Why? Because it’s fun to do bad things.
For those of you who paid attention during the last roundup, we mentioned that some discussions were happening at the old sandwich cart about a few potential changes around the chat. Turns out we were discussing whether or not the time was right to give a shot at letting market talkers have their own channel in the server.
If you go to the chat right now, there is a room called turtle-traders. If you are surprised, so are we. Keep reading though..
In the beginning…
When the TRTL discord first launched, it was during crypto December and what seemed like the entire world was in the chat talking about all topics under the sun. This had the positive effect of attracting a lot of otherwise unoccupied bright minds… along with a few shitheads, as can be expected with a sample size that large.
We hit 10k chatters almost instantly.
In our price history if you look back far enough when total emission was very low, and sell orders were very thin, we had an early investor who meant well end up purchasing and entire BTC worth of TRTL from the one exchange we were listed on at the time, which caused an instant spike to something in the low 30 Satoshi range.
We have been living that down ever since. Naturally that spike sent what I would say in hindsight are the wrong signals, and buyers poured into the chat with hands on hips, demanding ridiculous things of brand new devs who had just signed, clapping at the nerds while telling them to work harder for their investment and basically justify their commitment to their new crypto-tradegod overlords.
I do not remember how long this went on but we quickly lost a few great devs who were really pushing things forward at the time in interesting directions, because they didn’t sign on for that, they just wanted to be devs, and the rapidly declining price didn’t make that any easier. People I knew personally even left the project. Things were getting bad and something had to be done.
Right when things were coming to a tense crescendo between traders and devs, the SEC began alluding to pending legislation on cryptoasset networks like us, and to pre-emptively get our little Turtle nuts out of the fire, we made the decision to push the traders out of the chat.
It was not a difficult decision.
The first market server
Naturally the traders had to go somewhere. We had two rooms named General in the main server and the lines of chat would move so fast you could not get a word across at all, just type something and send it into the fray while praying for the best. Needless to say there were a troupe of people who needed somewhere to go, and we were just sliding them out the door.
A developer contributor by the name of Madk stepped up and formed his own Discord, which was convenient since he was not closely linked to core at the time, and was not an American, so risk of being hassled by the SEC was very low for him.
I don’t remember exactly how long this server lasted but it filled up quick, and attracted all types. There were many friendships formed there, and a few horror stories as well.
Eventually Madk decided he wanted to take his mod hat off and unceremoniously nuked the server one night. There are a lot of details I am deliberately leaving out here, but you will just have to ask someone who was there to tell you if you are that interested.
Personally, it is my opinion that those who endured those years were better for it as a result, but I am also aware that my opinions aren’t always great.
The guys might say he was always this way, but I don’t think Madk was ever the same after that.
The next market server
Again, being cast out of their native home land, a group of lads still claiming to be traders along with their pet bots were not ready to let the party die, so a new market server guy emerged from the crowd ready to lead the charge. His name was Buggles.
Buggles created the second market server for those of you around long enough to remember the switch. It was a natural fit and easy transition for many of the people there. Buggles had been part of the community for quite some time at this point, and everyone just moved over.
Ironically this market server did not have much trade discussion. It mainly consisted of the aforementioned lads doing lad things, and being nice, then over in the corner, a few people being berated by the ‘cool kids’ for their support of TRTL. There were accusations of us being a shitcoin, the name ToiletCoin gained popularity in some circles (Xaz still has the username
TRTL = ToiletCoin to this day in fact) and though the good times mostly outweighed the bad, that type of stuff is just bad for the image and morale of the users of the network and disrespects those who continue to contribute code and documentation to it. It wasn’t Buggles fault, these problems just seem to dog us since our early history, I don’t think it would be any different if we were another network.
Until that time we had always referred users to a read-only room called Market Talk in the main server where a direct link to whichever market server we were using at the time would be for easy access. It is not that we did not want people to ever talk market topics, we just wanted to keep the main server for support and development so it seemed natural to at least help folks find their way out of the server to keep market talk where it belonged.
As the price dipped further and people got worse and worse views and opinions of parts of our community, I kinda got tired of how users were treated by the traders and removed the link to the market server one day, a decision which even Alien our TurtleCoin CEO said was a good idea.
What followed, I would say, was just unworkable. Probably not my finest moment.
How to kill a crypto discord
After removing the link to the 2nd market server, I was at wits end with having to explain to people who had just agreed while entering the server not to market talk and that yes it was indeed a serious rule, and it started to feel like a chore to exile people. We just want to write code, and all this market talk stuff was distracting us from that.
I made a critical mistake.
If you are not already shouting at me through the screen, I made a critical mistake at the time. I removed the link to an alternative market chat, giving traders nowhere to go. And even if they did get the link, the first impression would be poor when they arrived at the market server, and when they inevitably look for a place to talk shop in the main server, we would send them to the origami chain gang.
This was an unworkable solution obviously.
While everyone was being sent home for COVID and signing on to our discord, I was busy with a broom chasing them out of the chat for trying to blow off steam and shoot the shit with their friends about market stuff.
Soon, less and less people were chatting daily, and while it was the most productive time of my own time at TRTL, pushing code to what I felt was the most impactful project I had contributed to so far, I was frustrated that we were still sinking slowly. I felt like every day was treading water, but it was my own fault.
Market talk & other things we never thought would happen in 2020
A few days went by when maybe only 20 people or so were active in the discord chat, and while these were some of our most productive and dedicated members, I could feel morale draining and just had one of those Fuck it moments.
Fuck it. What is the worst that happens?
I figured, you know, right now is the time when we need eyes on us.. There is no way we are putting all this work into a brand redesign for 2020, we finally have a stable core suite, we are working on completing Karai, one of our biggest milestones this year, and still trying to pump life and fresh memes into a dead discord all day and the chat was still dying.
I am not sure if a market discussion channel will breathe some life into a once very lively server, but we have never been a team to sit around doing the same shit that does not work, or even worse, doing nothing.
We are giving this a shot, we hope you guys make the most of it, and most of all, I hope this brings more adoption for TRTL and its users for 2020 and beyond. We still push code to multiple projects every day, and still see new faces, so while we give ourselves this second chance we hope you guys join us and shoot the shit in the new market room.
Have a good night 🙂
Also published on Medium.