As I'm writing this on June 14th, 2020 one of the top news headlines for crypto is "Developer Activity Surrounding Eos, Tron, and Bitcoin Cash Plummets".
The talk of the town is a discussion on why these supposedly "top blockchains" with billions of dollars in market cap are seeing their developers (and users) drop like flies.
This chart shows the decline in monthly active development on Tron, Eos, and Bitcoin Cash. We've seen many blockchains in the space decline similarly in terms of core and third-party development over the past two years. Many are popular protocols, applications, blockchains and even top market cap cryptocurrencies.
These projects have millions and even billions of $$ in the bank, wouldn't you expect them to be able to drum up some paid actors to use their applications.. at the least?
Why Are These Projects Seeing Such a Rapid Decline in Their Developments and General User Base?
As many in the crypto media and crypto analyst fields are doing, I'm racking my brain for ideas as to why these projects can't drum up any sort of meaningful activity. The reason that I keep coming back to is something that @theycallmedan often tweets about:
You can't buy a community.
I've seen other large crypto twitter influencers utter a similar sentiment (some even referencing the Steem->Hive Situation).
The main reason why these projects are failing to develop great tools and cultivate a growing user base is because they fail to understand people.
While they sit in their ivory towers with millions and even billions of dollars in their bank accounts (or private keys), they are unable to understand the very core competency that nearly every blockchain platform needs to have: the ability to build a strong layer 0.
If you're a user, developer or investor on the Hive blockchain, then you understand this point well. You already know what a strong community looks like. While Hive is far from the biggest blockchain out there in terms of market cap/"money in the bank", it is one of the largest blockchains out there in terms of developer and user activity... and that my friends, is a fact.
Using Activity on Steem vs Hive to Illustrate this Point
ICYMI: There was an amazing analysis published by the team over at DappRadar in which they illustrated a "flippening" in the dapp activity on the Steem blockchain as compared to the Hive blockchain.
The author, Jon Jordan, kicks off the article talking about the "Steemit strategic partnership with Tron" that was announced on the 14th of February 2020.
This announcement along with the subsequent hostile actions of Justin Sun toward the existing layer 0 (community) on Steem is what led many leaders in the community to create a hard fork called Hive.
Hive was created by the community and for the community. Since the point of this post is to discuss the primary reason why these other blockchains are failing, we needn't look any further than a community of users, developers and investors who came together to create an entirely new chain that embodies the principles of decentralization and community-ownership.
This chart illustrates a very interesting relationship between Steem and Hive. Splinterlands is obviously the most used dApp on Hive (and is one of the most used dApps in all of crypto, for that matter) and was truly the only thing that kept Steem looking "alive".
Splinterlands migrated from Steem to Hive on June 1st (just a few weeks ago) and on the day of the switch, you can see a complete flip in the dApp user activity on Steem and Hive.
Note the trend line: Hive has steadily seen growth since it's launch back in March in terms of dApp user activity while Steem has seen a steady decline. Users on Steem have been migrating to Hive alongside their favorite applications.
The central point that I'm trying to put forward here is that a community existed on Steem. Not just any community, but arguably one of the strongest dApp platform-oriented communities in all of crypto. When any threat was posed to that community, it rallied together to protect the collective interest.
When you look at these other blockchains - be it EOS, TRON or BCH - you won't find this same quality. You won't find a core community that will do anything to see the platform succeed.
You won't find a core group of developers, witnesses, users, content creators and investors willing to build the project out of passion and not profit.
This is why these platforms are slowly dying. They are propped up by large cash reserves and a few prominent figureheads who are capable of marketing their developments to raise more funding and token valuation in the short-term.
The problem here is that one day the bill comes due. One day, everyone is going to stand up in crypto we're going to look around and see that many of these projects are nothing but a shell of development, hype and a lack of real-world usage.
Dan also sums this up well in his tweet: "The days of a small group getting rich off the back of the community are going away. The future is ours".
The reason why Hive fits so perfectly in this conversation is because it is a small platform. It's the David in the story and these other projects (not dissimilar to the corporations/govs outside of crypto) are the Goliaths.. biding their time and maximizing self-enrichment until the day they fade to dust.. and that day is coming.
As people continue to find the best places to build projects in the crypto space, I think many more will realize that Hive is one of the most viable options. There is an existing community and while it is small relative to the outside world, it is huge in the world of crypto.
Some who read this may call me a Hive maximalist. While I obviously have a major biased toward Hive - having built the LeoFinance project and all the various applications we've created on top of Hive - I am actually a community maximalist.
In the process of writing this and thinking about the value of community, I've realized that the primary reason why I invest in a stock or a crypto project hinges largely on the community that underpins it.
A few of my largest bags:
- Bitcoin - the OG group of hodlers
- HIVE - the community to build and be a part of
- Ethereum - a community of talented, forward-thinking developers
- BAT - a project led by community-oriented leaders centered around the idea of revolutionizing digital advertising to the benefit of users
- Tesla - another die hard community outside of crypto
- Square - a community has been forming around Square at an exponential pace. The ability for people of my generation to buy fractional stocks, Bitcoin and spend it/send it easily is going to revolutionize finance. It's a bridge between traditional finance and crypto
With Hive and these other investments, I've come to realize that everything comes down to community. Your true value ought to be measured by the core community that underpins all that you do. So to throw my hat into the ring on this discussion as to why projects like EOS, TRON and BCH are lacking growth, here's why:
Community. Community. Community. Oh and community.
Speaking of Community..
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