Public Blockchain: Community vs. Ecosystem

When it comes to the blockchain and its definition or design by the stakeholders, the term „community“ is used quite naturally.

Thus, even at the last big events, such as the Block Size debate or the Ethereum Hard Fork, the community was the focus of the discussions.

But what does community mean in this context?

Definition of community
According to the blockchain theory, the community has the opportunity to determine the future of a public blockchain through decentralized control and consensus.

The decision-making by consensus is the heart of the Public Blockchain, because here the majority can decide where to go in a democratic way, similar to an election.

A central feature of the blockchain is its economic reliability and stability. In reality, however, the economic interpretation of a blockchain is only defined by certain actors or group members and not by the totality of all stakeholders.

If the term community is differentiated, then the active, leading part of the community determines the interpretation of the public blockchain. Consequently, it makes sense to find out who these crucial actors are in the blockchain community. Accordingly, we can state that it is only about a certain subset of the ecosystem that is actively involved in the design of the blockchain.

The community is composed of the main actors who have already played an important role at the beginning or in the emergence of the ecosystem. So it is mainly insiders who have a certain information advantage. Their voices are louder and their collective actions or non-actions can decisively determine the path of the blockchain.

Who is who?
Crypto currency communities develop differently from traditional companies. Normally, companies try to attract users and consumers before something like a community of supporters emerges.

In the world of crypto currencies, this seems exactly the other way around, as a community of supporters is first built before users or end users are involved. This reverse approach is perhaps a feature of the new technologies, which first need a strong foundation in order to prosper.

But who are the main actors now and how is the ecosystem composed?

Cryptocurrency Community EcosystemIf we now take the Bitcoin Block Size debate and the Ethereum Hard Fork decision as the basis for our actor analysis, we can see that in both cases the community is predominantly composed of the base players (see above), i.e. a relatively small group.

In the case of the widely published Bitcoin scaling, probably no more than 100 people were actively involved. Also at the Ethereum Hard Fork we find a similar picture. Only 1,325 addresses voted, which is rather small compared to the total number of Ethereum owners.