Cooperation Leads to Leaps in Technology Innovation
Blockchain technology is designed for collaboration. Exchange of data in decentralized networks is monetized, but the exchange of ideas is invaluable. Innovators and users collaborating together to solve a problems of new technology started large adoption movements of new technologies in the past. The creation of a single-chip microprocessor allowed hobbyists to develop the tools for the mass adoption of microcomputers. March 1975 was home to the Homebrew Computer Club which was one of the first open forums for ideas between micro-computing enthusiasts. Many of those HCC members would bridge the gap for normal consumers to own personal computers. Collaboration between CERN, MIT, and the World Wide Web Consortium, lead to the accelerated adoption of the World Wide Web. The Internet Society lead to corporations sharing ideas and began developing various internet standards that are used today.
Growth of the internet services lead to specific groups with refined objectives. The lack of TCP/IP design structure lead the IETF to develop voluntary standards that are adopted today. Blockchain and Bitcoin use will continue to grow before mass consumer adoption of the technology. Many developers collaborating between blockchain services will accelerate adoption, development, and improve reliability of decentralized networks.
Various Blockchain Associations
The Bitcoin/Blockchain community quickly understood that collaboration between developers was important. Participate in a community that encourages sharing information and talk about how you see blockchain technology being used. The next areas of blockchain innovation could come from a business sector that no one has envisioned yet. No one group knows what is best for the future of crypto-currencies. Each has their own vision and goals to how they see altcoin being used. Below are various sites that offer collaboration between its members and the virtual currency community. Research the history and news articles of each company. The Bitcoin news cycle happens quickly, and services are changing from even six months ago. Participate in different blockchain communities, if you are already apart of one, and learn new ways to connect with people worldwide.
The Bitcoin Foundation - Website - Informative Communities
"The purposes of the Corporation include, but are not limited to, promotion, protection, and standardization of distributed-digital currency and transactions systems including the Bitcoin system as well as similar and related technologies."
- Bitcoin Foundation Mission Statement
As one of the first foundations to take a leadership role in the blockchain community, the Bitcoin Foundation is one of the most popular collaboration destinations for Bitcoin enthusiasts. The Bitcoin Foundation website features the Bitcoin Core program, developer documents, and key performance indicators. What the Bitcoin Foundation has achieved has been overall positive, but that is not without its recent share of controversy. Mark Karpelès was a founding member of the Foundation in 2012, but stepped down in February 2014 during the Mt. Gox. Scandal. A timeline of Bitcoin Foundation milestones are available on their website under 'Transparency'. Directors rotate frequently with an election currently in progress today. The mission of the foundation is foreseen to remain the same but the strategy of employment will evolve over time.
Crypto Currency Certification Consortium (C4) - Website - Certification Community
"The C4 establishes cryptocurrency standards that help ensure a balance of openness & privacy, security & usability, and trust & decentralization."
In September 2014, a non-profit from Ontario started one of the first two companies to begin offering certifying services for individuals or companies wanting accreditation of crypto-currency knowledge. The certification domain of blockchain technology is relatively small and new. Founding members of C4 and the Digital Currency Council have expansive expertise in the employment of blockchain technology and there is no reason to doubt their legitimacy. Certification services offer different price models for education services but provide information in virtual currencies.
Lighthouse - Website - Crowdfunding Community
"Using advanced features of the Bitcoin protocol it is now possible to create Kickstarter-style fund raising initiatives in an entirely decentralized way. No middlemen unless you want them, and no fees beyond the usual Bitcoin transaction fees"
Changing lives through civic engagement is a noble aspiration when participating in a community. Removing the fear of dishonesty when donating to crowdfunded projects on blockchain ledgers has led to more transparency and engagement. There have been successes in Lighthouse crowdfunding, in partnership with BitGive, after only releasing the beta phase two weeks ago. Smart contracts are at the backbone of each project which brings a new level of direct involvement and structure into campaigns. Lighthouse isn't only for civic engagement as non-profits, such as C4, are using decentralized crowdfunding to sponsor new features for their service. Anyone can create a lighthouse project so growth is only limited to the activity of the community.
Find a Bitcoin Community
There is no lack of Bitcoin meetups around the world. By the end of February 2015, 589 bitcoin related events were registered on Meetup with 81,000 members in 71 countries. Starting a meetup can begin offline as well. Organizing is difficult work and not meant for everyone. Reach out to other people interested in blockchains and Bitcoin. All of these functions are encouraging to new members with no level of knowledge required. Some meetups or conferences offer seminars, round tables, and encourage socialization. Find a Community in your area and start increasing the discussion. There will always be more to learn as the technology is evolving. Staying involved in crypto-currency communities will keep you up-to-date about news and decentralized applications on the horizon.
GetGems – Website - Social Community
"Bringing Bitcoin to the masses. This is the most important challenge the crypto-currency community is facing today. We've designed GetGems from the ground up with this goal in mind." -Daniel Peled, GetGems TeamGetGems is a new platform that offers a solution to ads and spam for users that prefer an ad controlled social network environment. GetGems is an example of innovative spins that have potential for success on a difficult market to enter. Messaging services that demonstrate a decentralized network on a a mobile app, is a unique way to promote blockchain technology. If you prefer a larger social community, the Reddit Bitcoin community has over 150,000 subscribers, and offers many resources for new and seasoned users of blockchain technology. Additional crypto-currency subreddits include; /r/bitcoinbeginners for introductory topics, /r/bitcoinmarkets for trading topics, and /r/Jobs4Bitcoins for freelance opportunities paid through Bitcoins.