Technology, idea and team are considered the main factors for the success of a blockchain project at the ICO stage and beyond. Yet, the community surrounding a blockchain platform appears to be a determining force when it comes to observe the prosperity of a blockchain project.
Factors that contribute to a strong community
Building an active community is not something that happens naturally, but rather requires a lot of effort and a persuasive aura. There are various points that can contribute to the establishment of a successful community. Let’s take a look at them!
The strength of the individuals that comprise the core team are an important factor. Early blockchain community leaders such as Vitalik Buterin or Daniel Larimer have a strong following in the blockchain community which is also expressed in their number of Twitter followers. The reason why EOS could achieve the strongest ICO performance so far is particularly related to the aura and status that Daniel Larimer enjoys in the community. Daniel Larimer is famous for having invented the Delegated Proof of Stake consensus mechanism. We conclude that the more achievements and contributions an individual made to the blockchain space, the more likely will it be for the individual to attract new members to the community.
The next factor to consider is communication. An educated audience will require regular project updates from the team. With a solid communication strategy and capable moderators a blockchain project can secure the trust and good will of the community. This kind of behavior will make it easier for the project to pass through unfavorable market conditions.
The more alliances a blockchain project can present, the easier it will be to mobilize communities. Projects can benefit from existing communities of other platforms and companies and even from collaborations with cryptocurrency news outlets.
When assessing the strength of a community the distribution of the token is another factor to consider. The better the tokens are distributed, the more the community development is favored. On the other side projects where the majority of tokens are concentrated among few big whales will have a harder time to motivate the community to spread the word and adopt the technology. This is because the more people hold a certain token the higher the number of potential users of the network and the more investors exist that can benefit from the potential success of the project.
For projects that are developing their own base layer protocol it is important to develop strategies to incentivize developers to build on their platform. On the other hand for projects that are building on other base layer protocols such as Ethereum, EOS or Neo it is possible to leverage the community of the base layer protocol they are building on.
It is important to note that community building does not only occur online. Successful projects count with a big range of meet ups that are organized around the globe. This is the place where the most powerful connections and bounds are made.
Channels that are used to build a strong community
There are several channels used by blockchain projects to build, moderate and engage with the community. The popular social network Reddit is particularly important as a platform for discussion and exchange of opinion. There also exist specific cryptocurrency related forums, such as bitcointalk.org, where the famous and mysterious founder of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, used to share his visions of a decentralized currency. Steemit is another blockchain vinculated platform that is mostly used for blogging and counts with voting mechanisms that can be compared to Reddit.
In terms of communication channels, the platform Telegram has achieved the dominant role in the cryptocurrency space. To form a community both, Telegram groups and channels, are suitable options. However, developers and more technically interested community members prefer the more Slack-like platform Discord.
Cryptocurrency communities are formed as well through traditional social media. Many projects run a blog on Medium and share updates on Twitter. To a lesser degree also Facebook and Instagram are used as communication and social media platforms.
The importance of community building for ICO projects should not be underestimated. Besides the technical work teams must dedicate resources to build and moderate a community. In the end the success of the projects depends on network effects. Network effects are necessary for platform adoption and raising capital to fund the development. A successful blockchain project is characterized by both, a strong technical foundation and an engaged community.