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Author Topic: How we crypto-geeks get it wrong & the reality of altcoin success.  (Read 6256 times)
First.Bitcoins
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July 12, 2014, 03:08:48 PM
Last edit: July 12, 2014, 03:22:45 PM by First.Bitcoins
 #1

A LONG READ - skip to summary at bottom if you want

Background - I first discovered bitcoin in Sept 2013, lurked for a while, bought & sold on localbitcoins.com, watched the altcoin explosion, traded some coins, learned.

The other day on the Poloniex Troll Box, I saw a brilliant comment that summed it all up, "What difference does a new algo make for XXX (insert name here) coin, when next week there will be a newer one?"

Every other comment on the Troll box & these forums runs along the lines of, "XXX coin is no clone, the Dev created 7 new algos, the coin will soar - to da moon!" Of course that is rebutted in days with, "Yeah but XXX2 coin flips those algos sideways & upside down - to da moon!"

Ah, we geeks just don't get it!

The user community for a coin only cares technically about two things:
     - Is it easy to use
     - is it secure

And an engaged user community is the only thing that will give an altcoin longterm success

ALL the others, with all their new technology claims, only serve one purpose: mine them fast, pump & dump, convert to bitcoin... Next!
Although the battle for the anon coins is worth some investment, IMHO

There are only two legitimate reasons for an altcoin:
     - it is technologically advanced enough to replace, or partially replace bitcoin
     - it serves a niche market

This post is about niche coins and what it takes to succeed in that environment.



A DISCLAIMER BEFORE YOU KEEP READING - I would like to explain what it is like out in the real world, building a longterm user community, and as a coin Dev can really only speak from my experience. I won't give details about the coin (you can get those from my sig if interested) but can't really tell the story without some reference to it.


First hurdle: When we explain our coin to potential users (artists in our case), we used to compare it, "It's like Bitcoin... have you heard of bitcoin?"
Amazingly, 80% say no, and for the 90% who say yes, bitcoin is a negative.
The comment we most often get is, "yeah bitcoin is that Ponzi scheme, right?" When asked where they heard that, they say, "somewhere on the news"

Now we present it as a digital currency (they don't get the term "crypto") that works similarly to an airline mileage reward card, you can earn AppleBytes and convert them to cash or buy things..." They get that, and it sounds safe to them.


The next hurdle, surprised me. They like the idea, and want to know how to get started. So we tell them to download the wallet app (we had to call it an app, because they get very confused with all our cryptocurrency techno babble: wallet, faucet, pool, etc).

Half may join, but the other half of them immediately say, "oh no, I won't download anything to my computer, it may have a virus"
So in addition to MAC, Windows, Android, we have to give them an online wallet. That way they will join, then later we can educate them about security issues on our forum.


The next hurdle is the battle of the two disparate economies in the cryptocurrency world.
One economy is the miners, capable of mining significant quantities of a coin. Their aim for the most part is simple, mine the most profitable coin and convert to bitcoin. A legitimate strategy, and I don't blame them. I have been one of them.

The other is the user economy, and though we made it easy with built in CPU pool mining in the wallet (and some other tricks to limit the impact of ASICs, etc), they can only mine a hundred or so a day, not thousands. For them you have to provide the opportunity to spend their coins at a much higher Satoshi conversion rate than the miners are swapping them (at least in the beginning). There are ways to do that, but that is not what this post is about. And telling them to trade the alt for bitcoin on some exchange and then to cash, is not one of them.


And last is the dreaded "P" word - premine!
Now my comments may surprise you. It is not premine that is evil, it is how it is used.
The two wrong ways that cause a coin to ultimately fail are these:
     - Devs are paid with it
     - There is an Air Drop

The first leads to nothing but Pump & Dump
The second leads to a rapid devaluation and kills the coin

It can be used, spread over many years for legitimate purpose to serve the user community.


IN SUMMARY: We crypto geeks have to get reality! To succeed longterm, a coin must address these issues:

1. Users only care about ease of use & security, they really don't care about our x1186SHAPOWPOS, inverted 3x algo
2. Recognize the two disparate economies of cryptocurrencies (Miners vs Users)
3. Solve how a coin gets into the real users wallets, not the miners/traders
4. Give the users something do with the coin

Founding Dev of ArtByte, the crypto supporting the arts, started in NYC - May 1, 2014 ArtByte.me
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July 12, 2014, 03:14:36 PM
 #2

99.9% of users of altcoins only care about one thing; Bitcoin.

That's why most alts fail. It doesn't matter how innovative the coin is, if it gains in value, there's enough people to drive it to the ground. It happens time and time again.

