Cryptocurrency itself isn't political, though. It is, however, important to note our reasons for undertaking this project and attempting to act as a gatekeeper of sorts for the cryptocurrency community--it is self-policing, in a sense, a free market solution to the problems faced that will, ideally, solve those problems sufficiently before the government gets involved.
Problem 1: Market Oversaturation
Disregarding how many of the literal thousands of cryptocurrencies and Ethereum Tokens that currently exist are scamcoins, the vast majority of them are shitcoins that will never increase in value and will almost certainly only decrease in value until they disappear entirely. The Prime Directive of the cryptocurrency community should be to work toward mass adoption, but we are nowhere near that point--nor can we approach that threshold if the market remains this field of thorns and weeds where an occasional rose blooms. Some poor soul who happens upon Novacoin for the first time will be absolutely floored by the massive amounts of information presented, most of it meaningless to them, accompanied by a difficult-to-use User Interface, and thousands of currency symbols that mean nothing to the ordinary user. What is KBC? What is ENC? "I was looking for Bitcoin! Screw all this mess!"
The environment today is heavily reminiscent of the Video Game Crash of 1983, where a mass of inferior products chipped away at consumers' resolve until a straw finally broke the camel's back. The problems then are the same ones faced by cryptocurrencies today: horrific oversaturation of the market by terrible, inferior, shoddy, shady products. This is destined for a crash, and I don't know that it can be prevented, but part of our goal is to try. To this end, we will investigate all of the currencies that we can, compile the useful information about them, and present them here, in real, ordinary terms for people to view. A major contributor to the Video Game Crash was the lack of any sort of "Buyer's Guide," as well as any reliable source for gaming reviews--consumers simply expected that, if they bought a game, it would be playable and good. No such thing exists for cryptocurrencies, either--until now.
Mission Statement A
We shall endeavor to serve as a "Buyer's Guide" regarding cryptocurrencies by assessing the available information, the reliability of the developers, the merit behind the ideas presented, and the likelihood of the currency being a scamcoin or a shitcoin. We want to be the gaming magazine that scores E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial a one (1) so that no one buys it, which may very well have averted the Video Game Crash of 1983. We will remain brutally honest, and will give no quarter to inferior products. In time, each cryptocurrency will be rated on a 1 to 10 scale on various categories, such as Usability, Reliability, Growth Likelihood, and others. We will do this on a full 1-10 scale, not the 7-10 scale used by many reviewing sites. If we rate a currency badly, its developers are always welcome to contact our Editor-in-Chief Aria DiMezzo to appeal their case, but we will err on the consumer's side, not the currency's.
Problem 2: An Abundance of Scams
It isn't just market oversaturation, unfortunately, and neither was oversaturation the sole problem during the Video Game Crash. Instead, an even larger problem is the overabundance of shitcoins and scamcoins. It often seems that a new ICO appears everyday, giving statists plenty of ammunition when they say, "This is why we need the government to regulate it! Look at all the scams running unchecked, and no one is doing anything about it!" Such cries will, of course, eventually get the government to intervene and attempt to regulate the market, making it inexcusably difficult for legitimate ICOs with good, solid, and innovative ideas to get going. The last thing we need is a government acting as the gatekeeper. Let everyone make an ICO, yes. But let us be there to hold their feet to the flames.
This plays into the next problem, as well, because cryptocurrencies are, overall, consumer hostile. I hate saying that about a market and philosophy that I believe in so strongly, but this is something that we aim to fix. Not only is it overwhelming for the ordinary person to find themselves on Novacoin, but the news items of this ICO and that ICO proving to be scams, losing people lots of money, chase consumers away. Bitcoin and other cryptourrencies already struggle with being called ridiculous things from "fad" to "scam," and the sheer volume of scams being perpetrated in the cryptocurrency market is not helping cryptocurrency's image in the public eye. This is a state of affairs that cannot be allowed to continue, because mass adoption is absolutely essential to the long-term survival and prosperity of cryptocurrencies. Everything that hinders mass adoption must be cut off, cast off, and left to rot.
Mission Statement B
We shall endeavor to investigate ICOs before they launch, after they launch, during their launch, and after their launch, as well as the currencies attached to those ICOs. We will assess the ICO and the new cryptocurrency or Ethereum Token based on a number of variables ranging from our ability to contact the people behind it, and to put real names to the development, to analyze the whitepaper and determine its validity as a technical document, to inspect and judge the merits of the ideas proposed by the cryptocurrency, and to gauge whether the ICO is likely to be a scam. We want to see a world where an ICO launches, and CryptoCheck is immediately tagged on Facebook and Twitter, and where people reply to the news with "I'm not giving you guys a single Satoshi until CryptoCheck says you're not a scam." High goals, to be sure, but we believe that diligence, creativity, and integrity can achieve these goals.
