Challenges of Relaunching Community Cryptocurrency

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This posted is based on my experience of the challenges encountered when we tried to relaunching a dormant cryptocurrency. So if you are planning on reviving one, you are going to deal with these challenges to some extend. Most of these challenges you would have encountered in one situation or the other, even if you have never been involved in cryptocurrency.

  1. Security:
    • Lot of existing altcoin wallets have not been updated with right security patches for a very long time. Therefore, one of the main challenge will be to make sure the existing code base/libraries is updated with right security patches. In our case, last time the code/external libraries was updated was in 2015.
  1. Team communication, structure & collaboration:
    • If team members are co-located and solely working on coin, it is easy to build rapport and trust among the members. However this becomes challenging when you have team members scattered around the world and most of them have families and day job. Since you do not meet each other when performing the task, relying on each other to progress tasks a stronger level of trust is needed. In our case, we are using applications such as Slack, Trello, Github & Discord for communication and collaboration. Also we have a vetting process for recruiting new team members to make sure they fit in the team.
    • Another challenge you might face is around team structure and decision making. What kind of team structure will you be following? Hierarchy, flat or some other. If you are working on a community based cryptocurrency, should you be engaging rest of the community for any kind of decision making or should only handful of members make decision about the coin?
    • Currently we are a small team so communication, collaboration and decision making is easy to manage. However, I am looking forward to seeing what challenges lie ahead as the core team grows.
  1. Marketing strategy:
    • You might encounter challenge around marketing strategy which will include social media, exchanges, community engagement, roadmap and so forth. If you can liaise with the old team and get access to existing market strategy (if there is one) then it will make your life a lot more easy. Otherwise you might face same challenges as we did, such as:
        1. Social media channels & website: We didn’t have much luck getting right access to the existing social media channels/forums from the old team. This meant we had to start all over again by setting up new social media channels and website. It also meant publishing posts/ articles on different social channels/forums to let existing community know about us, what we are doing with the coin, where we are heading (roadmap), where they could get more information about the coin and how they can come onboard with this new project.
        2. Exchanges: Like social media, we had to reach out to existing exchanges to let them know about the relaunch so they could update appropriate links. Same time to increase our coin exposer, we reached out to new exchanges. Some of these exchanges required us to pay certain amount of fiat/cryptocurrency inorder to be listed and others it was online voting. Incase for voting, we had to reach out to the wider community via social medium to get their help.
        3. Community engagement: While you work on getting new community members (i.e. via using airdrops, twitter etc) on board you will also need to make sure you are engaging with existing members to get their buy in into what new team is trying to achieve. Which means actively engaging in answering their questions, comments and concerns. It could be anything from “How to” guide, hard fork, roadmap, exchanges, old vs new channels, mining and even trolls. All of this requires time and commitment from the team. There is a lot to the community engagement and I am still learning.
  1. Testing:
    • Cryptocurrency has varying challenges when it comes to testing. You have the functional and non functional side of it. The following are some of the challenges you will have to deal with when involved in testing. Depending on your situation, you might focus on specific type of tests for the relaunch while other ones later down the track.
        • Security
        • Performance/Scalability/Volume
        • Wallet functionality on different OS & devices
        • Wallet synching testing
        • Wallet backup functionality
        • Wallet upgrade/new installation etc
        • Miner testing (ASIC, GPU/CPU mining with different # of core/memory setting/disk iops)
        • and so forth
    • I normally use “FEW HICCUPPS” heuristics when I don’t have requirement and I need to do exploratory testing.  Testing all these areas can be time consuming, if done manually so you want to leverage automation. I are in the process of moving towards automation testing so it free us with exploratory testing and other things. Where possible try leverage cloud/virtualization option for testing. For example we use VMWare/Virtualbox/AWS for new wallet installation/upgrade and other functionality testing.

 

I hope this post gives you enough insight into potential challenges you might be dealing with when relaunching a community cryptocurrency.