Blockchain Tribalism

People in the blockchain or crypto community can become ideologically aligned with a specific blockchain or crypto, which is known as blockchain tribalism.


What Is Blockchain Tribalism?

Blockchain tribalism refers to people in the blockchain or crypto community becoming ideologically aligned with a specific blockchain or crypto. It goes as far as defending and advocating for it even in the face of evidence that other options are better. This “tribal” mentality can lead to intense and divisive discussions within the community and outside of it. As a result, new technologies find it difficult to be accepted.

Where Does Blockchain Tribalism Come From?

Blockchain tribalism comes from people becoming too dedicated to one specific blockchain or cryptocurrency. Because blockchain technology is new, it provokes a lot of FOMO and excessive emotional reactions. People want to be part of a community and belong to something they feel will change the world.

What Are Bitcoiners?

Bitcoiners are the “blockchain tribe” belonging to Bitcoin, i.e., people who are really dedicated to the Bitcoin blockchain. They believe it will be the future of money. Generally, bitcoiners reject fiat currencies and advocate for hyper-bitcoinization, a state where the entire world uses Bitcoin as a currency. 
Bitcoiners have been accused of following a “toxic” culture, sometimes called “toxic Bitcoin maximalism.” They are particularly outspoken in their rejection of other blockchains and regard Bitcoin as the best chain that has proved its validity through several bear markets.

What Are Ethereans? 

Ethereans are people in the community belonging to the Ethereum blockchain. They see Ethereum as the best blockchain for building decentralized apps and smart contracts. Ethereans believe in Ethereum’s superiority, thanks to its strong community and leader, Vitalik Buterin, who is widely seen as a genius. 

Ethereans are sometimes pejoratively called “Ethereum maxis” because they exhibit similar behavior to bitcoiners when it comes to other smart contract chains.

What Other Blockchain Tribes Are There? 

There are many other blockchain tribes out there. Some examples include Litecoiners, Cardano fans and BNB-Coin believers. Each of these tribes believes that their chosen blockchain is the best, and they might argue with other people who believe in different blockchains. However, compared to Ethereum and Bitcoin, other blockchains lack the same kind of grassroots support and “maximalist culture” that makes a community truly tribal.

Is Blockchain Tribalism a Problem?

Blockchain tribalism can undoubtedly be a problem for the overall crypto community since it leads to intense and divisive discussions within the industry. Looking from the outside in, the blockchain space can be seen as an industry where different factions bicker over minor details like having the “better chain” instead of focusing on driving the adoption of the technology as a whole. Additionally, this kind of maximalism can lead to unrealistic expectations and valuations of certain blockchains, leading to excessive valuations and financial losses down the road.

Is Blockchain Tribalism Good?

Blockchain tribalism can be seen as both good and bad, depending on the perspective. On the one hand, it can create a sense of community and drive dedicated supporters to advocate for and promote their chosen blockchain, increasing its adoption and development. “Maxis” can thus pump a chain’s price with their “toxic” behavior.

However, it’s also important to note that this kind of dedicated support can lead to a lack of critical evaluation of the technology and its potential. For instance, Bitcoin has been long accused of being too conservative in its development, leading critics to predict its eventual demise at the expense of other chains.

Concluding Thoughts

In conclusion, blockchain tribalism is a complex phenomenon with adverse and beneficial effects on the crypto community. On the one hand, it can create a sense of community and drive dedicated supporters to advocate for and promote “their chain.” The benefits of this are a strong community and ecosystem, increasing prices in bull markets and adoption. On the other hand, maximalism makes it hard for new chains and technologies to be fairly evaluated. It also inhibits development by promoting intrinsically conservative and “toxic” behavior that dismisses innovation and criticism in an irrational way. The potential of new technology cannot be fairly evaluated, which leads to a lack of consideration for alternative solutions.