Social Media is now completely encroached by the numerous Cryptocurrency communities, in order to promote their own coins and also to share the latest news and development of their platform with the community. Bitcoin and altcoins are all over the place in social media like Reddit, Twitter, Steemit, Youtube, ANN thread and other platforms. We will discuss the impact of social media in the cryptocurrency space and also positive/negative effects of this development.
Relationship between Cryptocurrency and Social Media
The Social media and cryptocurrency relationship dates back to the year 1992. Many would be surprised by this statement since Bitcoin was invented only in 2009. However, the Social Media interactions about cryptography and computer science started on the Cypherpunks mailing list back in 1992. The mailing list increased its active subscribers to 2000 by 1997. Satoshi Nakamoto used this mailing list to convey his revolutionary discovery about Bitcoin to the world from 2009 till 2011. Also, many developers worked on it and communicated using the mailing list, thus contributing to the growth of Bitcoin.
Bitcoin’s emergence was heavily discussed in online forums using mailing lists, IRC chats, and Bitcointalk.org. Bitcoin’s first real transaction (Two Pizzas were bought for 10k BTC) was also facilitated using social media. Satoshi used to promote the idea of Bitcoin using P2P foundation, Linux Foundation, and Bitcointalk.org. As Bitcoin’s popularity grew and more users joined the network, the community started to put their footprints on various Social media platforms like Twitter, Reddit, ANN thread, Steemit, Telegram and WhatsApp groups.
Social Media’s Role in the Crypto Space Today
After Bitcoin and altcoins moved toward mainstream acceptance, communities started to increase and encroach different social media platforms. Now, a noob can learn everything from veterans present on social media platforms like Twitter and Reddit, and become an expert themselves. That’s if they follow the right people and commit to being a constant learner in this space. One needs to learn a lot in this space and be vigilant, because the crypto space is not only filled with legitimate and innovative companies, but also with scams. There are many ICOs that come up with many vaporware projects that attract millions of dollars and then make a swift exit, often leaving no trace of their whereabouts.
Centra ICO is one such scam that was busted recently and the founders were arrested for raising $30 million. They failed to keep their promise of integrating cryptocurrencies with Master and visa cards. There are thousand of other projects that come up with attractive buzz words and try to attract investors. Social media helps in alarming the users and identifying the scams. So, it is very important to carefully choose who we are following, and investigate their background to determine if they are legitimate.
Different Crypto Social Media Platforms
There are so many social media platforms that have cryptocurrency communities actively sharing their thoughts, ideas, and development. We will discuss some of the most popular platforms and their use cases in helping this space.
Reddit is an important platform in contributing to the field of cryptocurrencies. There is usually a subreddit page for every cryptocurrency, and there are many discussions going on about the development, latest news and updates on each cryptocurrency subreddit page. Media publications also get their information from subreddit pages since the important news first tends to flows out of Reddit into other social media platforms. Industry insider information often gets published on Reddit first. So, there are thousands of Reddit users getting informed on cryptocurrencies news.
Twitter is the next important platform that can be used to learn and educate yourself on blockchain and cryptocurrencies. One can follow the cryptocurrency experts and longtime veterans in Bitcoin, blockchain, and the crypto space in general. Also, Twitter is often the go-to place for heatedd debates and arguments. Some may even go into a very severe Twitter brawl, if both parties fail to agree with the other’s views or opinion.
Additionally, Twitter is a place where many crypto watchers get the latest news like exchange listings, major crypto adoption, product integration, price action and trading advice. Founders of various crypto-platforms communicate directly with their followers here and also respond to their questions. Many also give trading advice on Twitter by sharing charts and trends with their followers. On Twitter, emotions have an impact on the price and during a bearish trend, Twitter sometimes goes into “a silent mode”. But if the price goes upwards, many Twitter users go into euphoria and start to share memes expressing their happiness over the price going to the moon.
Telegram groups are becoming quite popular these days as well, since it has features that have so many use-cases, exclusively for crypto communities. A telegram can add thousands of users in a group and the users can discuss among themselves and also help each other in their own community. Telegram can even be used for more personal interaction with the community, compared to Twitter.
