Real or scam? Following the recent ICO meltdown, it seems that there isn’t a day that goes by
without yet another project being exposed as a scam, is associated with fraudulent actions or
just shuts down without any further information. Investors are left with worthless tokens and
some file lawsuits in order to try to claim whatever is left in the pot, assuming that there are real
people that they can actually hold accountable in the first place.
This situation is bad for the blockchain and crypto community. Notorious headlines on
mainstream news outlets are painting a gloomy picture and our collective reputation is being put
on the line. Our community is striving to build technologies and ecosystems that are more
diverse, decentralized and transparent, while on the other hand, we’re carrying a lot of baggage
on our shoulders. The breach of trust between us entrepreneurs and the investors who hold the
capital to help us manifest our dreams, has become the elephant in the room. And we must
make sure that we’re addressing this elephant, head on, in order to start building solid and long
We need to carefully rethink the way that we are nurturing and building trustworthy relationships
with our investors, which are far from intimate ones, since most funded projects were backed by
hundreds or even thousands of backers.
We also need to carefully select the communication channels and tools in which we maintain
these relationships with, since they have grave importance to the message and sentiment of the
investors we converse with. One of the prominent investor relations channels which emerged
during the ICO boom was Telegram. Countless groups were created once the project went live,
pumping positive announcements and messages by their admins, trying to get as much
attention, excitement and traction pre-ICO days, and striving to maintain their relationships with
backers, post-ICO days up until now. Some of the groups are mainly for PR purposes and are
heavily biased while others attract more professional conversations between their group
members. Telegram is far from being an ideal channel to conduct these discussions in the first
place, since they are difficult to follow and to reply to, when there are tens of threads all flowing
in at once. However, it’s been the best alternative the community has adopted up until now.
But this, in my opinion, is about to change.
A few days ago, on March 25th, Telegram dropped a bomb and we as a community need to
quickly rethink whether we are to continue to use this channel as our primary communication
with our investors.
Telegram launched its new “delete everywhere” killer feature which enables group admins to
delete messages in retrospect. The outrageous aspect of this feature is that not only can the
admins delete their own messages, but they can actually delete another participant’s message,
without any trace or log that the message, which once existed in the chat, has been removed
Are the people at Telegram serious??
Giving admins the ability to delete past messages is practically giving fake news creators the
Oscars. Giving entrepreneurs the control to delete messages and comments written by their
investors, is just pure censorship. This enables them to tamper with other people’s opinions and
alter the historic sentiment of the discussion. Manipulating data doesn’t create trust. The very
fact of just knowing about the possibility that your comment, thought, question or remark could
be removed forever, could possibly ruin the potential for trust, in the first place.
This is just unbelievably outrageous!
It is time that our community embrace a higher standard for communicating with our backers, a
standard that is built on our values – on transparency, on immutability, on (trustless) trust. We
should adopt tools and channels that promote openness and give relevant crowds an
opportunity to speak up and share their opinions, in a censorship resistant environment.