If you wanted a coin to have any long term value, you'd keep it off exchanges, and focus entirely on building infrastructure to use the coin directly for purchasing goods and services.

BTC - 14kYyhhWZwSJFHAjNTtyhRVSu157nE92gF
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July 12, 2014, 03:59:00 PM
 #3

Innovations come out of altcoins all the time, most of them are useless but few are good and will help. Almost all coins will die but the innovations will remain.
I don't know if the next big crypto will be decided by users and will not be created like altcoins are now.
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July 12, 2014, 04:15:45 PM
 #4

I disagree that 99.9% of the users here are only interested in BTC. I think both the <Nullu> and <TiberiuC> posts above, show the two prevailing thoughts.

One group (maybe half or a little more, imo) have heavy investments in mining gear and do want to flip the alts to BTC as fast as possible, and there is nothing wrong with that. Miners are critical to longterm success.

But I think there is a group that is almost as big, who missed out on the bitcoin surge, and are hoping to find, if not the next one, at least a few profitable ones.

And that is what my post was about, what will it take to be one of the profitable ones?

Founding Dev of ArtByte, the crypto supporting the arts, started in NYC - May 1, 2014 ArtByte.me
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July 12, 2014, 04:26:28 PM
 #5

I Definitely agree. Any coin which mainly appeals to miners and doesn't focus on appealing to end users cannot succeed in the long term, because miners are almost always net sellers of coin, even the ones who really like the coin and want to keep some (because they need to pay their costs). You need to have as many buyers as sellers to maintain the price and more buyers than sellers to see it rise - which means miners must always be in the minority for a coin to succeed. Also if your main appeal is an elegant solution to a progamming problem you are not going to find a big audience, because most people aren't programmers.
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July 12, 2014, 04:31:16 PM
 #6

I fully agree, value of a coins go like this. But i still look at BTC as a safe haven. Grooveshark just announced that they are accepting it today
More utility, more ways to spend it, stable price
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July 12, 2014, 04:36:20 PM
 #7



The user community for a coin only cares technically about two things:
     - Is it easy to use
     - is it secure



+is it inflationary?
We are a long way away from average joe. This is still the time of early investors - and an investor worth his salt will ask "what is the inflation"?

because in the end of the day it's about the price.

-> Unobtanium

Enduser doesn't give a flying about algo as long it is secure.
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July 12, 2014, 04:39:37 PM
 #8

I do have an Idea for a coin.. Cigarette coin [CIG] but it would need an Android wallet from the rip... so you could use it on the street.
I'm a smoker, many of my friends are smokers... They all have one thing in common, they mooch my Cigarette's and steal my lighters. LOL
I personally could use a android Cigarette mooch tracker app. CIGcoin could do that. And It doesn't hurt that Cigarette's are a 500bn dollar a year worldwide  industry. The value could be one Cigarette. Trade a CIG for a Cigarette or vice versa. fuck the exchanges! most coins have little to zero street use, only exchange value. But I'm not a DEV so it will stay an idea unless I can find a DEV to create it or steal it from me... Lol

I think it has some of the quality's u mention in the OP. And it has a real world use, as long as the bureau of ATF don't freak out about it.

 Cheesy
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July 12, 2014, 04:50:33 PM
 #9

I do have an Idea for a coin.. Cigarette coin [CIG] but it would need an Android wallet from the rip... so you could use it on the street.
I'm a smoker, many of my friends are smokers... They all have one thing in common, they mooch my Cigarette's and steal my lighters. LOL
I personally could use a android Cigarette mooch tracker app. CIGcoin could do that. And It doesn't hurt that Cigarette's are a 500bn dollar a year worldwide  industry. The value could be one Cigarette. Trade a CIG for a Cigarette or vice versa. fuck the exchanges! most coins have little to zero street use, only exchange value. But I'm not a DEV so it will stay an idea unless I can find a DEV to create it or steal it from me... Lol

I think it has some of the quality's u mention in the OP. And it has a real world use, as long as the bureau of ATF don't freak out about it.

