How an old theologian can help you find a legit crypto project

I downloaded a crypto app on my phone. Again. It was yet another one that could help me get rich on a brand-new crypto project. All I had to do was press a button every day to start the mining and the crypto-money rain. If I would spread the word and get my friends to mine, I could make even more dough.

Is this an intelligent way of spreading the news of a good app? Is it advanced multi-level marketing or even a pyramid scheme?

Wikipedia defines the latter as; a sketchy and unsustainable business model, where a few top-level members recruit newer members, who pay upfront costs up the chain, to those who enrolled them. As newer members in turn recruit underlings of their own, a portion of the subsequent fees they receive is also kicked up the chain.

Since no money changes hands, I would say we can rule out the scheme part. For it to be multi-level marketing, it requires per default the involvement of a product. That is not the case either.

But at the end of the day, the app still asks me to share it with my friends for faster mining. But I still don’t know what I am mining for. I guess deep down I am hoping this coin will skyrocket. I mean it would be fantastic if my 53,4777 XX did a bitcoin and could one day help me pay off my mortgage. Why not share it with all my connections? Why don’t we all get in and wait for the miracle to happen?

Because we have all been misled by the chance to make easy money before. Even all; if something is too good to be true - it probably is.

Fortunately, I feel that the tide is changing. The time of happy-go-lucky ICOs and scam has not ended, but the ratio of scams vs serious projects is ever increasing.

But still, how to separate the scammers from the real thing. To get closer to the answer to that question, we can get help from the most unlikely of places. Theology.

John Wesley was an English cleric, theologian and evangelist who was a leader of a revival movement within the Church of England known as Methodism. During his time (as in ours) there were many new doctrines and ‘words from God’ - all claiming to be the next new truth (a bit like today’s many crypto projects).

To help his fellow Methodist to separate wheat from chaff he came up with the Wesleyan Quadrilateral. In short, he asked his fellow Methodist to compare all preaching to four sources as the basis of theological and doctrinal development. These four sources are scripture, tradition, reason, and Christian experience. If we swap Christian experience for human experience these four criteria for judging a project are still rather useful in 2020.

With the Wesleyan Quadrilateral in mind - let’s try to look at the questions you should be asking before throwing your love, money and time at a ‘decentralized-web-is-the-next-big-thing-project’:

Scripture
As with everything else in life - start on your favorite browser. What can the internet tell you about this project? And more interestingly what can page 4 and 5 in the search results tell you. For once you might even skip the first three search results, as they are all marketers care about, and therefore organize all their SEO to fill those spots with their own positive story (trust me, I am one of those marketers).

Tradition
As many of the cryptos now a day by very nature are rather new there is no long tradition of business to judge them by. But take a look at the team behind. Have they been part of other successful projects, or are all their projects still waiting for the big break, or even failed? If the team is brand new, try to see who is involved as an advisor, investor or promotor. See anyone with a good track record? If they are all brand new, you might want to give them the benefit of the doubt. At least they are not notorious scammers.

Reason
Look at the whitepaper. Do you understand the project? Not just all the fancy words, but the actual idea of the project - and do you agree that the end-product is something that will turn the world into a better place?

Human experience
Very, very, very few things came out of the blue and revolutionized the world. Even Gutenberg’s invention of the movable-type printing press was based on wood-block printing and engraving. His invention absolutely took the world by storm, yet, the printing press already existed and for most bookmakers, the transformation to his movable types was rather easy.

Very, very, very few things came out of the blue and revolutionized the world. Even Gutenberg’s invention of the movable-type printing press was based on wood-block printing and engraving. His invention absolutely took the world by storm, yet, the printing press already existed and for most bookmakers, the transformation to his movable types was rather easy.

When Steve Jobs and Apple introduced the first smartphone it was a milestone ahead of the Nokia 3310, yet we still all knew how to press buttons and hold the phone to our ear when talking.

So just like modern LED bulbs would never have been sold if they did not fit the ‘old’ bulb sockets — look at your crypto project in question and ask yourself. ‘How easy will it be to move from the existing system to this new one?’

If you can tick off those four boxes you are done with the initial scanning part. It is not full diligence, but if the project can’t even pass this first round, then just leave it be. And if you still can’t resist sharing crap projects in your network and your friends get pissed — at least don’t blame John Wesley.

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