From an oddity and online plaything a few short years ago to an over hundred billion dollar industry, the rise of cryptocurrency has been remarkable and swift. There have been plenty of bumps along the way while figuring out the best way to move forward, but they have all been surmounted over time. However, the most dangerous, and possibly fatal, bump is still on the road ahead, that of slowing our move forward. The biggest mistake that the community of cryptocurrency developers, users, and advocates can make right now is to lose momentum.

We’re on to something really, really important

Let’s take a step back to think about the magnitude of the technological innovation we have on our hands. Right now, a few centralized institutions control nearly all the money (and therefore the power) in the world. Anyone anywhere can have their funds frozen and seized at any time, for any reason, at a moment’s notice. A store of value can quickly become worthless if its central bank decides to reissue or hyperinflate, while an individual who made great sacrifices for a lifetime can see all their accrued value disappear, and will be helpless to prevent it. Now, finally, cryptocurrency offers an avenue for a new money that a centralized source doesn’t control, that can’t be seized and devalued, that users truly control. The implications for a free and prosperous world from this aspect alone are huge, not to mention the potential for other innovations such as decentralized, trustless, and voluntary governance systems. We have to make this work, it’s too incredible an advancement for humanity to do otherwise.

Wasting time bashing other projects is fatal

Now that there’s fierce competition among various projects in the cryptocurrency space, it’s important to remember not to eat your own. Yes, the free market is healthy, we should be constantly trying to figure out which approach is best, and we shouldn’t be too shy to point out when we see something that’s wrong or unhelpful. However, none of that equates to bashing, which is trying deliberately to destroy or hamper another project. This is commonly done out of a sense of zero-sum competition for dominance over the crypto pie. At its heart, though, this small-minded attack on others is nothing but a greedy and shortsighted grab for power through the exclusion of others, when what we should really be doing is growing the space as fast as possible. An insular community that does nothing but fight will increasingly fall into irrelevance. That’s not something I want to happen.

We should still back the right projects

That being said, we shouldn’t be afraid to be choosy with the projects we support. The absolute best coin should succeed, and it’s a mistake to back any other out of a sense of loyalty or nostalgia. By putting the best one forward we increase the chances of the entire field succeeding long-term. Now remember, this is quite different from bashing, which is focusing on the detriment of a competing coin. You can have opinions while still focusing purely on the forward momentum of the good.

Momentum is our biggest advantage, and our one saving grace

There’s a great deal of power around current structures. The banking system is massive, and every government on the planet is content with its global financial hegemony. All the world’s powerful are inherently threatened by the takeover of a new financial system that can’t be controlled, and they can and will try to stop it from growing to relevance. All we have on our side, other than superiority, is momentum. If cryptocurrency grows so fast and effectively that power structures can’t keep up, no one will be able to stop it. That’s the real choice right now: full speed or failure. Choose wisely.