So many times people have claimed that Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are dead.
Of course these claims are based on the fact that the price is either in decline or just static.
What they should know, and what you should tell them, if they don’t, is that a cryptocurrency is dead when the code has been abandoned.
The code is the heartbeat of a cryptocurrency.
Especially in times like these, pay attention to the projects that still have life.
If you’re new to cryptocurrency or if this is your first time experiencing a down trend, and you’re often wondering to yourself: “How can I identify a quality project and avoid investing in a dead end?” Pay attention to the coins and projects who are working hard on making improvements especially in times like these. It’s a hint that the project is in it for the long haul, not just a quick turnover.
Lucky for you, a majority of cryptocurrencies are open source. This means that the code that ultimately runs these cryptocurrencies and their network, is publicly viewable by anyone who wants to check it out. Whether or not you can actually understand what that code means and represents is a whole other topic completely.
For the purpose of this video I want to supply you with tools that can help you recognize what a healthy, active cryptocurrency project looks like.
There are a number of websites that collect all sorts of different data in an effort to make it easier for you to analyze different cryptocurrencies and their progress. This is awfully convenient and I’ll include links down below in case you want to check them out for yourself, but before you decide to let these websites do all the “hard work” for you, there are some things you need to know about them.
Unless they are 100% transparent on how they came to their conclusions, with proven data, it’s much better to be safe than sorry. By that I mean, be aware that these websites, I’m sure, are tempted to accept payment offers from weak projects to give them credit where it isn’t necessarily due.
Also, for a more exact thing to be aware of, Cryptomiso for example tends to inaccurately reports GitHub commits for crypto projects. If you look at this site, you’ll see that there are a number of relatively new projects that are showing to have more commits than Ethereum. This is because these newer projects are forks of Bitcoin’s codebase. This means that they have inherited all of that activity from Bitcoin devs’ previous work and it is being represented on this site as their own, which is ultimately a false representation.
I’m not saying to never use these websites, in fact, I’ll include links down below so you can check them out for yourself. I’m sure they have their benefits as well. My point is that I think it’s always good to arm yourself with the kind of knowledge that will help prevent you from being particularly vulnerable when it comes to making investments.
So in the spirit of decentralization and doing your own research, I want to show you an easy way to decide for yourself how active a project is by looking at the facts, and what better place to start then going to the source.
What it is, who uses it and why
GitHub is a magical place that facilitates open source software development. It’s where companies and projects can publish their code so that others can view it, propose to make changes to it, and contact those who are developing the software to report bugs, among many other things.
GitHub is also where Bitcoin’s source code is published, along with the vast majority of other cryptocurrency projects.
For those who aren’t that tech-savvy and may be wondering, what’s the big deal about GitHub, it’s a part of this whole philosophy that’s a part of this creation of cryptocurrencies, that is, knowledge should be free. Creativity and innovation shouldn’t be thought of as non-renewable resources. If you’ve had a great idea, chances are you will have another and others can certainly help facilitate your ideas as well. To share these ideas and work together is a great way to ensure this space continues to grow and evolve. If you want to learn more about this concept, but more specifically labeled as the Free Software movement and Foundation, be sure to check out Richard Stallman, he’s a man who takes this very seriously.
Getting back to analyzing a Github account, here are some things to take note of:
- Commits are the submitted changes to the code. It’s important to know that some cryptocurrency projects will only update the README file just to try and fake activity.
- Repository is like the homepage for any project’s code base. You’ll notice that repositories on GitHub have what looks like a heart rate monitor reading. A repository that is very active will appear to have a healthy heart beat. One that’s flatlined has essentially been abandoned by developers. Commits and Pushes are found within repositories. So again, even if a project appears to be active, it’s important to pay attention to what they are actually updating.
- If you’re curious to see how much the developers care about those who actually use their network, check out the “Issues” tab to see when the last bug report was filed and how quickly, or if at all, that request was acknowledged and remedied.
Lastly, I know I spoke an awful lot about this specific platform GitHub, but they aren’t the only one that facilitates open source software. In fact there are many others like: GitLab, BitBucket and Keybase.
I mention this because you may remember the news that Microsoft has purchased GitHub back in June this year.
Although now Microsoft has been implying they don’t want to make any serious changes to GitHub other than of course promoting Microsoft products above all others. The fact is, they will need to prove to their shareholders that this purchase will be profitable for them, and I have a feeling that’s going to require GitHub to lose it’s heart. Not to mention the fact that Microsoft has already had a CEO who was staunchly against open source practices. All it takes is another new CEO to have similar values and we can effectively kiss GitHub goodbye.
Of course the fact that a massive, centralized, corporate company is now in control of GitHub doesn’t exactly scream freedom for those involved with cryptocurrencies.
A number of them have already moved to other platforms following the announcement even though the acquisition hasn’t yet occurred. You may be wondering what this means for Bitcoin, since this is the oldest and largest cryptocurrency, surely it would be difficult for them to make the change should the need arise. No worries, they already keep a backup repository on one of the previously mentioned alternative platforms, so switching will be relatively easy for them.