On Tribalism in Crypto Communities

A major point of criticism since the inception of cryptocurrency has involved the community surrounding and promoting the technology. From the original anarcho-capitalists of Bitcoin, to the elitist fan groups of individual altcoins, crypto enthusiasts have, in the eyes of many, contributed to an uninviting environment for the potential new recruit.

Perhaps the most prominent shortcoming of the general cryptocurrency population is the tribalistic nature surrounding certain altcoins. A number of coins embody an environment unwelcoming of, and even hostile towards, other coins and communities. While these sentiments are promoted by supporters of the coin, they are often perpetuated and rewarded by the often ill-intentioned developer team, who craft a perpetually loyal, cult-like following that is unwavering in its support for the project.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is an obvious example of such an environment. Across crypto and non-crypto social media circles alike, Bitcoin Cash supporters are often seen promoting their beloved currency and denouncing competing coins, primarily Bitcoin. These sentiments are promoted and perpetuated by the head of the coin, Roger Ver, through his passionate rage on social media, in interviews, and in other appearances.

However, even more striking examples can be seen across various cryptocurrency niches. Major gaming cryptocurrency communities, for example, hold distinct, polarized approaches towards one another.

The community behind EnjinCoin (ENJ) constitutes the most vengeful of all game coin communities and one of the most scathing communities overall. Talk of other gaming cryptos among ENJ supporters consists entirely of bashing and cursing, mainly focused on their primary competitor, GameCredits (GAME). Neutral and positive comments about alternative game coins, if caught by moderators, will result in a ban from community channels. Non-positive comments about ENJ itself, regardless of the intent, will similarly result in a ban. Observers of the community may suggest that the nature of the website’s user base and target market (gamers, and specifically, Minecraft players, who are primarily children and teens) support the tribalistic nature of the community.

In contrast, the GameCredits community has a much different approach towards other gaming coins. The GAME community recognizes that the focuses of their coin – e-sports, mobile gaming, and developer incentives – do not interfere with the focuses of ENJ – Minecraft and gaming communities. While this community does not endorse other coins, or encourage members to support these coins, there is no hatred towards other projects, as those other projects have different approaches and target different areas of the video game industry.

Lastly, a polar opposite approach to the EnjinCoin community can be seen in that of Chimaera (CHI). Chimaera and its community recognize the harmonious nature of different gaming cryptocurrencies, and supporters believe that in a widely adopted blockchain gaming future, these coins will coexist and even support one another in their success. For example, the NEVERDIECOIN (NDC) CEO is often found in the Chimaera Telegram channel, communicating and collaborating to aid in the success of both projects.

It would potentially be very beneficial for all cryptocurrency communities to adopt an approach similar to that of Chimaera. All communities strive to achieve the same goal, mass adoption, and through the help and support of one another, this goal can be achieved quicker and more effectively. In an ideal future of worldwide, meaningful, and daily integration of cryptocurrency, different functions and aspects of daily life will be supported by different cryptocurrencies. This can be achieved much sooner and more meaningfully through universal support fostered by the overall crypto community.