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Building a Stronger Bitcoin Cash Community in 2020

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Avatar for jonald_fyookball
Written by   199
1 year ago

Community is everything when it comes to cryptocurrencies.  A strong community will have success and a weak community will wither and die.  Bitcoin Cash has a good community, but we can (and must) do better.

All communities have leaders.  Leaders function as schelling points and have an enormous influence.  This is especially true in niche communities like crypto. A strong community starts with a unified group of great leaders.  In Bitcoin Cash, right now, two of the most important people are Amaury Sechet and Roger Ver, for obvious reasons.  

However, these two individuals could be a lot more united than they currently are.  This is a serious issue because, as I just mentioned, leaders need to be unified in order for the community to be strong. Leaders provide ideas, attitudes, and a direction around which a community can grow. 

The reason I wrote this article is to shed some light on possible obstacles keeping these important leaders from being fully on the same page.I hope in doing so we can all powerfully move forward together, united in 2020, toward unstoppable peer-to-peer electronic cash for the whole world.

Tough Love from Uncle Jonald

Bitcoin Cash is too important to all of us not to face these issues head-on from a place of sincerity. I know all of our hearts are in the right place when it comes to Bitcoin Cash.  I want to say that I’m just as flawed a human being as anyone else on this planet, so I’m offering my viewpoints with humility and a willingness to explore complex issues that, if solved, can yield tremendous results for not only the two gentlemen in question but the community as a whole.

The Power of Rapport

Amaury Sechet is not only a technical expert, but also focused, cool under pressure, and has a keen intuition when it comes to game theory and strategy. 

His strengths have gotten him this far as the lead developer of the main Bitcoin Cash implementation.  His blind spot, as far as I see it,has been a lack of understanding about the importance of building rapport with others in the community.  It is somewhat ironic, because it was Amaury who turned me onto the idea of “building an immune system” for the community, which is related to the idea of building a unified leadership network.

I can also appreciate the fact that Amaury probably envisioned himself mostly doing engineering work when he set out to create a big block client for bitcoin.  Perhaps he was not prepared for the operational realities and responsibilities that came with the job. Those realities involve dealing with all kinds of people, which is something Amaury has struggled with.  

There is also no doubt that the amount of bullshit Amaury has to deal with, and does deal with, would surprise many people.  He carries a lot of responsibility, all while he is being attacked by many people, both within and outside of the community.   He may at times feel unappreciated. However, that isn’t a good reason to be inconsistent in matters of diplomacy.

Rapport is very important.  As Tony Robbins once said, “If you have substance and no style, people are never gonna hear a word you say.”  By “style” he means that how you talk to people is just as important as what you say to people. 

Sometimes it doesn’t matter if you’re right — if people don’t like you, they’re not going to help you. “Winning” a conversation does not necessarily mean you will get a desired outcome. A leader looking to influence the future of a project and bring others to his way of thinking must  build rapport with other leaders and the community at large unless he plans to do it all himself. It’s that simple.

People do business with those they know, like, and trust.  To dismiss or downplay this fundamental principle lowers the odds of success a great deal and would be foolish. 

The Virtue of Teachability

Roger Ver is truly a unique person.  He’s a maverick, with a unique life history as well.  He marches to his own beat and has a track record of success.

His blind spot as a leader in the BCH community has been not being teachable enough, and not listening to wise people all around him. This has lead to enabling bad actors that have hurt both his own reputation and that of Bitcoin Cash by extension. 

Like all successful entrepreneurs, Roger has also made some mistakes and may or may not be aware of the gravity of their effects. 

Although Roger was super helpful and generous in providing hashpower during the hashwar, the announcement that Bitcoin.com would support BCH (and not BSV) came too late, and this contributed to a huge uncertainty in the markets.  Remember, in November 2018, Bitcoin Cash was over $600. A month later, in December, after the hashwar, it bottomed out at $80.

Craig Wright and Calvin Ayre took advantage of Roger.  But it took Roger far too long to come around, despite everyone telling him how much harm Craig could potentially cause.  Today, BCH’s price is .03 BTC. Even though we are building, we are still hurting price-wise. We, the community, have a viewpoint but so do the outside worlds of crypto, tech, and finance.  In terms of damage due to falling prices, Roger is probably hurting more than anyone.  

Roger, I remember we were in Bangkok, and you told me it was when you saw Craig didn’t understand address checksums, that you were finally sure something was amiss.  But, as a leader, it shouldn’t have to come down to you having a well-timed revelation. What if checksums never came up as a topic? You need to listen to the tribe and some of the wisdom of the crowd a bit more, if I can be straight with you.

