The narcissism of small cryptos

in LeoFinancelast year (edited)

Other than what I have learned from being on Steem, I am relatively crypto noob and, I don't see this as necessarily a bad thing. There is the term coined by Freud named, the narcissism of small differences that theorizes that:

communities with adjoining territories and close relationships are especially likely to engage in feuds and mutual ridicule because of hypersensitivity to details of differentiation.

What this means is that groups who are pretty much the same will conflict over what would otherwise be irrelevant differences. Sound crypto familiar?

I find it interesting in a community that is looking to break away from the centralized constructs that is designed to consistently increase control to less controllers, we are the ones who restrict our own growth by attacking the very groups who should actually be on our side. Rather than focus energies to accomplish a common goal, we spend much more time undermining (a bit of a pun) each other. This is not just on Steem, but rather across all crypto communities.

I think that while the differences might be irrelevant in the grand scheme of things from a bigger picture perspective, at a personal level these differences provide relevancy to an individual who subscribes to one group over another. Bitcoin is better than Steem, EOS is better than Ethereum.

The entire current market cap of crypto is under 200 billion dollars worth, not that it could all sell at that value of course as it would collapse quick smart. That is what people are currently squabbling over, a paltry 200 billion. That means Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates could buy it all at current price and still have 20 billion in change between them.

The world economy consists of 193 economies, with the United States being the largest. As per World Bank estimates, the nominal world GDP in 2017 was $80,683.79 billion. In 2018, the nominal world GDP was $84,835.46 billion in 2018, and it's projected to be $88,081.13 billion in 2019.

It is hard to picture those numbers, isn't it?


World GDP estimate 2019

Still hard to really see much difference perhaps as zeroes are meaningless to our imagination.

88,000,000,000,000/200,000,000,000 = 440

The yearly GDP is 440x larger than the entire crypto market and what this means is that to double the market cap in a year, it would kind of have to capture 0.2% of the world's economy. Of course, this is not how capitalization works, nor is it how the GDP works, but the point is that there is plenty of wiggle room for growth. Yet, we keep fighting over the trash floating in the gutters.

While I am sure that Bitcoin will do well, I increasingly feel that it is not about changing the world for betterment, it is about enriching individuals. Again, it is far from my wheelhouse but even the idea of it being a store of value as digital gold, creates an elitism and impracticability of it for every day usage. No one spends gold, they hold it - and when they do want to utilize its value, they transfer it into fiat for convenience. There is nothing wrong with this, but the problem will again rise that we currently have in the world, mining circles with the equivalent value of Fort Knox, a few wealthy and, all the rest. It doesn't sound overly empowering.

But, I am a romantic and idealist in many ways and as a result, I like the story behind and purpose toward a better future. I think that this is a large part of the reason I am interested and confident in Steem, as rather than being a game of maximization of the self, it has more daily interaction and the transactions are not cold, they are the processes and movements of relationships.

What I like about many tokens created to be suited to purpose and niche, is that it is inclusive in the sense that anyone can take part, no matter their starting point or skill level. Of course, they have to still provide something of value, but that valuable offering doesn't have to be money, it can be much more personal. I like that when I post on Steem the Steem isn't transferred to me from unknowns and I don't transfer to unknowns in the same way an exchange does. Instead, I get to know people in various capacities and degrees of closeness and be part of people's lives in some way.

How I see it is that the future value of Steem is going to be a community effort that will require many people to help people along the way, whether it be for content exposure or application development. Two Steemians who are successful later, will both have played a relatively direct role in each other's success by supporting the growth of the platform, which requires decentralization of the community, a wider and more diverse group, which means many more have benefited as well.

I do not know if this is the same for something like Bitcoin as the value can be driven by a very small number of participants who are each looking to maximize themselves at the expense of others. Buy low, sell high - dump - rinse and repeat. While many might see what content gets offered on Steem as arbitrary, it is something that actually connects people's lives directly to the Blockchain that lays outside of the price itself.

While the Steem blockchain is impersonal in the fact that it is code that applies identically to all, the operations it tracks are varied across the entire range of participant behavior and very personal indeed. For the romantic me, that is a much better story to be a part of over one that maximizes my own wealth, even though a little more money is needed in my household.

It seems to me that rather than getting rich and then doing good, on Steem there is more of a possibility to do good while getting rich, and that process will enrich others in more ways than financial gain. It seems that while everyone is arguing over the definition and details of what is a better world, we are letting the opportunity to create one slip out of our grasp.

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

Of course, what more can we really expect from group behavior than act according to the code, the social programming that decades and centuries of the current system have taught us. We have learned the lesson that we are powerless to change the system and to build another ourselves so well, that we are like trained fleas who after hitting their head on the lid of a jar a few times, will never jump high enough to clear the edge again, even once the lid has been removed.

Bitcoin removed the lid and here we are, still in the jar.

People like to talk about how much they are learning about crypto, but it seems they have forgotten to develop the understanding that without the empowering people part, it is just another currency. The controlling group might change hands, but does that alone create a better world? There has to be a paradigm shift in order for mass adoption and benefit, yet even those of us who are already here struggle to think outside the classrooms of our past.

