Community life is part of Crypto as it is now! Do you ever wonder if you should be part of one? Maybe you need to! Maybe you don’t!

Are you a new inhabitant in the mysterious and fascinating microcosm of cryptocurrencies? Perhaps you have already realized that there are thousands of crypto projects – not only Bitcoin, Ethereum or your favorite coin – and, in most, each has welcoming channels in Telegram, Discord, Slack and other social platforms. Investors, fans and even haters gather and behave like a subculture, with a particular set of ethical rules, ceremonies, customs and a shared history.

Community life is part of Crypto, in its current state! Investing in one particular crypto asset and not following its community is a rare practice in these spaces. In some cases, it could be dangerous not to follow the community that backs your asset, like moving to a new town and not paying any attention to local people and their news. A crypto community is just one particular kind of virtual community. You’ll probably want to know yours well.

WHAT IS A VIRTUAL COMMUNITY?

Howard Rheingold, author of the book “The Virtual Community”, describes how the Internet behaves as a new type of non-geographical, non-physical, psycho-social space. People who share this space tend to form clusters and groups, as it would occur in physical spaces: “virtual communities are social aggregations that emerge from the Net (Internet, the Network) when enough people carry on those public discussions long enough, with sufficient human feeling, to form webs of personal relationships in cyberspace”.

“People in virtual communities use words on screens to exchange pleasantries and argue, engage in intellectual discourse, conduct commerce, exchange knowledge, share emotional support, make plans, brainstorm, gossip, feud, fall in love, find friends… People in virtual communities do just about everything people do in real life, but we leave our bodies behind…, the richness and vitality of computer-linked cultures is attractive, even addictive”.

ARE THERE HEALTHY AND TOXIC COMMUNITIES?

If you enter a new school or are starting a new job, the first thing you’d naturally like to be careful about in your new social environment is your new acquaintances. Your new group can be an ideal group for your growth in general. There might be mostly positive stimuli and good vibes for you. On the other hand, it is possible that the group may be full of negative emotions that could introduce obstacles to your growth. You find the same risks in a Crypto community. Some communities can be very healthy. Some are not.

A pleasant and hopeful fact for the future of decentralized money is to know that there is an increasingly big number of communities that exhibit social maturity, good internal dynamics and positive motivation. These are full of people ready to help others and have a legitimate vision of progress.

Cryptocurrencies tend to be decentralized money created by ordinary people, entrepreneurs and dreamers. Some good communities share directly with these creators and work together towards community goals. In these communities, each member is lucky. You could even learn about how the stock market and crypto markets work, what benefits blockchain technologies offer, and all the advantages and challenges of your own cryptocurrency. If you are already in a community of this type, congratulations! You have found a treasure!

Some communities can be extremely toxic. There are communities that look and feel as great opportunities and seem to be composed of honest, smart developers as well as good members, but that suddenly start turning into sick groups. Or other communities can be good deep inside, but include a few toxic members or malicious sub-groups. Some of these communities are temporarily ill and people can heal them. Part II of this article will cover toxic communities in more detail.

THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT?

It’s vital for the safety of your investment and even for your mental health, to know the do’s and don’ts of community engagement. Let’s go through these 10 tips.

1) It is so great to find people to share ideas with inside of a Telegram group or in Discord. But one must never forget that these people are mostly people you do not see face-to-face. We ignore their real identity. They can disappear in a second.

2) Never trust too much or too soon.

3) Some people are in your group for the sole purpose of trying to scam you. Some prolong the process for months to achieve it.

4) One should never base one’s financial decisions on the opinion of the group. Never invest because the whole group is positive, nor sell because everyone is negative.

5) If the group is always positive and everything seems like paradise, this is a red flag.

6) If admins ban anybody just for expressing very honest and respectful criticism, that’s a big red flag too.

7) The less you know about the identity and qualifications of Admins and members, the more vulnerable you are.

8) If you can’t detect manipulators, haters and liars, then you’re in danger.

9) Do not acknowledge direct messages from people too easily or quickly! And never share critical information about your identity or your private keys through DM.

10) Not everybody is bad! Above all, be friendly and kind to people. Most investors are like you: they just want to share and learn. The best thing about being in a community is to be in an open place with people who share the same interests and goals. Community life can be great! It just depends on who the members are!