When a person is teachable, it means they have both a high willingness to learn and a high willingness to accept change.  Although I see that Roger has a high willingness to learn when it comes to reading great books, I don’t see a lot of willingness to learn from his peers, especially in the critical area of filtering out bad actors.  Multiple people that have worked with Roger on projects have told me “he doesn’t listen.”

CSW is the clearest example of Roger unknowingly enabling someone who is harmful to Bitcoin Cash.  But this is not an isolated incident. From Mt. Gox, to Segwit-2x, to Craig Wright, to Joby Weeks, to Richard Heart, there’s an obvious pattern here, and it can be corrected.

Together We Stand, Divided We Fall

I can’t force anyone to change.  All I can do is speak my mind and share some of the collected feedback I have gathered speaking to other leaders as well as my intuition of the general sentiment within the community as a leader myself. 

In the interest of moving the conversation forward and not merely airing what some may consider negative grievances I would like to ask these two people each a question:

Amaury: Are you willing to admit that you’ve made some mistakes and treated some people rudely with little to show for it and that it might be wise to build rapport with others moving forward?

Roger: Are you willing to admit you've made some mistakes and enabled some bad actors and that it might be wise to listen to others in the future for your own sake as well as for the benefit of all that share your goals?



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Avatar for jonald_fyookball
Written by   199
1 year ago
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Comments

DISCLAIMER: Jonald, I like and respect you as a person, so please don't misunderstand this as a personal attack on you as it isn't. My response below is directly related to the content, argument(s), observations and the idea(s) as set out above.</disclaimer>

I think that unless you know Joby Weeks personally and are writing with significant authority, he enjoys the presumption of innocence and inferring here that he is harmful to BCH is prejudicial and arguably wrong in any case. Further, Richard Heart's project is a topic entirely in and of itself. I don't believe that paragraph is making your point any clearer, furthering your argument or especially serving as evidence by example for the very kind of rapport building you are advocating.

$ 0.05
1 year ago

"enjoys the presumption of innocence and inferring here that he is harmful to BCH "

Good point, and I actually wasn't inferring that, as I don't know the details of that. I also wasn't referring to mt gox or segwit2x in terms of BCH obviously, as they existed prior to BCH. I could have chosen different examples, but I was doing my best to be diplomatic here. The point is there's a pattern. Certainly Joby Weeks should get his day in court and I'm not inferring he's guilty.

$ 0.10
1 year ago

So what you are saying is - of the 1000+ people given their first Bitcoin, 150+ staff employed, 30+ investments made, 250+ media interviews given, 100+ sponsorships, 20+ products launched and 15+ partnerships entered into (ballpark numbers of the top of my head) that Roger has made 5 decisions (of 1000s) you disagree with, and without any particularly detailed insight into each of these, you are calling for unity by jumping on these as a chance to Monday Quarterback with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight and characterize those decisions as 'an obvious pattern' to be corrected?

Jesus, If we could be so lucky as to have just another 10 people in our space operating with the same 'obvious pattern' as Roger, adoption of Bitcoin would already be substantially higher and further progressed than it already is.

I really think this is a poorly thought out paragraph and critique.

$ 0.80
1 year ago

place subscribed

$ 0.00
6 months ago

You've been one of the main people working on this ABC elitism agenda along with David Allen. You probably worked with David Shares to get me deplatformed from r/btc.

This is a ridiculous and laughable article about you trying to put the "bitcoin cash community" in a box and stamping it with ABC's proprietary stamp of approval.

The Bitcoin Cash community is not a central construct, it belongs to whoever wants to be a part of it. And neither Amaury Sechet nor Roger Ver are at the helm. The miners are at the helm. The fact that you want to attribute so much power and influence to a single developer is frightening. Isn't he powerful enough on his own? Does he really need your undying support and propaganda hit pieces?

Instead of worshipping ABC, why don't you bring some more attention to the other node implementations, to even it out? Or instead of writing social propaganda at all, why not stick to just doing your job as a developer instead of policing people and judicializing culture?

$ 0.00
1 year ago

to get me deplatformed from r/btc

Let's just say that whatever anyone's opinion of them are, you're not important enough to be worth some grand conspiracy.

