We recently explored the question of whether the crypto world should be considered a religion. We have come to the conclusion that what truly matters is whether the crypto community is a supportive network or a toxic environment. In this article, we will address the root causes of trust issues in the crypto world and discuss who is reponsible for fixing them. Our goal is to trasnform this community into a supportive and educational network for all crypto enthusiasts.
Trust issues in the crypto world
There are two major factors that contribute to trust issues in the crypto world:
1. Scams and other illegal activities:
Cryptocurrencies gained popularity as digital money for illegal activities, such as purchasing drugs on the dark net, as it is nicely illustrated in the book ‘The American Kingpin’ by Nick Bilton. Cryptocurrencies have since evolved and shown their potential as future money in our everyday lives. However, without a complete all-encompassing regulatory framework, they still remain attractive to criminals, exploiting loopholes. In the past years, we have witnessed a true marathon between regulators and criminals in DeFi. Regulators across the world are yet to connect the patchwork of local regulations to close these loopholes. “Cryptocurrency-based crime hit a new all-time high in 2021, with illicit addresses receiving $14 billion over the course of the year, up from $7.8 billion in 2020.“ Let’s look at this cryptocurrency-based crime to get a better understanding of what we are up against. While there is money laundering and terrorism financing on the large scale. As end-users, we are more likely to encounter small-scale scams on Social Media. These scams often present themselves as investment success stories, shared in comments or reviews. Fighting against these fake profiles and reviews is challenging for Social Media managers. With every one blocked and reported scam, a dozen new ones are being posted. We appeal to all Social Media platforms to strengthen their monitoring of fake profiles and scams, taking immediate action to create a safe space for users.
To help you identify typical scam reviews, let’s have a look at a couple of them:
As you can see in the above examples, the fake profiles usually show seemingly trust-worthy personas, such as women or family fathers. The investment success story is followed by a subtle mention of the contact details of the altruistic advisors that made this money blessing possible. Often, the original scam comment is followed by a series of sub-replies giving extra credibitlity to the initial comment.
2. Deceiving messaging by companies and influencers:
Digital platforms, especially Social Media, are the ideal place for the promotion of digital currencies. So far so good — where this turns sour is when marketers and influencers don’t use their platform to contribute to educating end-users and raising awareness, but instead share deceiving messaging for clickbait and to pump their own balanace sheet as ambassadors for certain tokens and coins. Influencers have the power to shape the minds and actions of millions of people around the world. As a two-legged spider in a leotard once said: “With great power comes great responsibility!” We call upon all influencers and marketers to use their platforms to share expertise and tips and tricks, rather than spreading shallow promotional messages.
DOs and DONTs for crypto influencers
You have the ability to make a positive impact on society by raising awareness about the future of money, promoting honest and transparent messaging, and inspiring others to take action for a better future. We challenge you to use your platform to make a difference and help shape the crypto community as a supportive network of like-minded, forward-thinking individuals.
We urge you to use your influence for good and we have compiled a set of guidelines to transform the crypto community into a supportive and educational network, free from scams and superficial promotional messaging. Regardless of whether you are an influencer or not, everyone in the crypto community should follow this etiquette on Social Media:
- Explain complex topics in simple language
- Share relevant news to keep your followers informed
- Report fellow influencers who spread misinformation
- Use your influence to manipulate people into investing
- Promote scams and misleading information
- Post clickbait over valuable information
Why DYOR is not enough
Lastly, we want to address and important aspect we have observed in the crypto world. Many companies and individuals often emphasize the motto DYOR (do your own research), which is valid. However, it is not enough to solely rely on end-users to take responsibility for their research. Instead, it is crucial for everyone in the crypto industry to actively support awareness and education efforts. This involves spreading educational content, as well as calling out and reporting scams and deceptive messaging.
We have spoken with multiple web3 and crypto professionals earlier this year for our beginner’s guide to crypto investment, that will provide you with some tips and tricks of how to maneuver the crypto world as a new joiner.