Yesterday Chia Network hosted an AMA with senior executives and engineers from their company. Mostly they answered questions completely and transparently, and its great to see them out there doing it. There were a few answers I disagree with, but they didn’t avoid any questions at all. Even the hard ones. You can check it out here.
One question I don’t think has gotten enough focus, however, did not come from me but from a chia farmer concerned about the direction of the community itself. I don’t think they answered it quite completely, but the answer is worth a ponder anyway. The question was as follows:
What are your plans on extending the chia community? The last weeks seem to have been quiet “flat” and interest seems down to an all time low. Is this topic an issue for you at all or do you prioritize real businesses in your efforts?Anonymous Chia Farmer
This is a question that is obviously near and dear to my heart, as a smaller community means fewer readers for this blog. I would go farther and to say that interest has mostly been flat since the initial surge after pooling. Most of the interest that does bubble up outside the core Chia community is generally fairly negative and focuses on the “dying hard drive” meme.
The Chia answer was interesting, and I think rather hopeful considering the focus on longevity.
I’ll start with the first part of that. there’s kind of two halves to the community of chia, there is the ecosystem of the people who make the blockchain heartbeat, and that is the farmers and the plotters out there who actually are providing the resources to keep things going. And then there is all of this stuff outside of what Gene talked about the business of, you know, plans and the partnerships that we’re doing. At the high level, there’s also the things that come to the grant program, there are things that come from the hackathon, there are always little small projects, people are building cool things on it. That is all that like, all of those are a priority to us. And they’re tackled in different ways through different means. They’re they’re all something that we do care about. And we do prioritize what we’re providing to them. Obviously, for the actual blockchain and the farmers suppliers, we were prioritizing fixes things, you know, we we had released this today, or last night, that fixed a pretty major issue with the nodes in terms of, you know, if you get to a blue box timelords running, they would have problems, like that’s a priority way to get that fixed. At the same time, there’s different people in different teams working on, you know, partnerships over organizations using the technology for some really cool layer two stuff. And then you want to add to that,J. Eckert, VP Ecosystem Operations
the answer is going to do both, the reality is that we have to be measured. And that, you know, in the past, for all the reasons that we say there’s been smoke and mirrors in the space, we’re not going to do that. So you know, everybody wants us to get out in front and rah, rah, this, I’m sorry, no, we’re gonna do this the right way. We’re gonna be here for a decade or two, maybe longer. And you know, we’re building a real platform for financial infrastructure, inclusive platform, a sustainable platform, something that can really actually make programmable internet money go ever where it need.Gene Hoffman, COO and President
I think this is very interesting. Basically, they don’t want to fall into the same trap as other cryptocurrencies have in terms of pumping up expectations about their coin and growing the “fan” ecosystem. The community support is coming in the form of the Chia Cultivation Grant and the Sirius Labs hackathon to grow more utilization of the Chia Blockchain.
I’m not an expert in these things, nor do I have the history to know if the desire to not be seen as previous cryptocurrency companies is legitimate. But the farmer’s question is valid. There is not an influx of new people growing the community and network, at least not in significant numbers. The number of nodes they are claiming has stayed relatively flat over the last few months. I think the DeFi and software projects are largely coming from the the community, not outside it, so growing the farming community would help with the business side, not conflict with it.
Let’s all hope the focus on DeFi and on-chain programming starts to grow the community again. We could use it.