DeFi Forks Will Struggle Because You Can’t Fork a Community

Key Takeaways

  • Vibrant communities are the essence of a crypto network as they aid organic growth and marketing.
  • Bitcoin versus Bitcoin Cash is the prime example of how crypto markets view unoriginal forks that change a few small features.
  • DeFi forks that do build communities still have to compete with the original protocol on the basis of features and value addition.

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DeFi forks are popping up everywhere. Unfortunately, they fail to become anything more than a “farm and dump” scheme due to a lack of genuine community. And even the few projects that do establish an early community, the future is murky.

The Lifeblood of a Crypto Token

The term “community” gets thrown around a lot in crypto. But what does it actually mean?

A community is a group of investors, users, and developers that support and supplement a particular crypto network. In an open-source ecosystem, communities are arguably the most important aspect of a project as they help create value through usage, adoption, and organic marketing.

If a protocol’s technology gives it substance, its community gives it life.

Communities are strengthened when they’re grouped under a similar identity. LINK Marines, Synthetix Spartans, and Band Jedis are a few examples of communities that have been meme-ed into existence.

yEarn Finance (YFI) is another great example of how a robust community can grow a project. YFI went from $0 to $1 billion in market cap in just a month. But this wasn’t empty growth. yEarn provided real value for the DeFi community and saw large blocks of capital enter the protocol.

yEarn Finance Market Cap
yEarn Finance market cap since inception, via CoinGecko.

Several copycats have attempted to recreate yEarn’s success to little avail. While a few have molded their own communities, they rarely rival the original protocol.

This is not a new concept. Time and time again, the crypto market has emphasized that it prices originality and innovation with a stark premium

The oldest examples…

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