Small crypto communities turned out to be echo chambers and spaces for reinforcing wrong perceptions of truth more than a place for people to share success and take advice from others.
Much like any other community, there are a lot of bad apples with crypto as well. Most of them are derived from purely profit-based motivation from followers and no real connection to the goal of the project.
FOMO is a real issue with new investors, and they are unlikely to find any relief from it when joining crypto communities or following “investment gurus:.
FOMO. I know it, I’ve experienced it and I’m still recovering from it. The only good thing that it has brought me is this story that I am telling you right here and right now. Every time the crypto market would jump in price, I would immediately feel a sense of disappointment, thinking that my future plans of saving up a bunch of money and dumping it into the crypto market were foiled. But the market would then come crumbling down again giving me even more hope.
Finally, sometime around April 2021, I had gathered enough in savings to a point where I felt comfortable investing. But being the skeptic that I am, I somehow knew that investing it in BTC was going to be a bad idea. Why? “Because it can maybe double at the most, and that’s not enough profit on crypto”, said I. So I started delving into smaller coins that had barely been released or had seen some interest from the general public in the past.
Due to them being so small and still relatively young, the communities involved with them are very close-knit and active. Have you ever been on a Dogecoin discord channel or subreddit? Imagine that but 10 times as intense. Let me describe a few things I saw.
Almost every single time the coin would lose momentum and start stagnating in price, around 50-60% of the chat would immediately start spewing pessimism about the coin. Calling it a scam. Calling it a failure, you name it. But the moment it would go up, then the chat would be absolutely littered with “Lambo wen”? “to the MOOOOON!!!” and etc. I’ve even encountered a few channels (I’m not naming the exact coins you may have guessed) where the creators or the teams behind the project were very active.
I remember this one particular case, where a community had been waiting for an update about the system the coin was built on. And every single time the price would drop and panic ensued, the founder would just stroll into the server. The mods would lock the chat (with consent from the community mind you) and a 15-minute wait for what the founder typed up would begin.
Once this essay was finally delivered to the chat, and the floodgates opened, any residue of pessimism would be gone. It looked more like a coach pumping up his boxer after he or she was nearly knocked out in the previous round.
And the message would always say the same things: “I’m so proud of this community”, “We’re working very hard”, “We’re almost done with the update I promise”, and of course, how could I forget, “TO THE MOOON!”.
Unbelievable Amounts of Racism
The crypto community I knew prided itself on being tolerant and accepting. No matter where you are, what language you speak, you’re welcome to the community that is building the future. But with these small coins, I saw lots and lots, and lots of racism just non-stop. It was particularly directed towards Indians, but that’s just my experience, maybe other channels were directing it to somebody else.
One particular discussion I managed to witness was about the crypto ban lift in India and how it was going to affect the project. The chat was pretty cool, everybody was singing India’s praise, Indian members of the community were being celebrated and everything looked pretty optimistic.
However, when questions about new crypto regulations in India started to float around, I saw all of that turn in an instant. First, it was about the project being dead due to these new regulations. Then it grew into blatant racism, many members of the chat calling on banning Indian members, fearing they were just gathering data for the RBI. Needless to say, I left that chat right there and then.
They Are All Literally The Same
You’d think that due to most projects taking pride in how different they are from every other blockchain project, their communities would be different as well. But, no, not really. Most small coin projects are the exact same, and their communities are the exact same. Whenever I wanted to butt into a new server, I was met with the same old same old. Calls on when everybody would get rich, and how the project was the best there is and was going to break Bitcoin.
My Final Remarks
Although there are so many more things I could talk about individually, I thought compressing them in one comment was enough. I really don’t like using this word, but if there is such a thing as “sheep mentality” it’s found in a shitcoin’s Discord channel. Now, mind you that not all Discord channels are like this, but from my experience, I got around 7/10 that were like this.
And now here I am, stuck with my savings and not knowing where to invest, but happy that I overcame FOMO. Who would’ve thought that seeing the absolute chaos that is a small coin’s community, would cure me of something so many have fallen victim to. But I wouldn’t advise trying it yourself. Although it helped me somehow, there is no guarantee that it won’t have an opposite effect on you or anybody else.
So, with that, I leave you to decide what you want to invest in when it comes to cryptos. The next best thing? Better check if that was said by the owner or his community, or actual thought leaders in the blockchain industry.
And when you see somebody flashing a Lambo he/she bought with crypto profits, it’s never really about skill or the “hustle mentality”. It’s either about him/her being friends with the founder who notified them about it early on, or unbelievable luck.
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