Stop saying “DYOR” when it comes to crypto and blockchain. It makes you a turd.

If you’ve ever typed “DYOR” in your social profile or as a standalone reply, or told someone they should do their own cryptocurrency or blockchain research, you aren’t smart. You are a turd.

While that floats in your brain a minute, let me explain.

First, turds are waste, right? If so, we can then also agree that waste is a digestive system byproduct. Still correct, yeah? If so, And we can also agree that even the most well thought out, well-planned, healthiest-of-intentions diets still create well-intentioned, healthy … turds.

As it relates here, the point, friend, is no matter how well-intentioned or well-thought-out you might want to be, when you insert “DYOR” into the conversation, it’s waste.

“But, me? A turd? how can that be? I had to do research! So, they have to do research! I’m just sayin’!”

So, here’s the thing about thinking like that — three things, actually — that don’t jive very well with crypto’s supposed aspirational larger picture, where how a lot of the same people who turd-ily yell “DYOR!” also like to portray themselves as all about crypto adoption, communities, and everything else with wanting to be an advocate and leader for public adoption.

“DYOR” doesn’t encourage discussion or the exchange of information between people who may have different knowledge sets. Short of all of us sitting in the same learning environment, we’ve all picked up something different on our crypto journeys. We’ve been influenced by the projects we discover, the information around those, the people around those, and our own experiences and curiosities that spurred our original dive into the crypto and blockchain pool.

And, as fortune (or misfortune, for some) would have it, being an early, public adopter or enthusiast in any space typically leads to those who come after you looking to you as an experienced source on some level.

So, why waste the opportunity to feed the growing curiosity and appetite for adoption? Why encourage silos on those experiences by telling others they should continue on their own way – away from you? Why try to play both sides of the adoption card in saying you want more people to follow your lead but then yell “DYOR!” at them when they knock on your door?

Fact is there is no good reason to do those things … not if you really, truly want more people to jump on the crypto train. (And no, it isn’t reasonable to believe you telling someone to go find information somewhere else is going to lead to their coming back later so you can then, finally, have a conversation about crypto. Conversation and relationships don’t usually work that way in personal settings, let alone the social media sea.)

Plus …

In the larger sense, then, if you believe everyone should “DYOR”, then you help prove crypto tribes don’t exist – not in the romantic way Twitter would have you believe, anyways. Actually, I’ve had trouble wrapping my head around this thought when it is obvious crypto tribes do exist on social media and elsewhere. One coin’s community shakes an angry fist at another daily, and Klever has even taken the full step of creating its own hosted closed community.

What becomes apparent, though, is when a dip occurs, a spike doesn’t happen when hoped for, or conversation turns to long-term HODL vs. taking profit, fantastically big splits form in communities in a hurry.

Why is that? Everyone’s end game is different.

Nobody came into crypto with the same financial story to tell. Nobody will leave crypto with the same financial story to tell if you ask them to tell it in detail past “moon or rekt”.

That said, if we’re all here for different individual results under a “price go up” umbrella, then I’d offer that it isn’t so much a community as it is a coalition – a term that usually is reserved for political conversations but seems to fit here. After all, when you consider a coalition is defined typically as a group formed to achieve a shared common interest or goal, regardless of members’ backgrounds, doesn’t that seem to play more accurately than “community”?

In any case, the environment is much more down to the individual than Twitter would have you believe, which leaves a lot of people in a bigger information vacuum than we’d like to believe, which means …

Consumer and investor protections, in some form, are now necessary if we really want mass adoption. There are many random, terrible coins out there with no use case, and there always will be. (People will always look for ways to separate other people from their money with garbage in crypto and beyond… oh, heeeey, QVC!) But, as projects and companies continue to mature and develop products or services tied to their coins, and enthusiasts beg for new money to enter the market, structured guidance and protections are needed to serve as deterrents to bad actors and transparent guardrails for legit ones.

It was a defining, refreshing moment for me to stumble onto the Blockchain Association late last year. (Read their policy positions here, including on taxes.) I’ve been enthused at the group’s expansion and building influence in Washington, D.C. I’ve been encouraged at the increasing media appearances on national programs by Executive Director Kristin Smith because it means she (and her group) are becoming trusted voices in the space for the public.

I mention this association because they are a driver for future guidelines that will make it that much easier (and faster) for real mass adoption to occur. Their work will make it so that you won’t feel the urge to “DYOR” someone when they ask for guidance on crypto and blockchain things. The pressure will be off of you to be an information source because, if things go right, the work will have already been done and crypto will have a well-lit path for industry and the public to meet seamlessly and safely.

But, while those conversations are still in the beginning stages among policy influencers, do everyone a favor, two actually. 1. Take “DYOR” off your profile. And, 2. The next time someone comes to you looking for crypto info, find out what they want to know. If you don’t have the answer, ask your own audiences/groups. Someone will know. You both will learn. You’ll both level up. And, our big ‘ol crypto coalition will be better for it.