Altcoins are – and have been for quite a long time – a circus. It’s honestly quite ridiculous. I grew up on the internet, around some very odd – disturbing even – places. 4chan is a real place on the internet, and its denizens are a cynical and twisted bunch.
But sometimes these days, it’s hard to tell the difference between those memories of humorous – if politically incorrect – message boards and a community that seems to think it might be on to something incredible. Bitcoin is amazing – altcoins are, at base, attempts to improve upon it. So why is it that 4chan and the BitcoinTalk altcoin forums are in some ways nearly indistinguishable from each other?
No clue, aside from that they’re drawn from the same audience of young, upper-middle-class, mostly white, mostly male sectors of the population. But what I do have a clue about is what it results in.
Chaos. Complete and utter chaos. Even circuses have ringleaders – not the case here.
The Blocknet is an exciting project, the goals of which can have impressive real-world implications. It can create a system that can be built upon gradually that would allow for singular innovative features to give a coin value in ways that don’t yet exist. It’s, as the developers say, the internet of blockchains. And it’s spearheaded by one of the best (and best-known) developers in the altcoin community, Dan Metcalf.
And it’s been under assault. Such an assault, in fact, that the Blocknet ITO (Initial Token Offering) is likely to not even make it to the minimum 800 BTC required for the ITO to reach launch state – resulting in a refund for all those involved. This would be a sad event – a very interesting idea with a lot of potential, a variety of communities and developers behind it, dead before it can even launch. One would hope it would be relaunched in this case, but it’s impossible to know. But for now, let’s look at what happened that caused this. The short answer, as the story has been told by Arlyn Culwick, the PR and Media liaison for XCurrency, who has also been working with news outlets and journalists to cover Blocknet. Blocknet is not officially supported by XC, but they do have the same developer, and the two are relatively closely tied.
Arlyn sent over a very angry and frustrated letter yesterday afternoon. Here’s the chronology she lays out of the assault on Blocknet:
- A few major holders of SDC, a coin that was to be involved in Blocknet but decided not to be, plan a multi-pronged FUD attack against Blocknet. This attack was easy to pull off for a few reasons. First, IPO’s (ITO, but same thing) are difficult to trust in the cryptocurrency community. A lot of scams have been run that way. So throwing just a little bit of doubt onto one is good enough. Second, the Blocknet IPO is on a very short timeline of just one week, and requires 800 BTC (about 30% of the total offering) to be purchased in order to launch. So a little Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt, even if it’s not well supported by evidence, can be enough to cripple the launch – they only need to influence potential investors for a few days time.
- They execute the attack. Arlyn provided me with these links:
Yep, quite a lot of stuff in there. Arlyn, Dan, and Prometheus have put together a large repertoire of information about this entire event, which has been sent out in the form of a .doc file, which you can view here. But the summary is pretty short:
- Dan denies these accusations
- Prometheus denies these accusations
- Other evidence seems to indicate that while Dan & Prometheus have interacted, and Prometheus is perhaps not the most savory individual, their relationship has not been illicit in nature. To put it another way, Dan is clean, Dan & Prometheus are clean, Prometheus is suspect.
- It looks bad, but is it bad? That’s for the court of public opinion to decide. My view? No.
But the real question is how the Blocknet team is going to handle the situation.
My suggestion to them: extend the ITO under the following terms, if you believe this FUD can be quickly cleared away.
- Extend until November 15th
- Put up Sell Walls at the original ITO end date at 0.00025500, changing the ICO price to be 2% higher for ITO latecomers.
- Put up Buy Walls at 0.00025250, offering anyone who now wants to exit a 101% refund as a show of good faith.
- Launch your anti-FUD campaign.
Best of luck.