At least Discord knows where it’s standing now. And, with this story, we know how early into the cryptocurrency game we all are. And how misunderstood all of this is by the general public. Discord’s founder and CEO Jason Citron hinted at possible integration with the Ethereum ecosystem, with NFTs, and with the incumbent Web3. And all hell broke loose.
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Discord fanatics spammed Citron’s answers and canceled their subscriptions to their Nitro premium service. Their own employees took to social media to express their discomfort. Video game culture influencers rallied the masses and gathered hundreds of Likes and Retweets. What were their reasons? Environmental concerns. And they consider NFTs a scam. And that they’re ruining video games somehow.
Let’s unpack all of this.
How Did Discord Unveil Their Web3 Plans?
Content creator Packy McCormick wrote an incredibly long article about Discord’s history and how it could evolve. Of course, it ended with cryptocurrencies, NFTs, their own multichain wallet, and an ill-advised new token. How could it not? It’s obvious that should be the direction that a successful but not entirely profitable company like Discord should go, right? The article concluded:
“We strongly believe that the company should follow its users’ pull into web3. The company’s biggest successes to date came when it decided to build the communications infrastructure for gamers; now, it has the opportunity to build a more complete set of tools for this game that we’re all playing all across the internet.”
Apparently, McCormick overestimated the crypto movement. Not everybody is playing the game. In fact, some people hate it with a passion. Discord’s Jason Citron replied with an image that showed some kind of integration between the service, Metamask, and WalletConnect. It also featured the Ethereum logo accompanied by the popular meme phrase “probably nothing.”
probably nothing pic.twitter.com/p4P6MoNGgd
— Jason Citron (@jasoncitron) November 8, 2021
The tweet received hundreds of replies. Most of them bashing their plans, denouncing NFTs, and citing environmental concerns. Which is really funny, if you think about it. Discord’s logo is a videogame controller, and that community was their original audience. And playing video games use orders of magnitude more electricity than all of the blockchains combined.
BTC price chart on Bitbay | Source: BTC/USD on TradingView.com
Are Discord And Web3 A Match Or Not?
They seem to be. If you read the article that started it all, it’s hard to argue with its logic. McCormick said:
“The last of these gestures at Discord’s grip on web3. It has undoubtedly become the coordination platform of choice for all manner of projects including NFTs, DAOs, crypto investing groups, and crypto startups. It’s genuinely startling how quickly this has become a norm in the sector.”
A huge number of DAOs and NFT projects run their communities on Discord. This seemed like a foolproof bet. Techcrunch even took it a step further:
“With MetaMask support, Discord could become a place where people display their NFTs in galleries linked to user profiles or choose “verified” avatar images, with ownership backed up through the blockchain.”
So probably nothing = actually nothing pic.twitter.com/IlzIFSWnnL
— cobie (@CryptoCobain) November 11, 2021
This is something Twitter Crypto seems to be working on without complaints. How could this have gone so wrong? What makes de Discord community different? McCormick asked:
“What would it look like if Bored Ape holders could buy and sell within the same channels they host conversations? What if members of the Bankless DAO could buy new tokens in-line with a discussion about them?”
We’ll probably never know.
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People are severely uninformed about cryptocurrencies. Those articles about the environmental risks that blockchains supposedly pose really did a number on them. However, there’s something else going on here. Casting a wide net, the Discord community seems to be technologically driven and one that appreciates art. They should be on the side of NFTs, but they are wildly against the movement. Almost manically.
This is the reaction of a 3D artist that works for Discord:
I hope leaders can humbly listen the chorus of vehement moral disgust this teaser has already invited. this sincerely does not have to happen.
— Kevin Tang (@Yolo_Tengo) November 9, 2021
And this is another Discord employee, who also retweeted these two terrible-terrible takes on the event:
kinda cringe ngl https://t.co/hceLj105UN
— Kaara ➡️ Forge Ahead (@kaara_raven) November 8, 2021
Where is that rage coming from? Is this just about the environment? Because they work in a tech company, and technology uses dirty electricity. Is this just about scams and money laundering? Because the art world, in general, is built upon scams and money laundering. No, there’s something else here. The crypto world arises a rage in them that shouldn’t be ignored. Check the replies under Citron’s tweets and you’ll see.
Just remember how many furries use your platform, and how much money furries have,and how they almost universally hate NFTs and crypto.
I would genuinely be surprised if you could show me 5 furries without discord accounts.
You do have competition in the market.
— Logan Mish 🗝️ (@Mishaniz) November 11, 2021
Speaking about Discord’s CEO, he backpedaled his company’s whole Web3 plan with a PR friendly: “Thanks for all the perspectives everyone. We have no current plans to ship this internal concept. For now we’re focused on protecting users from spam, scams and fraud. Web3 has lots of good but also lots of problems we need to work through at our scale.” And to drive the point home, they told Techcrunch that the screenshot came from a hackathon: “We’re always exploring and hacking away at things we think will improve Discord for all the communities we serve.”
Yeah, sure Discord. We believe you.
Featured Image: Discord's Ethereum plans from this tweet | Charts by TradingView