Purity versus Greed in Crypto

We recently organized another crypto dinner in Toronto, bringing together the local community and a bunch of people that were in town for EDCON (the Community Ethereum Development Conference).

Most of the dinner conversation centered around recommendations on how the Ethereum Foundation can play a more active role in developing the ETH ecosystem. Throughout the evening, it became evident to me how much crypto is caught between two sides: purity and greed.

In one camp are the purists – the “original” crypto community that has been working on crypto projects before it was cool. These individuals are driven by the singular mission of developing a decentralized technology platform. They care very little about the monetary upside. There’s a strong open source spirit here: build cool things and make them available to everybody for free!

On the other side are the opportunistic entrepreneurs who have jumped on the crypto bandwagon over the past year. Many have gone on to raise large ICOs – and frequently, they’ve come up with token concepts that look pretty useless. It seems that monetary motivations outweigh anything else.

But here’s the thing. While these two groups couldn’t be further apart in how they think and act, they both need each other.

ICOs have brought a lot of mainstream attention to the crypto world and in turn, talent has flooded into the space. Ambitious entrepreneurs have enabled some interesting projects to get funding that they never would have received via traditional venture markets. And, the purists are a great reminder for everybody as to why crypto originally started.

Money and vision/values have to come together to create interesting things at scale. The two worlds will probably never see eye to eye, but I’m sure that this combination will yield the most successful crypto projects in the years to come.

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