After my second Austin Bit Devs, I began asking myself, “why can’t I find this productive of a Bitcoin community online?” Bit Devs are monthly Bitcoin meetups held worldwide, an interactive review of primarily technical Bitcoin-related developments. It’s a seemingly simple meetup but something special happens when you share space with people you share values with.¹

I left each Bit Devs high on Bitcoin’s orange tonic - energized and convicted for weeks. I learned about bleeding edge Bitcoin tech, taught what I knew to others, brainstormed on how to promote and defend Bitcoin, and made strangely persistent relationships. I dedicated my career to Bitcoin after my second Bit Devs. Only, I had to move to Austin to have this experience.

“This bothers me,” I complained to Ben Carman on a walk to get drinks after a Bit Devs. I wanted a Bit Devs community online, a Bit Devs regardless of where I lived, a Bit Devs every darn day.

While I was orange-pilled by some combination of Michael Goldstein, Pierre Rochard, Saifedean Ammous, and Jimmy Song on Twitter in 2017, Bit Devs’ essence was absent on Twitter. It’s also absent on the unfortunately crypto-phobic Hacker News and on the borderline lowest common denominating Reddit. To speak to something bigger, what’s absent online are natural communities² and I believe its because of their community’s incentives.

Behavior in human communities develops as a result of the incentives humans in the community are given, and existing online communities influence behavior by format, pseudo-reputation, gamification, and moderation. Basically their communities develop as a result of expression limits, rewards backed by nothing, and centralized control. My assumption with Stacker News is that Bitcoin fixes this by having users stake something other than pseudo-reputation, Bitcoin, and earn rewards that are worth something in the external world, Bitcoin.

In Bitcoin we say “Bitcoin fixes this” because we believe Bitcoin changes the incentives humans have in any inheriting system. We believe Bitcoin encourages people to think long term and that this seemingly small yet fundamental change is utterly transformative for the better. This is why I started Stacker News. I think Bitcoin will help us build natural communities like Bit Devs online.

  1. Sharing an interest in Bitcoin with people isn’t sharing a simple kind of value. Monetary systems are meta-value systems. Sharing Bitcoin with people is something more powerful.
  2. I’m loading the term natural communities with what I think makes in-person communities productive, incentives imparted by nature. For me, what primarily distinguishes in-person communities from online ones is that you’re sacrificing something real when you participate, social reputation, and earn something real when you participate well, social reputation, meaningful favors, and friendship.

Thanks four shering this story 👍!

I have been here for only a few minutes and of course, I already have a suggestion. LOL.

Add an FAQ answering the question:

What can I do to help Stacker.News be successful?

@kr is working on a new FAQ right meow. I like it. What do you think @kr?

SN is one of the best communities I have found.

128 sats \ 1 boost \ 6 replies \ @guyfawkes 3 Sep 2021

I've told all my social circles about this site because it's not about bitcoin. It's about passing value without permission from any middleman and sacrificing personal information. I haven't been able to pay attention to my daily tasks since I figured this website out. It's developments like that makes me want to travel the path less travelled as it has 100x more meaning. I'm not a coder but can use a bitcoin/lightning node. Any suggestions on how to contribute?

23 sats \ 1 boost \ 3 replies \ @k00bOP 3 Sep 2021

Thanks 🙏 for sharing.

So you’re not a coder. What are you good at? What are your main interests outside of Bitcoin?

I'm an accountant by trade. Although even that I have to question because I haven't come across any other accountant that acknowledges the terrible system the central banks use in order to maintain their books. How commercial banks obtain unqualified audit reports every year is beyond me! I'm comfortable with computers and basic line commands. I'm thinking instructional videos like how to use this site. Although I'm tossing up with the idea of learning some code but not sure where to start that will give me the biggest bang in the shortest period. I'm a bit like a kid in the candy store. I want it all but end up just staring in awe!

I think if you summarize Accountant's needs when working with Bitcoin, write a post about it, become a bridge between accountants and bitcoiners, then there's a chance that couple of developers may join you and work on an open-source solution with your help.

What I was always wishing for is a personal application which securely tracks and pulls all my transactions from anywhere, but it doesn't leak any single piece of my information to anyone and is well encrypted. I wish this app would then let me securely track what I'm holding, generate documents for FinCen, generate txf to import to accounting software, etc. But I'm not expert on what is the best way to actually track my finances and that's where help from someone who knows more would be great.

I asked what you did because I think the best thing anyone can do for Bitcoin is bring their expertise to the community and apply it. e.g. There are a lot of accounting problems for both individuals and companies holding Bitcoin given the regulations - you could write or do videos or create an excel program for Bitcoin accounting. That's just a random idea, but this is the thread I would pull on.

Although I'm tossing up with the idea of learning some code but not sure where to start that will give me the biggest bang in the shortest period.

Define what "biggest bang" and "shortest period" practically mean for you and I can try to recommend something.

Keep showing up! These communities are all about the people.

+1 here across the board.

Love this experiment; it’s giving me a glimpse of applications I hadn’t considered before. Seems like lightning is starting to hum a little. Your interview with @kr was an eye opener.

Yep, bitcoin is so much more than just a store of value. So many things are just waiting to be discovered.

Found stacker news today, I can only imagine I will be back. Good work.

Thanks! How’d you find us?

Did you know?

Long before Stacker.News, there was Witcoin. Back when BTC/USD was under $1.

Witcoin UI was pretty basic, but along the same lines as SN (pay in BTC to post, to comment, to upvote, etc, and the OP got most of the payment for upvotes and comments, and the site got its cut).

tl;dr: Custodial wallet. Eventually abandoned and outstanding balances rugged.

There was another too a couple years ago that someone sent me. I'm with you on custodial wallets being a hazard. I at least need to provide the option to be noncustodial.

As a possible middle ground between custodial and non-custodial, what about a pay-it-forward custodial wallet? Allow users to withdraw their sats at anytime (of course!), but when a user goes X months of no activity, some amount of their wallet balance is redistributed/donated SN choices? Also, it is understandable that this may not be a popular idea, but sometimes polarizing ideas work the best!

How did you come up with the name? Was it obvious to you from the start? Or did you have other ideas?

It was the first name that occurred to me actually. I knew the name didn't matter much either ... I didn't yet know if there were other people who wanted this.

What makes the strength of Hacker News is the relentless work Dang (the admin) is putting into moderating and steering people in the right direction to post quality posts and comment constructively. I wonder if there is a way to achieve similar quality here with the tipping approach (using real money). Upvoting hasn't shown itself to be very good at weeding out shitposts and flamewars (cfr Reddit). Let's see. Website has to grow first to have an informed position on this.

Yes we’ll see. It’s not just tipping though. It’s making it cost something real to participate poorly. I’ll be adding more features around this soon.


Why are there no Bitcoin meetups/events/forums etc.,being done in the Philippines?

Thanks for sharing the story @k00b!

Amazing work @k00b. This kind of community software could change online communication in a profound way. Have you considered generalizing the source code so that any community can easily spin up their own instance? (I haven’t looked at the code to see how easy this would be.) Imagine niche communities like knitting and bird watching slinging sats back and forth!

I love it!

Hope we continue getting more bitcoiners on here sharing ideas

Darn now I messed up the 420.

I had no idea this was the story of Stacker News blew my mind and I am 110% behind it! And believe It couldn't be in better hands!