Cryptocurrency Community: Small And Narrow?

The Bitcoin community continues to fragment, and, ominously, is still small bore.

The New York state “bitlicense” has gone into effect, which has forced BTC businesses to choose to get serious and legal, or to eschew business in New York. The regulations are annoying and the $5K fee is apparently too much for some Bitcoiners to swallow.

While some small startups may indeed have trouble with the paperwork and fees, I would think that could be factored into the overhead of doing business. For some, the real problem is hostility to the entire concept of legal regulation (e.g., Kraken’s hostile rhetoric).

Tellingly, the effect of abandoning New York is apparently small, because there is almost no market at stake. That is actually quite shocking.   Bitcoin is pretty marginal if this is true.

The Bitcoin community is also tiny and quite quirky compared to the whole world. Not only dominated by the US and Europe, but also dominated by young, white males.

Coindesk announced this week that they are working with MIT to get a diverse attendance at their “Consensus 2015” (in New York!). This is a fine thing, though hardly ground breaking. Every major conference has something like this program. (One of the plusses of the new MIT Digital Currency Initiative is that they bring these kinds of “best practices” to the cryptocurrency community.)

Of course, the target is 18-25 year-olds, which isn’t likely to improve the dramatically skewed age profile. My own suggestion would be to recruit some grownups to leaven the bread with some actual experience in the world.



Cryptocurrency Thursday


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