We will always err on the side of the consumer. We are not gods, we are not omniscient, and we are not able to see the future. There are things that we don't know, and things that we cannot predict. Our advice should not be taken as indisputable fact. Just because we don't call an ICO a scam doesn't mean that it isn't one; it means only that it gave us no indication to believe that it was one. However, if we are not as sure as possible, we will err on the side of caution. It is infinitely more suitable to us that a legitimate ICO miss out on 200 Ethereum than it would be for ordinary people to have 200 ETH scammed away from them. If someone must lose money, let it be the ICO, not you.
Problem 3: Jargon & Bullshit
Cryptocurrency people are generally technicians. I'm a technician, too, to be clear. However, I'm also pretty good at communication, especially in written form. Most technical people are far more interested in Byzantine Fault Tolerances, HD Wallet algorithms, and all manner of other things that ordinary people simply do not care about, and for good reason. This site is not very popular among the technicians, and it will never be popular among them, because many of the cryptocurrency advocates do believe that, if you don't even know what the Byzantine Fault Tolerance is, then you shouldn't go anywhere near cryptocurrencies. I would venture the guess that there's a bit of elitism at play here, and a lot of ego: "You have to be really, really smart to get involved with cryptocurrencies!"
But that's bullshit.
In fact, earlier today I heard someone make the case that "ordinary people" will never understand cryptocurrencies. That's true. But we can just add that to the list of things that swim through ordinary people's lives that they also don't understand: televisions, computers, combustion engines, airliner jets, and even the USD. One doesn't need to understand a currency in order to use it. The only questions that matter are these: "How do I acquire it? How do I store it? How do I spend it?" That's all people need to know. Don't let the technicians out there convince you that, no, you must understand why Satoshi's solution to this complex problem was genius, because otherwise you can't possibly use cryptos. They're a lot like Professor Fink in that Simpsons' episode where the parents had to teach the classes, and he told the children that they oculdn't play with a toy, because they wouldn't enjoy it on as many levels as he does. Arrogance and elitism.
This drives people away, an obvious fact that shouldn't have to be pointed out to any adult, and the technicians are certainly old enough to be considered adults. We can have mass adoption or we can have a culture of snide and smug elitism, but we cannot have both. Even my own page on cryptocurrencies gets more technical than I would like, but that's necessary at this point in the game, to explain to people why it's secure and why their cryptocurrencies aren't going anywhere.
Mission Statement C
The third side of our triangle consists of real explanations for cryptocurrencies, how they work, and what they do. For example, at the very start of our page on cryptocurrencies, we advised people to ignore the "crypto" part altogether, and just think of them as "currencies" like the Yen or the USD. That single statement will help people understand cryptocurrencies multitudes more than a six hour lecture on SHA256 encryption. Get that shit out of here. We want you to join us in the cryptocurrency market, because we believe in the future offered by cryptocurrencies: a world where you control your money. A world where your money cannot be taken from you without your explicit consent, a world where you cannot be robbed by the hidden tax of inflation, a world that erases international transaction fees, and a world where the money we use is the best money available. We shouldn't use whatever money a government tosses to us and says "here, use this" about. We should use the money that we find to be most reliable, most secure, and most stable. That's what we want to see. And how do we get there?
Mass adoption. What's keeping people from purchasing Bitcoin or Litecoin? It's not difficulty, not really, and it's not even uncertainty of its future. It's simply that they don't understand it. It's all so very confusing and perplexing, and many prominent cryptocurrency advocates seem to intentionally foster this culture of confusion and obfuscation. This directly prevents mass adoption, which is absolutely, certainly, and unequivocally necessary for the long-term survival of cryptocurrency. We aim to fix these problems by explaining cryptocurrencies in terms that people actually understand. That's why this Wiki reads far more casually than so many others. We want it to feel like you're reading someone who is having a conversation in plain English and trying their best to actually make sense. We don't want ordinary people to be treated to a dissertation on the merits of blockchain technology.
And That Is Why...
We started this project. We hope that, with your support and input, we can turn it into something beautiful--a one-stop shop for consumers to learn about cryptocurrencies, learn how to purchase them, learn which to purchase and which to avoid, and walk away from it all feeling satisfied and happy. That's our goal. And this is our whitepaper.