 Cheesy

You should look into making an app based on Ripple for this. Ripple is all about issuing IOUs, so someone could use the app to send you 1 CIG to your Ripple wallet when they mooch one, and that means you have one IOU for a cigarrette which you can either redeem from them, or even trade it and pass it onto other people so they could end up paying back the mooched cigarrette to someone else.
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July 12, 2014, 04:54:17 PM
 #10

I do have an Idea for a coin.. Cigarette coin [CIG] but it would need an Android wallet from the rip... so you could use it on the street.
I'm a smoker, many of my friends are smokers... They all have one thing in common, they mooch my Cigarette's and steal my lighters. LOL
I personally could use a android Cigarette mooch tracker app. CIGcoin could do that. And It doesn't hurt that Cigarette's are a 500bn dollar a year worldwide  industry. The value could be one Cigarette. Trade a CIG for a Cigarette or vice versa. fuck the exchanges! most coins have little to zero street use, only exchange value. But I'm not a DEV so it will stay an idea unless I can find a DEV to create it or steal it from me... Lol

I think it has some of the quality's u mention in the OP. And it has a real world use, as long as the bureau of ATF don't freak out about it.

 Cheesy

You should look into making an app based on Ripple for this. Ripple is all about issuing IOUs, so someone could use the app to send you 1 CIG to your Ripple wallet when they mooch one, and that means you have one IOU for a cigarrette which you can either redeem from them, or even trade it and pass it onto other people so they could end up paying back the mooched cigarrette to someone else.

It would need fast transaction and conformation. I'm Not a real ripple guru, but the IOU feature fit's the idea. 
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July 12, 2014, 05:17:13 PM
 #11

99.9% of users of altcoins only care about one thing; Bitcoin.

That's why most alts fail. It doesn't matter how innovative the coin is, if it gains in value, there's enough people to drive it to the ground. It happens time and time again.

If you wanted a coin to have any long term value, you'd keep it off exchanges, and focus entirely on building infrastructure to use the coin directly for purchasing goods and services.

VERY well said, some great points there.

The #1 objective for most users, whether they're miners, devs, speculators, etc is to increase their wealth in Bitcoins. Altcoins are a means of achieving this and that's pretty much all it seems to boil down to as far as altcoins are concerned.
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July 12, 2014, 05:44:31 PM
 #12

99.9% of users of altcoins only care about one thing; Bitcoin.

That's why most alts fail. It doesn't matter how innovative the coin is, if it gains in value, there's enough people to drive it to the ground. It happens time and time again.

If you wanted a coin to have any long term value, you'd keep it off exchanges, and focus entirely on building infrastructure to use the coin directly for purchasing goods and services.

VERY well said, some great points there.

The #1 objective for most users, whether they're miners, devs, speculators, etc is to increase their wealth in Bitcoins. Altcoins are a means of achieving this and that's pretty much all it seems to boil down to as far as altcoins are concerned.

Nobody wants to admit it, because everyone wants to protect their assets. I was very enthusiastic when I first joined the cryptocurrency community. I got involved in a lot of promising coins. They all suffered the same fate. They rised, and then they crashed. Most altcoins aren't about innovation. They're about novelty. To make it seem like they're worth something. What's feeding a lot of these coins is the mindset that they will continue to go up in value. That's why coins with new features are so popular.

A lot of people also make the mistake in thinking coins that have died were inherently flawed, or had something wrong with them. In some cases, yes, but in most cases it's simply a matter of what I've explained above. Eventually the dumping begins, and the coin goes into a downward spiral. There are just way too many altcoins to support. People mine, dump and move on. The people who end up financially better off are the ones who know when to dump the coin and move on, while time and time again, I see people holding out hope that the price will go back up. So many bagholders, all caught in this disillusion that their currency will rise again. In 99% cases, they don't, and this is how people profit. They leave you holding the bag, while they're left holding the bitcoin.

I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but that is the cold honest truth. Take it from someone who's seen it time and time again. Anyone who tells you otherwise either doesn't understand the way things work here, or is intentionally lying to you. Ever heard of penny stock scams? People will tell you the sky is green if it means they can make a profit from it. A collective group of bag holders, all telling one another their worthless currency is worth something, while others swoop in, mine those coins, and dump them.

That said, there are a small, and I mean very small selection of coins that may have future value. If your coin is less than a couple of months old, then it's 99% unlikely to be that coin. Any coin that can last six months, or a year, and still be left standing has value. Most new coins die. That's a fact. There are more and more coins, further and further diluting the market. Further stretching the bitcoin support across them. They're just penny stocks. The money will always be in bitcoin, or perhaps the top handful of coins beneath it in terms of market share. Everything else is temporary.

