Cardano's Growing Pains

Culturally, Cardano has a massive mountain to climb to welcome mass adoption.

Written by @CalvinsBrew

Cardano's Growing Pains
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It's been a while since I wrote a Dispatch.

Generally, these are sporadic, though I try to make them as consistent as possible. The art of writing is as much discipline as it is an expression, so I'll try to make this a weekly occurrence (again).

I recently did a poll on what these newsletters should be about, and the response was fairly decisive:

A twitter poll.

Seeing as how all of these options fall within the Cardano Commentary version, I'll go ahead and just keep it loose to the entire ecosystem.

Growing Pains

The last few months have been significant for Cardano. Besides ETH influencers migrating to the community, there has also been a massive market-led catalyst in which the Solana token (SOL) saw its value drop by more than 50% in the wake of the FTX scandal.

Around the same time, Cardano saw around 30k new wallets join the blockchain as people gave up on the future of the chain for something more reliable.

Of course, the fate of Solana is not set in stone. I actually think the flushing out of large VC positions will have a net-positive effect on the chain, and I hope they come out swinging harder and more decentralized than ever after the fallout.

Not surprisingly, the chain has handled the influx of new participants without much stress. As an everyday user, I haven't noticed the slightest slowdown, which has been encouraging given the DeFi implosion of earlier this year. At the time, the chain had not had any significant scalability upgrades to compensate for the influx of transactions and SC executions, and this generated a sizable amount of FUD for us to deal with.

However, that's not to say this time around hasn't had its bumps.

In my opinion, the general culture of Cardano has been the biggest barrier to adoption (and will continue to be, if it doesn't bend with the wind). The greatest example of this was when @wab.eth decided to start trolling the Cardano community (as seems to be the common-sense approach for shitposters to join a community?).

I was skeptical at first but eventually capitulated that this was what community growth looked like. I went even so far as to purchase a Sappy Seal on Ethereum.

Sappy Seal

Of course, I willingly accepted being labeled the “exit liquidity” that so much of Cardano voiced in warning (and, frankly, Sappy Seals as well). Honestly, I only bought this Seal after talking to Wab directly over a few days period — and it became pretty clear to me that he was genuinely interested in the community (not necessarily the tech, shocker).

But I suppose this is a good example of the culture of Cardano. In general, I believe we are described by anyone outside the “fold” as:

  1. A cult.
  2. Tech-nerds who have no sense of humor.
  3. Better-than-you perspective on any other blockchain.
  4. Slow moving
  5. Tribalistic

I find it ironic since a lot of our discussions internally revolve around how Bitcoin and Ethereum maxis can't see past their own convictions to acknowledge a better blockchain.

I wonder if sometimes, we are so tribalistic in our little corner of crypto that we can't see past our own convictions to acknowledge better communities?

Being multi-chain means accepting ridicule from your own brethren, at times, so I understand the pressure to become maximalist. But honestly, if we want mass adoption, there won't be room for our narrow-minded belief systems in Cardano-specific discussions.

And I hope, with a bit of sadness, that the prominent voices of Cardano (that have held the gate for the last several years) diminish and make room for new voices to be heard.

Macro Doom

A quick thought here, there's still plenty of pain ahead in the market. I don't see the general crypto space rebounding for quite some time. In fact, the fallout from FTX hasn't had any meaningful rebound at all.

Instead, we've all sat in collective paralysis as we wait for more news of insolvency to hit the Twitter sphere.

I suspect more pain as capitulation likely hasn't fully played out yet.

Also, Chapter 1 of the Brew Club is now available!

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