Strong Communities Make Successful Cryptocurrencies
Technology and features frequently dominate the debate when people try to differentiate a "good" coin from a "bad" one. You will hear about things like transactions per seconds, consensus method, distribution, privacy, applications, partnerships, developers backgrounds, etc…
These elements are indeed an important aspect of any blockchain project, they generate the initial appeal and the subsequent identity and ideology of the protocol. For example, Monero aims to be the most private way to exchange value, for Ethereum it is about being a decentralized world computer, and the list goes on for hundreds of other projects. In the case of Nimiq, it is to build the most user-friendly, frictionless and inclusive payment protocol without compromising on decentralization at any stage.
But while all these things are important, they are ultimately accessory to the only thing that matters when judging the success and the valuation of a protocol: its network effect.
A network effect is the effect described in economics and business that an additional user of goods or services has on the value of that product to others. When a network effect is present, the value of a product or service increases according to the number of others using it.
And here is the thing: developers don't generate the network effect, people do. Now many of you are probably rolling their eyes at such a banal statement and yet… Today the majority's mindset in any crypto project is to stay idle and pray for things to happen without contributing anything. One buys a coin like he would bet on a horse and then expects the developers to "make numbers go up".
Of course, developers can create tools to make it much easier to propel adoption (like Nimiq Cashlinks), but when the code is merged and released, it relies on the shoulders of the community to "fuel the system".
Features don't amount for much if there is noone to use them at the end of the day.
Two great examples in this case are Litecoin and Dogecoin.
Both built a very strong network effect thanks to clever branding or memetics despite having no features or tech making them really stand out from the hundreds of other Bitcoin forks. Yet they are respectively valued in the billions and hundreds of millions by the sheer force of their network effect.
Many people will say that the market is supposedly stupid for valuing these coins so high instead of the "totally awesome project" they follow closely with 250 addresses, totally missing the point.
If you are only passively holding NIM, fantasizing about incredible financial returns or limiting yourself to price talk and throwing suggestions all day long, you are pretty much setting yourself and Nimiq for failure.
You don't have to code
This is probably the first excuse people think about when it comes to justify their inaction: "I really would like to help but I don't know how to code".
If you know how to code and are developing something on Nimiq — or did so in the past — you have all my praises and respect. The protocol needs third-party developers and their degree of involvement will be a huge part in Nimiq positive outcomes (or lack of).
But I do not believe that you are required to be a programmer to "contribute", as the success of cryptocurrency is essentially social in nature. Especially in the case of Nimiq with the goal of being the most inclusive cryptocurrency ever. The outcomes are very much "customer/public faced" compared to let's say: a smart-contract or a decentralized cloud computing platform, two ventures much more focused on businesses and institutions.
The point is, for a developer to have an incentive to create something with Nimiq, there needs to be a pool of potential users to tap into.
To be concrete, having your cousin or your friend's small online shop in the Nimiq ecosystem is exactly the incentive someone needs to develop a solution.
Little streams make big rivers
Multiple reasons can prevent yourself from introducing Nimiq to other people. Maybe it's a lack of confidence thinking you are not knowledgeable enough to present it correctly. Maybe you think it's too risky for the person to use. Maybe you think it will make you look "bad" for whatever reason. Maybe you are lazy and simply think others will push it and do the effort for you.
All these reasons are nonsense and the the reality is:
- You can introduce Nimiq in a sentence: "it's a new cryptocurrency created to be super easy to use, would you like to give it a shot?".
- Share a cashlink with a few NIM with that person.
If after these 2 steps the person is excited and asking for more you can always keep tutoring her and supporting her to go further, if the person "doesn't get it" then at least you tried and can move on to the next person (note: they will probably call you back at one point anyway realizing their mistake 😉).
But onboarding a new person is not the only way to help, you can contribute in various other ways. The most important thing is that you DO something, all efforts compound, even the smallest one.
So wait, what can I do?
Here are 8 things you can do to support Nimiq
1 — Follow and interact with other "Nimiq people" on social medias
Probably the easiest initiative, social medias are free and relaying community efforts or sharing your enthusiasm is very straightforward. The Nimiq community is relatively active on Twitter. Also there is a great official forum where the most passionate community members gather and a subreddit maintained up-to-date with the latest developments.
2 — Create visual contents
Infographics, memes, tutorials, etc… There are many types of contents you can produce with Photoshop, GIMP and various other applications. Nimiq is rich in innovations and features, there is always something to educate on.
3 — Write something
Just like social media, you can set up a blog in minutes for free on Medium or Publish0x.
Potential topics are endless from educating on features,sharing what you love about Nimiq, your hopes and other anecdotes. Nimiq is a project focused around simplicity, but the technology powering it is very much cutting edge and its potential untapped.
4 — Organize contests, games and puzzles
Giving coins for free is a huge part of crypto since Bitcoin was launched. Many people love to donate some in order to incentive people to try. But you can make the whole thing fun and playful with contests, games and puzzles.
5 — Visit your local crypto meetups
If you live in a city with a population of at least 100k there is a high chance a regular crypto meetup happens somewhere which means there are people potentially interested.
6 — Do a video about it
Just like with articles, videos are a good way to share enthusiasm and concepts. If there is a reason you picked NIM among thousands of other tokens and coins, tell the world about it and inspire everyone.
7 — Contact your content creator
Streamers and other creators increasingly accept cryptocurrencies for patronage and tips. Encouraging them to accept NIM can be a great way to increase adoption, use and visibility.
8 — Reach online shops
Nimiq benefits from having a plugin for WordPress' WooCommerce and one is always welcome to promote your business in the community if it accepts NIM as a form of payment.
Team Nimiq is here to help
Lauching an initiative can be daunting or a asking a bit too much ressources that you can afford. That's why the Community Funding Initiative exists, if you have a project and need some help then do not hesitate to apply.
A small but very dedicated group of people in the Nimiq community has abundantly contributed since the launch in April 2018, no matter the obstacles or the state of the market, they keep going and never despair.
To those people I want to address a warm "thank you", as enthusiasm is contagious and they were never short spreading it to me and the rest of the community.
Now let's make Nimiq what it is meant to be!