Ethereum and the Human Element
tl;dr Don’t be a dick.
There is something I wanted to get of my mind for the past months. I’ve been having trouble finding the exact words to explain how I feel but I will give it a go anyway. Be warned; rant incoming.
The past six months I have been involved with Ethereum. Ethereum, for better or worse, received a lot of attention around the time it was announced. This attention had a lot of positive effects: the Ethereum community was very strong from day one. There were people actively contributing code, others were organising meetups all over the world and we got a lot of talented people reviewing the various papers. Sadly this attention also brought on a lot of, for a lack of a better word, haters.
When the fundraiser, finally, happened the negativity exploded even further. There were a few recurring questions that these people kept coming up with that I would like to address now.
Why does Ethereum need money? Satoshi did it all without being paid.
When Satoshi developed the Bitcoin protocol there weren’t any cryptocurrencies. Nobody was watching him, he was free to develop his ideas on his own without the whole (crypto) world watching. Satoshi might have opted in to do some fundraising if there was already an existing community to support him.
Vitalik could have done with Satoshi did and just develop Ethereum in his spare time. But why would you do that if there is a community that wants to support you so you can develop Ethereum full-time with a team of excellent developers around you while also increasing the delivery time and code quality. Don’t you think people deserve to be paid for their hard work?
Ethereum is a scam because it is pre-mined.
When you join a ‘normal’ startup early on it’s quite normal to be receiving equity in return. It’s a perk you get in return for taking on the risk of joining a start-up company.
Ethereum is exactly the same. Some of the core members quit there job as early as January this year in order to work full-time on Ethereum without knowing if they will ever see a pay-day and believe me when I say I had days where I had serious doubt if Ethereum would ever come to fruition. I don’t see why it’s so strange to give the people who gave it their all these past few months a little extra in exchange for their trust and loyalty to the project.
These are just examples of the dozen’s of misunderstood rambles I encountered online, on fora and irc channels. Of course this doesn’t just apply to Ethereum.
This behaviour is a side effect that exists because you are just an anonymous entity, untouchable and not accountable for the things you say behind your computer screen.
I think my bottom line is the following:
Ethereum is a project that exists of real people. These people have hopes, fears and dreams just like you. When you say things like ‘Ethereum is a scam because X’ you insult the people who made sacrifices these past few months, who maxed out their credit cards, burned through their savings just because they wanted to see this project they believe in to come into existence without knowing if they would ever receive financial compensation.
I don’t want to turn this into a sermon and I understand that all this is probably pointless anyway but please next time you feel the urge to give your opinion on something consider doing the following:
Do your research so you have an informed opinion, consider other peoples feelings and make sure whatever you have to say is constructive.