The crypto world has been on a wild ride over the last 12 months. Token sales or ICO’s have seen billions of dollars raised from investors all over the world, with many promising projects experiencing almost exponential growth. We’ve seen thousands of startups promising us their vision for a new decentralised world, endeavoring to revolutionise entire industries with the power of blockchain and solve problems we didn’t even know existed.
Many of the projects backed have little more substance than a white-paper concept, a sleek website, and some credible looking advisors. Investors are enticed by the dream of the eventual moon their investment will reach and the Lambo that will follow, hoping they’ve backed the next Google or Amazon of blockchain. It seems more likely, however, that many projects will struggle to engage and retain their backers once the hype in their project (and possible the industry) fades.
Unsurprisingly, building a world-changing blockchain solution takes a significant amount of time, effort, and in an ever more competitive landscape, strong and focused community support. For any would-be decentralised organisation or token ecosystem, this last factor is absolutely key. During the initial phases of marketing and launching an ICO, interest in the project and the buzz of the community reaches all-time highs, only to fade away as token holders become disinterested and find new projects to get behind. Unless the project team is actively communicating their token holders, it can become easy for the community to slowly disappear.
Growing and maintaining a community of token holders and supporters who are engaged, and actively contribute to the direction of a project is extremely valuable. We’ve seen this in the success of projects such as Ethereum and Litecoin, both of which have extremely strong communities that are out in force evangelising the projects that they believe in. This is a winning strategy.
Establishing an engaged community is hard, but with the right tools, very manageable. Communication between a project team and their support is a vital component, but it’s not enough. Token holders should have real access to contribute to the direction of a project and have a tangible involvement its growth and success.
Most projects use tools like Reddit, slack, and telegram to create communication channels. These are a great first step, but not without their drawbacks. On platforms like these, the lines between real token holders and community participants, and FUD spreading shills can become really blurry, really quickly. This causes a major problem especially when teams are turning to their community for guidance and input.
Looking to the world of bricks and mortar for an example - shareholders in traditional companies have the right to vote in elections for the board of directors, and on important decisions like the long-term aims for the company or significant structural change. By comparison, in the majority of projects, token holders have no voice, no rights and no way to have their say.
Fortunately, an answer to these challenges already exists. At SecureVote, our aim is to bring governance to crypto projects. We work with token and coin project teams to design custom governance solutions that help to keep their communities engaged, empowered and contributing to the direction of the projects they are invested in. This, after all, is the spirit of crypto in action.