BTC - 14kYyhhWZwSJFHAjNTtyhRVSu157nE92gF
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July 12, 2014, 07:52:13 PM
 #13

Give the users feeling of uniqueness. Its called marketing  Wink

profitofthegods
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July 12, 2014, 08:44:27 PM
 #14

I do have an Idea for a coin.. Cigarette coin [CIG] but it would need an Android wallet from the rip... so you could use it on the street.
I'm a smoker, many of my friends are smokers... They all have one thing in common, they mooch my Cigarette's and steal my lighters. LOL
I personally could use a android Cigarette mooch tracker app. CIGcoin could do that. And It doesn't hurt that Cigarette's are a 500bn dollar a year worldwide  industry. The value could be one Cigarette. Trade a CIG for a Cigarette or vice versa. fuck the exchanges! most coins have little to zero street use, only exchange value. But I'm not a DEV so it will stay an idea unless I can find a DEV to create it or steal it from me... Lol

I think it has some of the quality's u mention in the OP. And it has a real world use, as long as the bureau of ATF don't freak out about it.

 Cheesy

You should look into making an app based on Ripple for this. Ripple is all about issuing IOUs, so someone could use the app to send you 1 CIG to your Ripple wallet when they mooch one, and that means you have one IOU for a cigarrette which you can either redeem from them, or even trade it and pass it onto other people so they could end up paying back the mooched cigarrette to someone else.

It would need fast transaction and conformation. I'm Not a real ripple guru, but the IOU feature fit's the idea.  

Ripple has near instant transaction times. If you go down that route you could also allow people to send IOUs to friends for other things, like a beer or a meal, and post offers to trade like: I will trade 10 cigs (10 cig IOUS, issued by someone else or themselves) for 1 beer. You could have it so that the app presents relevant offers from their friends, so if they had 10 cigarrette IOUs in their app wallet it would tell them that their mate John was willing to trade them for a beer.

You can only receive IOUs from people you have formally trusted for that asset so you could only trade someone elses cig IOU with someone else who knows and trusts that same friend. This would protect people from being owed things by or owing things to someone they don't know.

I know a bit about Ripple and have been active in the community for a while, and thought about doing something like this myself in the past, but I tried and pretty much failed to learn how to write code and I can't afford to pay for a developer. If you do go ahead with this and decide to use Ripple I would love to be a part of it in some way and help you with concept development and community relations / marketing in the Ripple community.

EDIT: Just noticed that you said yourself your not a dev. Any App developers out there want to work with us on this?
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July 12, 2014, 09:03:52 PM
 #15

99.9% of users of altcoins only care about one thing; Bitcoin.

That's why most alts fail. It doesn't matter how innovative the coin is, if it gains in value, there's enough people to drive it to the ground. It happens time and time again.

If you wanted a coin to have any long term value, you'd keep it off exchanges, and focus entirely on building infrastructure to use the coin directly for purchasing goods and services.
[/quote

Yes.  I've witnessed so many PoW coins get killed off by professional miners within weeks of their launch. 
There's frankly more people looking for a quick buck than determined long term holders.

There ain't no Revolution like a NEMolution.  The only solution is Bitcoin's dissolution! NEM!
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July 12, 2014, 09:37:12 PM
 #16

XST Stealthcoin is a new face in the anonymity scene

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garmin
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July 12, 2014, 10:50:03 PM
 #17

I do have an Idea for a coin.. Cigarette coin [CIG] but it would need an Android wallet from the rip... so you could use it on the street.
I'm a smoker, many of my friends are smokers... They all have one thing in common, they mooch my Cigarette's and steal my lighters. LOL
I personally could use a android Cigarette mooch tracker app. CIGcoin could do that. And It doesn't hurt that Cigarette's are a 500bn dollar a year worldwide  industry. The value could be one Cigarette. Trade a CIG for a Cigarette or vice versa. fuck the exchanges! most coins have little to zero street use, only exchange value. But I'm not a DEV so it will stay an idea unless I can find a DEV to create it or steal it from me... Lol

I think it has some of the quality's u mention in the OP. And it has a real world use, as long as the bureau of ATF don't freak out about it.

 Cheesy

You should look into making an app based on Ripple for this. Ripple is all about issuing IOUs, so someone could use the app to send you 1 CIG to your Ripple wallet when they mooch one, and that means you have one IOU for a cigarrette which you can either redeem from them, or even trade it and pass it onto other people so they could end up paying back the mooched cigarrette to someone else.

It would need fast transaction and conformation. I'm Not a real ripple guru, but the IOU feature fit's the idea.  

Ripple has near instant transaction times. If you go down that route you could also allow people to send IOUs to friends for other things, like a beer or a meal, and post offers to trade like: I will trade 10 cigs (10 cig IOUS, issued by someone else or themselves) for 1 beer. You could have it so that the app presents relevant offers from their friends, so if they had 10 cigarrette IOUs in their app wallet it would tell them that their mate John was willing to trade them for a beer.