$ 0.44
1 year ago

Is that a personal attack? Also you've deplatformed me from a telegram as well. Because i spoke out against the people bitching about BU holding BTC. Its their money, therefore nobody elses business.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Most people are not important enough, it's okay. Try not to think you deserve so much attention that merely pointing this fact out is a personal attack.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

I mean, that's literally a personal attack.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

How do you determine importance? So you think people should be disregarded just because you don't like them? That's not using logic, that's using emotionalism.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

At the very least, try to get into this list. It's not hard, you just need to prove that you've done something tangible and important enough for other people from the list to vouch for you, that yes, you've contributed to some code, or site, or some meetups, or with adoption.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

And neither Amaury Sechet nor Roger Ver are at the helm. The miners are at the helm.

On the other note: As a part of community, I would agree with Jonald that Roger and Amaury are important people for the community. Also, Roger is a miner, so even your logic applies here.

$ 0.03
1 year ago

A miner that only controls 5% of hash isn't more important than the 95%. This is just metoo-ism.

My point isn't that they're unimportant, but this article excludes a plethora of others to focus on this elitist top dog angle.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Well, why don't we include discussions of the current Middle East politics also here, they are important too. Though irrelevant to the article. The article is about two important people. It doesn't have to include everything everywhere.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Its a recurring theme. These people are praising Amaury and ABC, then turn around and call BU people bad actors, idiots, manipulative, etc...

Its obvious what's going on. You don't have to obscure the intentions. Its lust for power.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Also, about "who's important". Let's imagine a cryptocurrency Binboin. It has only miners and maybe a few mining software clients. Is this an ideal cryptocurrency? There are no merchants, no users, no payment processors, no transactions, just miners and a few devteams. Because, following your logic these are the only key things to success.

I'd say that's a sad crypto with zero use. Users, merchants, power users, payment processors, miners, entrepreneurs - all are important.

$ 0.11
1 year ago

This is a ridiculous and laughable article

Just a note: this comes close to being a personal attack (which are against our rules), so, please keep the tone down. It's ok to criticize, not ok to attack, resort to name-calling, etc. Not a warning, just a reminder.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

I'm already being to keep my tone down? The admin of this site is already on my ass 30 seconds in? What's the purpose of this site if its got more censorship and authoritarian controls than the status quo competitors like Medium?

$ 0.00
1 year ago

What's the purpose of this site

If you don't see the purpose - you're free to leave at any time and build something better.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

You agreed to the rules before signing up. All I'm doing is I'm reminding you of the rules: "Don't post anything obviously illegal, especially illegal according to European Union, anything hate-filled, name-calling, trash-talking, personal attacks or insults...". You literally have to press "Ok, understood" before you sign up.

$ 0.05
1 year ago

Then i suppose you'll be banning imaginary_username for telling me I'm not important and don't matter? To me, that sounds like trash talking and a personal attack. Wouldn't you agree?

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Both of you aren't banned, because even though the discussion is heated, I don't see any personal attacks here.

I'm not important. It's ok, most of the people aren't important. im_uname correctly says that you are too not important enough for there to exist a conspiracy to ban you. It's not an attack, it's a reason why people don't think there's a grand conspiracy to ban you and whoever else you think of.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Thank you for writing this Jonald. I agree with everything you've said. I truly hope Roger and Amaury can work together instead of against each other. Imagine how good that would be for this community.

$ 0.83
1 year ago

"United we stand, Divided we fall"

You know what this is? A propaganda piece that the early American post-colonists used to justify a giant overarching tyrannical state.

Unity is made to sound like cooperation, but its secretly just controlling others.

What we need is cohesive divisibility. That's decentralization. Different parties working together on common goals, but not because they're forced to, but because its in their best interest to.

If you really want forced "unity", Why even have separate node implementations? In fact lets extend that further, why do we need more than 1 miner?

We need decentralization. Not a clique of elitist developers acting as garekeepers.

$ 0.20
1 year ago

So, currently we have Bitcoin Cash. Very small community. By some estimates - maybe 1000 people or so. We have one leading implementation. We have a few powerful miners. Considering this - what do you propose (which specific steps) to improve it to get to the future that you envision (cohesive divisibility, different parties working together on common goals)?

Because, frankly if we keep attacking each other (you vs Jonald, Roger vs Amaury, BSV vs BCH) - we'd be under 100 people soon enough... So if you have specific steps - please share.

$ 0.15
1 year ago

For one, stop banning people from discussion forums. I along other BCH supporters have been banned from r/btc along with 90% of all BSV supporters and 50% of all BTC supporters. Similar story with BCHGANG and the like. Its always leveraged with some excuse, some standard unfairly applied based on peoples opinion, character, associations, or other arbitrary measures.