We are good students who keep doing what we are told.

[ a Steem original ]


Posted via Steemleo | A Decentralized Community for Investors

You actually touched upon an upcoming article I have about Bitcoin compared to the rest of the coins. I agree without sentiment (without delving into it here).

There is a lot taking place which people are missing. Fortunately, what you are alluding to in terms of the, shall we say, conflicts, are just a small piece of the puzzle. We make it large but it is really not.

You pointed to the financial end with the economy. We can also look at the population and see how 50M (or whatever the number is) is nothing compared to 7 billion people on this place (or even the 4.3 billion online).

Posted via Steemleo | A Decentralized Community for Investors

We can also look at the population and see how 50M (or whatever the number is) is nothing compared to 7 billion people on this place (or even the 4.3 billion online).

Yes, and considering that the 4B no the internet has taken 30 years to build, what number in crypto will constitute mass adoption? It is quite a different animal, but the infra is already laid to carry it.


I see what you did there.

And I see a quote from Lennon's Darling Boy (Beautiful Boy). What a lovely track that is.

I wasn't aware of the 'the narcissism of small differences', but yeah, it's around.

It'd be nice to have a community mindset of continuous improvement and evolution, rather than kneecap every attempt.

Well written. Resteeming.

As crypto grows it will most most probably become intertwined and merged with other asset classes.

Thank you.

Yes, I think it has to via use case of blockchain also, as it becomes part of the supply chain management systems.

I really like this concept of the narcissism of small differences. I think it is a concurrent mind plaque with crabs in the barrel. We see someone attempting to succeed and feel we must attack them instead of watching them and emulating them if they are successful or learning what not to do if they fail. We should applaud all attempts at success as the success of one is in reality the success of the many. As surely as high tides raise all ships good news about one cryptocurrency casts all cryptocurrency in a more favorable light.

I like what you did with the numbers. I like them and I think they prove points well if you pay attention. It is especially poignant to point out that we all drink so little from the well that there is plenty Water to go around. This is not a zero sum game, we all can win and the more of us who do, the better the economy is for all of us.

instead of watching them and emulating them if they are successful or learning what not to do if they fail.

one of the major development benefits of decentralized platforms is that many attempts can be made simultaneously and as long as some do okay, the failures will be absorbed.

When we thin of numbers these days, we have been ruined. We think we understand a billion and a trillion as they get thrown around on the news all the time and until we see it visualized, it doesn't form in the imagination.

Wow! Great video. And that Statue of Liberty Symbolism was crazy!

Insane isn't it? When we read the news, we don't have an understanding of what those kinds of numbers mean.

Your message here is quite clear and something I've been preaching a lot. I encounter people on Twitter who take pride in knocking ANY project that isn't Bitcoin. I find it weird considering the whole idea is to get out of centralized systems and when I tell them to come to steem, they call me a "shill", say it's a "scam and then say a bunch of other dumb shit.
Great post

They knock any project that isn't their. I do agree that there are plenty o coins and chains that have very little use case, but it isn't that every one of them other than "what I support" is the same. I think those who think Steem is a scam are either unfamiliar, failed here or have a FUD agenda.

I think so too. The issue about use case is relative and predominantly down to how much promotion and reach to the target audience.
Most projects I encounter actually have nice concepts but aren't getting to their target audience.

It is a common problem in tech - concepts and features without a gateway to market.

It's a sad thing, the majority of people interested in crypto are here to make money fast, and not to build a better world. :( It's nice to see there is other people who are looking to make a better world :)

I really think steem can change the world. We just need to keep going and going and networking and networking, bringing new people when the time arrives.

One of the most important aspects of making community is uniting, which narcissists doesn't understand (they just live in a world full of competition). So be sure, steem is the place to make community, grow and integrate cryptocurrency to the masses.

Have a nice day^^

I am hoping that the coming development built upon hivemind, communities and powered with SMTs will take people into consideration more, now that the economics are working better. THe focus should shift towards building compelling and emotionally rewarding experiences for users, not just attract based on reward.

It is a trial and error process though, and many will never choose to take part, although they will be happy to take credit and reward.

I am also hoping. Many people doesn't understand what means to develop a project and develop a community, and doesn't seem to enjoy just to be part of it because they like to connect to others. So how do we attract the people who want to just connect through making a better world? Big question and the answer would be to remove the rewards, but that goes in contradiction with what steem is and what is trying to achieve.
Maybe money and community can't be friends.

So how do we attract the people who want to just connect through making a better world?

I think it is about adding more rewards. Applications that people love with SMTs that help people feel value in the process. Tokens don't have to be salable, just valuable to the users. Karma points are worthless yet people collect them, players collect ranks playing various games - they are all tokens of some kind.


I can't understand that kind of weird loyalty. But then again I'm the type that used to tell people with various degrees of exasperation that the website (usually dA at the time but there were other forums and the like) will not actually care one whit if they signed up on other websites XD

It is about usage I think. Most of the other coins don't really have much to do with them - at least on Steem there is "in-Steem" utility.