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DASH · 206w

Trolls vs. Users: The Limited Importance of Online Communities

A common lament in the Dash community is that, compared to some other cryptocurrency communities, it appears to be underrepresented in many online outlets such as Reddit and the Bitcointalk forums. For example, recently there was what appeared to be a coordinated effort in the /r/cryptocurrency subreddit to attack Dash, which garnered many updates and anti-Dash comments. The number of anti-Dash folks (mostly Monero supporters) appeared to far outnumber the Dash supporters. Further, Twitter polls asking for a vote on which cryptocurrency to support next usually show Dash significantly outvoted by other cryptos.

One might think from that evidence that Dash is an obscure, weakly-supported cryptocurrency. Yet for years it has consistently been in the Top 10 in market capitalization, and currently has a market cap over $2 billion. Further, hundreds of merchants currently accept Dash, far outnumbering most other cryptocurrencies.

So what accounts for the discrepancy? Why is it that Dash’s online community support is not proportional to its actual real-world support? I would argue there are three reasons: (1) the personality of the Dash Core team; (2) the personality of the typical Dash supporter; and (3) the existence of a functional governance system.


The origins of cryptocurrency are seeped in strong ideological beliefs, such as the importance of decentralization and the freedom of the individual. In general, these ideology beliefs are a good thing, but there is a tension between this ethos and real-world practical applications. Regular users don’t care about the ideology behind a project; they just want something to make their lives easier. Yet many cryptocurrency projects are most interested in pushing their ideology, even when it means alienating large numbers of potential users. For example, the public face of Monero, Riccardo Spagni, loves to troll other projects, and rarely resists the temptation to att...

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