You can only receive IOUs from people you have formally trusted for that asset so you could only trade someone elses cig IOU with someone else who knows and trusts that same friend. This would protect people from being owed things by or owing things to someone they don't know.

I know a bit about Ripple and have been active in the community for a while, and thought about doing something like this myself in the past, but I tried and pretty much failed to learn how to write code and I can't afford to pay for a developer. If you do go ahead with this and decide to use Ripple I would love to be a part of it in some way and help you with concept development and community relations / marketing in the Ripple community.

EDIT: Just noticed that you said yourself your not a dev. Any App developers out there want to work with us on this?

That would be cool. I was thinking about hitting BCT Member: VUAL up on this https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=625225.0 he does android wallets and a bunch of other stuff, not sure how ripple savvy he is tho.. Going clubbing tonight so I will hit him up 2mro. Any other dev's feel free to PM me or profitofthegods. It would be cool to get somthing going for  [CIG] Cigarette coin  Grin

Thanks to the OP for the motivation!
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July 12, 2014, 11:56:05 PM
 #18

I do have an Idea for a coin.. Cigarette coin [CIG] but it would need an Android wallet from the rip... so you could use it on the street.
I'm a smoker, many of my friends are smokers... They all have one thing in common, they mooch my Cigarette's and steal my lighters. LOL
I personally could use a android Cigarette mooch tracker app. CIGcoin could do that. And It doesn't hurt that Cigarette's are a 500bn dollar a year worldwide  industry. The value could be one Cigarette. Trade a CIG for a Cigarette or vice versa. fuck the exchanges! most coins have little to zero street use, only exchange value. But I'm not a DEV so it will stay an idea unless I can find a DEV to create it or steal it from me... Lol

I think it has some of the quality's u mention in the OP. And it has a real world use, as long as the bureau of ATF don't freak out about it.

 Cheesy

You should look into making an app based on Ripple for this. Ripple is all about issuing IOUs, so someone could use the app to send you 1 CIG to your Ripple wallet when they mooch one, and that means you have one IOU for a cigarrette which you can either redeem from them, or even trade it and pass it onto other people so they could end up paying back the mooched cigarrette to someone else.

It would need fast transaction and conformation. I'm Not a real ripple guru, but the IOU feature fit's the idea.  

Ripple has near instant transaction times. If you go down that route you could also allow people to send IOUs to friends for other things, like a beer or a meal, and post offers to trade like: I will trade 10 cigs (10 cig IOUS, issued by someone else or themselves) for 1 beer. You could have it so that the app presents relevant offers from their friends, so if they had 10 cigarrette IOUs in their app wallet it would tell them that their mate John was willing to trade them for a beer.

You can only receive IOUs from people you have formally trusted for that asset so you could only trade someone elses cig IOU with someone else who knows and trusts that same friend. This would protect people from being owed things by or owing things to someone they don't know.

I know a bit about Ripple and have been active in the community for a while, and thought about doing something like this myself in the past, but I tried and pretty much failed to learn how to write code and I can't afford to pay for a developer. If you do go ahead with this and decide to use Ripple I would love to be a part of it in some way and help you with concept development and community relations / marketing in the Ripple community.

EDIT: Just noticed that you said yourself your not a dev. Any App developers out there want to work with us on this?

That would be cool. I was thinking about hitting BCT Member: VUAL up on this https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=625225.0 he does android wallets and a bunch of other stuff, not sure how ripple savvy he is tho.. Going clubbing tonight so I will hit him up 2mro. Any other dev's feel free to PM me or profitofthegods. It would be cool to get somthing going for  [CIG] Cigarette coin  Grin

Thanks to the OP for the motivation!

Cool. Ripple has a bunch of Javacript APIs and I'm lead to believe its not too difficult to deal with. Let me know what he says.
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July 13, 2014, 01:46:21 AM
 #19

Innovations come out of altcoins all the time, most of them are useless but few are good and will help. Almost all coins will die but the innovations will remain.
I don't know if the next big crypto will be decided by users and will not be created like altcoins are now.

I feel the greatest success will come from the coin that your average consumer embraces. Build a coin that is tailored for the consumer and you will have great success. Build an innovative client with built-in support for other coins and you will conquer.

https://www.gldtalk.org/index.php?topic=2616.0

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July 13, 2014, 04:42:03 AM
 #20

Reading the OP now, and like, especially the niche aspect. Can't wait to read the rest, hoping I'm not disappointed. Thanks.
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