One can easily get help and advice from the community via Telegram. One such example is during forks. When forks occur, a person can get confused on how to claim the airdrop. This can be solved by interacting with the community through a Telegram channel; many people are there to help and guide them to get their free airdrops. This is one of the many examples of the help offered by the community using Telegram. There are a number of Telegram groups exclusively available for giving free trading advice as well. Users discuss trading strategies by sharing charts, and buy/sell calls are also made to the trading groups. Moreover, community news is announced via a telegram by founders of a crypto-platform and community leaders.
There are also closed paid channels for premium customers and they pay for getting signals for trading. Buy/Sell signals are vital since they decide their profit, so people don’t mind paying for the closed telegram group.
There are even pump and dump groups that collectively buy to pump up the price of a coin and then sell it collectively to make huge profits. This is highly risky and illegal, and one should stay away from these groups to avoid losing large sums of money.
Slack and Discord
Slack and Discord are the latest trends in sharing information because they help in creating different channels for every purpose. If you join a Slack or Discord group, you can create many channels like general, mining and development. You can join or be invited to any of the channels to discuss topics based on your interests.
For example, if you are interested in mining, you can join the mining channel and discuss with other miners. And, if you are into development, you can join development channels to contribute your ideas.
Many people learn about cryptocurrencies through YouTube. There are plenty of videos on cryptocurrencies to educate people. There are also demonstrations of how to use different crypto wallets, discussion on exchanges and one can learn about the functionality and features of almost any crypto-platform. Trading advice on a coin is often shared on YouTube. There are many YouTubers giving daily news and updates, along with their personal favorites in cryptocurrencies and ICOs. Furthermore, there are live discussions streamed on YouTube.
Bitcoin Talk Forum (ANN Thread)
Many discussions take place in Bitcoin talk forums, commonly referred to as ANN thread. New developments and news updates get shared and discussed constructively in this forum. This is a very active forum and many users discuss and clarify their doubts here.
Steemit is another social media platform like Youtube, Facebook or Twitter, but it is built on a blockchain, and users are rewarded in Steem (a cryptocurrency by itself) if their post is upvoted. They are also paid for curation. Steem dollars, the other crypto on Steemit, can be earned by using the platofrm, and later converted to any other cryptocurrency or even liquidated in the later stage.
Since Steemit runs on a blockchain, one cannot censor it like they do on Facebook or Youtube. Notably, many YouTubers are moving to Steemit after Youtube started to demonetize many videos without any explanation. So, those who got frustrated with YouTube are now moving to Steemit to earn Steem and here they don’t need to depend on a centralized entity to pay them.
Negative Impact of Social media on Crypto
Unfortunately, there are also many negative things on social media about cryptocurrencies. Below are some of them.
Paid shilling of coins
There are plenty of well-known, so-called cryptocurrency experts who are paid by different communities to shill their coin, which artificially pumps up the price. So, they misguide their followers to buy or support a particular coin and the followers fall into a trap and lose money. Therefore, one should be vigilant and do their own research before buying a particular coin and not follow anyone blindly.
Fake News spreads fast via Social Media
Rumors and fake news often spreads very fast on social media, and because of this, the price of Bitcoin and altcoins take a hit. There has been a lot of FUD that has been escalated quickly via social media, and that adversely and unfairly affects the price of cryptocurrencies to a greater extent. Again, here also users need to do their research and not blindly believe “news” that floats around on Twitter or other platforms.
Tribalism in Crypto Community
Many altcoins projects are “tribalized” by their creators, which creates a cult-like following using social media and the community is driven towards making it look similar to a religion. Oftentimes, the community is misguided by its creators and developers to promote their beloved currency and denounce other competing coins. Social media plays a major role in this tribalism and this promotes hate among the communities and politics/fights/arguments take over real development and innovation.
We have discussed the pros and cons of social media on cryptocurrencies. It is up to the user to make the best use of it, and not be misguided.