Cultures used to form locally: learning how to dress up with your village's garments, how to dance the local moves to impress your fellow villagers on some local music produced with traditional instruments. This could apply to basically any village or community in the world since the beginning of civilization.
Our biology adapted to this form of local tribalism and culture formation, selecting the fittest to conform to the codes of their tribes and punishing the weirdos who couldn't adapt by denying them reproduction.
It means, if you're alive now in 2018 and reading this, your ancestors mostly have done things right and managed to conform to the cultural codes of their peers, learning the subtle local dialects and jargons and managed to be accepted by their communities in order to survive and reproduce.
Fast forward to our days and time, culture is all over the place, and it's a mess: dos and don'ts are mixed with politics, aesthetics, fashion, buzzwords, and catchphrases. In other words, we are culturally confused and starving for clearly defined identities.
Spending most of our time on the Internet, our village is now made of hundreds of people we follow or befriend on social media: facebook "friends", YouTubers, Instagrammers, SoundCloud producers, Twitter influencers and shape our opinions and tastes, forming an unlimited amount of digital cultures and subcultures, competing with one another for your love.
This subdivision is necessary to our survival: we hate uniformity, and to differentiate from the total uniformity we have to embrace a form of small group conformity. If the entire world wears a white t-shirt, there is no identity. If the entire world dresses randomly with pieces of fabric, there's no identity either. An identity needs to be placed in a context, it needs to relate to either the lack of identity or the conformity to a non-conform group that is recognizable. Have you ever noticed how similar anti-conformists look? See rastas, rappers, punks, and other rebellious subcultures.
But wait a minute, wasn't it supposed to be an article about crypto-cultures?
We're getting there, just bear with me for a moment.
Before getting into crypto-cultures, let me first introduce the concept of digital cultures.
Since our time spent online started to exceed our time in the real world, and geography was no longer a factor, we assisted, in the last ten years, to the rise of a new kind of subcultures. Comparable to the musical genres, internet subcultures were more distributed and conversational.
Among the most common subcultures formed online, you will find the hipster, initiated by Vice magazine or the trap culture originating in Atlanta and fuelled by music videos on YouTube, the 4chan provocative humour, the Reddit homeboy spirit, #blackTwitter alongside with the Postinternet art, the Social Justice Warrior or the emo on Tumblr. Each of these subcultures is forming global villages where the medium becomes the message: Re-twitting is also in itself a behavioral component of our contemporary culture, the sub-reddit is a cultural construct before being a technology.
This was the birth of a new concept that we will call techno-culture.
When Satoshi Nakamoto introduced Bitcoin to the world, it also had its own culture embedded within the cypherpunk movement made of libertarian values and cryptography. But as it's often the case, people took over and started to stretch and manipulate, exchange, misunderstand, appropriate, transform, recycle and remix these components. In this article we will review and analyze the main subcultures connected to blockchain technologies.
1. The Crypto-Anarcho
Demographics: Men in their late thirties, working in STEM, intellectual entrepreneurs.
The values: Decentralization of currency creation will liberate humanity from the enslavement of inflation and the corruption of crony capitalists working with private banks.
Jargon and slogans: Code is law, Tax is theft, Free market, Proof of work, Mining, Hash power, Whale, Bitcoin Maximalist
The platforms: BitcoinTalk, SteemIt
2. The Crypto Bro
Demographics: Men in their early twenties, students or hustlers listening to rap music and wearing snapbacks.
The values: Get rich quick or die tryin'. Looking for ways to make money without effort.
Jargon and slogans: HODL, REKT, moon, lambo
The platforms: Reddit
3. The ICO investor
Demographics: Early adopter of Ethereum, men around 30, startup enthusiast
The values: I got rich once, and now i have FOMO
Jargon and slogans: WhitePaper, Smart Contract, ETH, flipping, swapping, Private sale, Pre-sale, ICO Advisor
The platforms: Telegram
4. The Crypto-Burner
Demographics: Millennials, mostly from California, interested in psychedelics, arts, philosophy and new age culture
The values: Make the world a better place and take a lot of weed, mushrooms and LSD.
Jargon and slogans: ikigai, consciousness, crypto-meditation, vr consciousness
The platforms: Facebook, Instagram
5. The Crypto-Women
Demographics: Business oriented women who managed to find their way into this geeky gentleman's club.
The values: We are women and we are in crypto, pretty crazy, no?
Jargon and slogan: inclusion, diversity, block diversity
The platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn
6. The Crypto-Altruist
Demographics: Men and women from late twenties to sixties, thinkers and idealists.
The values: Let's use crypto to make the world a better place (without the mushrooms!)
Jargon and slogans: unbanked, cross-border, inclusiveness, social impact, green
The platforms: Twitter, Facebook
7. The Crypto-Scammer
Demographics: Men in their twenties, from any place in the world.
The values: Scamming is fun, as long as you don't get caught.
Jargon and slogans: get rich quick, trillion dollar industry, no competitor, the future of blockchain.
The platforms: Telegram, LinkedIn
8. The Crypto-Neolib
Demographics: Executive women from the West Coast, with clean make up and formal apparel.
The values: Party hard, work hard, no clue cypherpunk but part of many crypto conferences and communities.
Jargon and slogans: I'm with HER, part of the problem, open borders, ethics
The platforms: Facebook, Twtter
9. The Crypto-Corpo Dad
Demographics: Banker and finance executive, late forties from Europe and BRICs countries.
The values: I'm terribly bored at work, let's go to these block chains event and try to understand what's going on.
Jargon and slogans: the future of banking, let's grow together on the blockchain, thinking forward with crypto-banking
The platforms: Linkedin
10. This weird friend of your uncle
Demographics: Lonely men in their fifties, smoking cigs at home and surfing classified ads all day long.
The values: Surfing the internet, got scammed 58 times and the 59th bought some ETH at 0.50 and made 400K$ during the boom in 2017. Have no clue why or what, buys more beer and cigs, bigger screen and lottery tickets.
Jargon and slogans: in the good old days, Area 51, Anunnaki, the end of the world is near
The platforms: Wikipedia, Craigslist
These few examples of crypto-cultures that were born since the birth of the bitcoin movement show that not everyone connects with crypto and blockchain the same way, through the same channels and with the same intents. What's interesting and somehow disturbing is that the adoption of crypto hasn't impacted our lives in ways that were intended originally by Satoshi Nakamoto and the cypher punk movement.
Which poses the question of how do you define mass-adoption? Is it the adoption of the cypherpunk values, the use of blockchain? Is it necessary for the proliferation of blockchain technologies to create new cultures, is it actually possible to create them or are thei the fruit of individualities merging into communities because of much deeper preferences and predispositions?
Crypto-cultures seem now to variate from one coin to another: the EOS community for example has a different set of values than Monero or Bictoin aficionados. Coins start to look increasingly like cults that oppose each other and, of course, since the word "cult" is embedded in the word "culture" we can expect soon the rise of an increasingly sophisticated landscape of cultures emerging from the most successful blockchain startups.
In this market of techno-cultures, a lot of brands, startups and artists struggle to build consensus and form tribes around their innovations. We at NEW LIFE, are building a social commerce platform that will accelerate the formation and the monetization of such technocultures by connecting products and content creators with influencers, all trading value using a blockchain technology and token, called the NEWCOIN.Network. This techno-culture will form a bridge between the uprising lifestyle influencers and the blockchain ecosystem, accelerating mass adoption in an organic and natural way. Follow us on Medium and Instagram to learn more.