Bitcoin Cash shouldn't be trying to solve anyone else's problems

2 148
Avatar for dave_gutteridge
3 years ago

There's a movie called The Sure Thing, which is largely a forgettable comedy from the eighties, but it has one scene that I think Bitcoin Cash enthusiasts could reflect on.

Without going over the whole plot, there's a woman named Alison who has an overly uptight boyfriend named Jason. Alison was also quite uptight, but over the course of the movie, she has learned to loosen up a little. So, she wants to go to a wild college party. She takes her boyfriend Jason with her, but he's clearly uncomfortable. He looks around at all the frat boys and sorority girls downing kegs of beer and dancing and making out and acting wild, and he completely disdains their frivolity.

"Look at these people," Jason says. "They probably think they're having a good time."

Hopefully the delusional arrogance of that line comes across in text. Who is he to say that anyone is enjoying themselves the wrong way?

I thought about this scene in relation to Bitcoin Cash because as I've been writing about it and getting feedback, I learned there was a fundamental disconnect between what I'm trying to advocate as the route to success for Bitcoin Cash, and the point of view of a lot of Bitcoin Cash enthusiasts.

I proposed, for example, that it would be fantastic if there was a version of Reddit where upvotes were tied to BCH. It's not that people disagreed so much as it felt like comments immediately went in directions that I didn't see as relevant to my point. I got a fair amount of people telling me how projects like Member were already working to make a "better" Reddit. "Better" because it would record posts on the blockchain, so it could not be censored, and thus improve on how Reddit handles perceived censorship and whatnot.

This is where I felt there was a disconnect. Just as they seemed to be wondering why I seem to be oblivious to the efforts of existing projects, I was wondering how censorship resistance mattered to the adoption of BCH. It certainly doesn't matter to the growth of Reddit.

Reddit has 430 million users. I'm not sure if that number accounts for users with multiple accounts, dead accounts, bots, and whatnot, but in any case, there's definitely a huge amount of people enjoying Reddit as it currently is.

There are sometimes grumblings about how Reddit is possibly censoring content that is negative about China, because, as far as I understand it, Reddit is at least partly owned by a Chinese company. There are complaints by various groups about how certain subreddits get shut down for having content that is not well liked by advertisers. And, of course, r/btc is nearly constantly complaining about how the moderators of r/bitcoin are removing any posts that go against their agenda.

There are lots of people, it's hard to sure how many, who care about privacy and censorship issues. Whether or not they would agree that a BCH based solution is the answer is the gateway into a deeply complicated debate.

What I can be sure of, though, is that the vast, vast majority of posts and activity on Reddit has nothing at all to do with censorship, or Reddit policy in general. Hundreds of millions of people are happily using Reddit to look at pictures of cats, complain about the latest Star Wars movie, discuss the never ending American political farce, and so on.

"Look at those Reddit users. They probably think they're having a good time."

They have no problem that they want to see solved by some system like BCH or blockchains or whatever else. Offering them a Reddit alternative that solves issues like privacy or censorship might, only maybe, win over a tiny percentage of that user base.

What I believe will definitely entice them to use a new form of Reddit is one that offered payment for good content or comments. Everyone likes getting paid.

The difference between what I am proposing and what BCH enthusiasts I've heard from want to do is that I want to see BCH grow for it's own sake. I want BCH to become a world currency, and use the most probable routes to get there. I don't care if BCH makes Reddit "better", I care that we take Reddit's user base and make them all users of Bitcoin Cash.

Whereas, many enthusiasts want to "fix" things, like Reddit or Twitter, with BCH. They see problems on these other sites, and solutions that could be achieved with Bitcoin Cash and its blockchain.

Solutions to problems almost no one is having, in my opinion.

There's nothing stopping any developer from making a system that happens to be more secure or censorship resistance or whatever. Those are good features. But good features aren't necessarily popular features. And it doesn't matter how good your system is if it isn't popular.

I believe the way forward for Bitcoin Cash is to use it for what it was built to be, peer to peer currency. Not a security or censorship solution, but simply currency. It works fine now as currency, so exploit the hell out of that central function. Take everything popular, and add to it by injecting monetary value on top of the utility people already find in things like "likes" and "upvotes" and followers and shares.

The goal is to make Bitcoin Cash an undeniable universal currency, one that everyone knows and as familiar with and uses as a matter of course. When BCH has that status, it will have a lot more leverage and familiarity, from which it can then start to demonstrate its power in terms of censorship resistance and security. If you care about that kind of thing.

Besides, should the Bitcoin Cash community really be thinking about "fixing" other people's problems when it has problems of its own?

Problems like the fact that almost no one is using BCH?

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+ 2
Avatar for dave_gutteridge
3 years ago


I got a fair amount of people telling me how projects like Member were already working to make a "better" Reddit. "Better" because it would record posts on the blockchain, so it could not be censored, and thus improve on how Reddit handles perceived censorship and whatnot.

hm.. but and memo/member are a better reddit - because the upvotes are tied to money. exactly what you say we need. Maybe you have some other suggestions how they can increase they redditness?

$ 0.00
3 years ago

Solutions to problems almost no one is having, in my opinion.

this is what happens when developers attempt to BUIDL "solutions"; it becomes a science fair, focused on technological advancement, instead of utility for the crowd

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3 years ago