necessary funding.

The irony, of course, is that this decorum and generosity are sometimes a less efficient shilling than the hashtags of robots and crypto-bros.

An invitation to peace

The opposing armies of the hashtag wars agree very little.

However, a rare point of consensus is that the cryptocurrency must make its way into the mainstream. And while some responsibilities to improve the dialogue on Twitter Crypto can fall on Twitter itself – they can "ban the shadow" and make it difficult to discover tweets of bad actors and probable trolls, such as robots "give away ETH" – the most difficult, and the most important work must be done by the community of cryptocurrency.

To demonstrate our relevance and need, the community of cryptocurrencies needs more exchanges of ideas and less exchanges of insults.

Sometimes, among the debates, the trolling and the hashtags, it is easy to lose sight of the potential for transformation of the cryptocurrency. Technology promises connections without mediation across borders, through currencies and even through ideologies.

Yet, too often, people in the cryptocurrency community seem angry and unreasonable, more than willing to clash and control at the expense of traditional adoption. Why would a prospective investor or user want to learn more? Why should they want to join the community? For our good, let's try to be kinder.

Maybe we could start on Twitter.

Have an opinion of 2018? CoinDesk is looking for proposals for our 2018 under consideration. News via e-mail [at] coindesk.com to learn how to be involved.

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