When buying altcoins, you need to be aware of good practices that cryptocurrency companies use to conduct business and attract customers. This article will introduce you to several such practices.
A Development Roadmap
Any serious coin developer should be periodically releasing a developmental roadmap. For a company in the cryptocurrency space, a developmental roadmap is what a strategic plan is for a regular business. The roadmap should explain what the company is doing, where it is going, what goals it is trying to accomplish and by when.
A quality developmental roadmap would have very specific goals and dates, for example, “we will add transaction feature X to our wallet software by September 20.” An example of a bad goal is “to make transactions anonymous in the future.” The first goal describes specifically what it will do and the date by when it will do what it promises. The second one doesn’t say anything specific.
Specificity is one of the factors that can help you identify and separate developers who know what they are doing and are serious about their projects from scammers and newbies. Serious developers have a vision of where they are going and can communicate this vision is simple, yet specific terms. Because of the meteoric rise of the popularity of cryptocurrencies, the market attracts a lot of newbies who hope to figure things out once they find someone to give them some money, be it in the form of a fiat currency or in the form of a digital currency. Beginners most often can’t communicate their vision because they don’t have one. All they have is dreams. They would talk about everybody involved in the project becoming rich once the network has several million active users, but they have no roadmap to getting to the first 100, 1,000 or 100,000 users.
Just like with regular businesses, the development roadmap of a cryptocurrency company should be public. Be suspicious of any company that claims the need to keep its roadmap hidden “for security reasons” or because of the fear of competition. Companies like Apple also have a lot of competition, yet it doesn’t prevent them from communicating with investors and explaining what they will do in the future. It works in the same way in the cryptocurrency world: a roadmap is not code. It is a statement of purpose. It is perfectly okay to not release the code when the team is working on it, but it not acceptable to claim that goals need to stay hidden because of the competition.
Graphic User Interface and Binaries
To become popular, a coin needs a lot of users. Most users today are accustomed to great design and usability that has come a long way since the early days of the Internet. Modern developers know that and those who are truly interested in getting and keeping users pay a lot of attention to great and easy to use design. This is something you want to pay attention to from day one of a launch of a coin. In technical terms, the design is called GUI or graphical user interface, as opposed to command line interface or CLI that was the only way to interact with a machine in the early days of the computers.
Some coins require users to compile the code from the source during the early days of the coin. Developers claim that they are doing so to speed up the release of their software. In reality, there are often not enough sufficient reasons for making users compile the code.
Instead, what many such developers are trying to accomplish is limit significantly the pool of miners. An average user is not familiar with programming. He is she is not likely to go through a process of compiling a piece of code with a number of dependencies, which allows developers to mine a lot of coins on their own.
Ideally, you want to see developers releasing installation packages for MacOS, Windows, and Linux simultaneously on the release day.
The philosophy behind cryptocurrencies is about freedom and empowerment of users. For this reason, developers do not have to provide anything. There are no official rules that say that a developer needs to have binaries for Windows, MacOS, and Linux on the launch day or that graphic user interface should be available right away.
However, when one or several elements are missing, it can be a bad sign. It may take a developer a few weeks to develop graphics interface and binaries, but if you don’t see a quality GUI and binaries after a few weeks, it is possible that the developer is trying to give a big advantage to just a few miners, which could mean that miners are engaging in pre-mining of coins.
Be aware of these issues and monitor the software of the coins that are of interest to you. Look at all the data and signs in context. It is okay for a new project to experience a few hiccups here and there, but if you see more and more problems or unfair mining going on, it is definitely a red flag.