After you unban me and all the others and stop banning and censoring, then stop doing that forever.

After that, we need to stop regurgitating failed ideas. Honest and Read both are centralized forums. We need forums built on the blockchain, smart contracts, ipfs, etc.... we cannot trust humans not to censor and be biased. We need to remove trust for that.

After censorship is no longer a problem whatsoever, the next step is to lead by example. Not by word. Pretty words mean nothing. Speak with your actions.

And we as a community need to rally around further decentralizing development and infra, not consolidating it and nearly worshipping a single party.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

There is memo.cash and memberapp - supposedly uncensorable (IDK, I didn't check). So, following your logic - we've already done this step.

You were banned from some popular places that people spent a lot of time developing and promoting. They've had reasons, so you have the tools (memo/member), go create a place that's your own, promote it, get people to visit it.

You want all the privileged with NONE of work that the owners of these places did.

Why are you spending time in centralized forums, when uncensorable alternatives exist? You say that this is the only way it should be, yet you are in censorable forum and complain about not being able to post to censorable forums.

So, we're past this step. Uncensorable media exists. Nobody is going to unban you from where you were banned I assume. What are the next steps towards your imagined future? Or are we there already?

$ 0.05
1 year ago

There is a semi-centralized community called BitcoinCashers (formerly, Bitcoin Cash Association) which helps businesses, advertisement, and adoption on top of Bitcoin Cash. These people dont have anything to do with software development (althrough there are a lot of developers among the activists), they focus on adoption only.

You cant really centralize something thats decentralized. Centralizing a coin, is like, cutting the independence of power-sharing in a state - merging police and juridistication into the parlament. Very dangerous scenario.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Powerful message! I really hope our community can jell a bit more, with less in-fighting and more trust. Both Roger Ver and Amaury Séchet are here on read.cash, so, hopefully they'll respond.

$ 0.20
1 year ago

"Roger: Are you willing to admit you've made some mistakes and enabled some bad actors and that it might be wise to listen to others in the future for your own sake as well as for the benefit of all that share your goals?"

Of course! No one is perfect, and there is always room to learn.

$ 0.10
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1 year ago

Some cazy bubbler ideas:

Maybe Amaury can delegate / put someone in charge of building rapport with others? He does have a lot on his plate. I would be happy if he could find a way to avoid the parts of the job he does not prefer dealing with. I am sure this is a difficult idea to implement, but, maybe if it is an open, well known thing, people can be more OK with him not being gregarious or whatever it is he does not like to do (at least part of the time)?

I think you have good advice for Roger Ver. Sadly, I would guess he thought he was listening to "peers". He just listened to the wrong ones and gave some the "benefit of the doubt" for too long. I see how that has been a bad thing for the BCH ecosystem. Some people do see the bad apples more quickly than others. I bet he is learning who to trust even though anyone can go rogue for various reasons at any time. If you think he should have known and just did not do his due-diligence in a timely manner, maybe he could delegate (to someone he trusts) the job of researching people who he hears rumors he should not support so he need not spend as much of his time "doing his homework" on people if he does not prefer to spend his time on that.

"A strong community starts with a unified group of great leaders." Yes and that would be ideal in many ways. I do wonder if that is really the absolute best strategy for BCH or any decentralized project. If there was unity, would it be a single point of failure? I don't know. I think we can fix any lack of decentralization after we get the protocol scaling work done. Maybe the whole roadmap? So, maybe unity is great for now?

Even if we were to strive for unity, I am not sure trying to make the strong individualists in BCH "get along" or agree with each other on most everything is a good thing. I do hope they can agree on major goals. Hopefully, also, on how to get there. Asking that they try to get along is great as long as it is their decision. Maybe the leaders with different areas of focus can "stay in their own lane" and be civil as needed. If there is a necessary decision they can't agree on, maybe they can delegate :-) I am thinking call for an SLP token vote of some sort, but, I have not figured out how to make that work best for BCH yet.

Sorry to ramble on, hopefully there is at least one useful idea in there somewhere.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Thank you for writing this! Powerful thoughts, and hopefully the spark of a positive change. Amaury's clarity of vision and doggedness made BCH possible. Roger's economic thinking and passion have been key to growing the ecosystem. Today huge potential for BCH is in the air, but the challenges are still formidable: On the technical side scaling and UX, on the adoption side regulations and social attacks. Like you, I hope Amaury and Roger find common ground and keep moving toward the shared goal of p2p cash for the world. Let's take BCH to the next level!

$ 1.65
1 year ago