You couldn’t have asked for a better timing to an interview as the recent one by Jay Gould featuring Bram Cohen. So far after viewing most (if not all) of the “outward facing” Chia content this interview is my favourite to date. Why? It asks the questions and gives the answers to what we should be rallying behind as a community. And I want to credit both Jay for asking the right questions (ones that Bram could answer) and Bram for sticking to his morals. The last 20ish minutes are a bit of a battle for Bram but I think it’s explained simply enough that I even understood why I first started farming Chia. But it also highlights the battle we have ahead. So buckle up! We got a lot to dive into on this one.
Anyone who has not watched the interview spoilers ahead. Worth watching before reading, great interview.
So the first part of the interview we learn a lot about the Pope of Chia himself (Bram) and he gives a few insights on his early home background, leading up to BitTorrent and how it was a partial inspiration to bitcoin. I certainly learned a few things I personally didn’t know; and the casual user of Chia may also not know so check that out.
The real bread and butter of this interview comes in the last 20-25 minutes of the interview. This is where it doesn’t get heated but it does become a bit of a back and forth between Jay and Bram. An argument can be made that Jay represents one part of our community, that being the more general crypto (those who want to make a quick buck) side. And Bram who represents the “technology will win the day” side. Bram and Jay do each side justice.
Not sure if anyone remembers my Chia fud and the reddit problem post. But Jay explains my point with less loaded emotional wording behind it. He argues and basically reiterated the entire point I was trying to make in that post. How it got turned into memes is the end all be all; is about par for the course when it comes to the internet. But that point (memes be damned) was: You can have the best technology, if no one knows about it or cares, if it doesn’t have cool points per say. Then it’s a failure best blockchain in Chia’s case or not.
That’s exactly what the network effect is. It’s a snowball of community created culture. One of which I argue r/chia has been counterproductive in doing as it’s a FUD fest. The culture being curated there is counter productive to the network effect, full stop.
And that was my point; the viral effect as I was taught (network effect as coined in the interview) that’s needed to really take Chia into new heights is well beyond the community arguing semantically. It’s going to require an infrastructure of mixed media, which simply includes memes and other types of creative content videos, hashtags, blogs to name a couple. You can’t leave anyone behind or leave anyone out. If you do, you immediately cut off half of your potential user base who is often looking for the viral effect in a community. 1 for all and all for 1?
At the same time it also needs what Bram so valiantly pointed out and that’s superior technology, and Chia has that 100%. I’m not a technology guy by any means, but I understand the functionality explained by Bram in this interview as a huge step up in the world of blockchain. As touched on in the video, Chia is like the Google to Bitcoin and Ethereum to Yahoo or AOL. It’s the Facebook to the Myspace in terms of technology. So much good stuff within Chia most notable to me is being able to recover lost wallets. Seems straightforward enough, you can’t do that on any other blockchain as far as I know. That’s what Chia is, and Bram is the perfect voice for this. Kudos to Bram for sticking to his morals of technology will rule and not even name dropping potential projects or even leaning into the network effect. If anyone knows the network effect I feel like it’s Bram he’s been there done that probably more than once. If anyone has proven technology can win its Bram. That’s why most of us are still farming Chia, we believe in the technology long term price be damned.
We need to conglomerate both of these ideals going forward. We need to start thinking viral for our own investments and trust Chia developers are putting the time into the network to make it the best developed of all blockchains. I believe in Bram to make a viral technology 100%. But it’s still up to us as a community to fight the network effect of other cryptocurrency projects. Chia Network cannot do this alone.
I’m glad Jay was so intent on asking the questions I personally wanted answered. And I’m impressed with the responses given by Bram. Very well done by both the interviewer and interviewee. Top notch stuff and I hope Chia can carry this momentum into 2022. We need more discussion about the network effect vs the technology superiority aspect going forward. Not just about memes, which we can all agree is low hanging fruit.