Internet users, generally speaking, tend to dislike design changes. Every new font change or interface color tweak is usually good for a day’s tweet cycle as people get out their knives to eviscerate the shift, so you can imagine what the reaction might be like when the change involves cryptocurrency and NFTs.
Well, imagine no longer: Discord CEO Jason Citron teased upcoming integration between the gaming-focused chat platform and Ethereum on Twitter, leading to an outpouring of outrage and disappointment. His tweet currently has more than 3,000 replies and 5,000 quote tweets, many of which are people saying this is a bad idea, promising they will cancel their paid Discord subscriptions, and suggesting that this is overall an ill-advised hop onto a bandwagon that’s currently on fire.
“.@discord this sounds like the type of bad decision making Skype would make,” wrote one user in a quote-tweet of a recent Discord survey on NFTs that went viral. “Please do not kill your platform, I like it.”
For better or for worse, though, Discord isn’t merely jumping on a bandwagon. Discord is the bandwagon.
Pretty much every cryptocurrency or NFT project has a Discord channel. Many of them have tens of thousands of members. Entire communities are run from Discord channels. Simply, cryptocurrency investors represent a chunk of Discord’s users, it’s already happening, and ignoring them probably isn’t an option for the company for much longer. That may be the case if only because cryptocurrency investors are regularly exposed to scams on Discord, where a thief may, for example, post a dupe link or pose as a helpful person in order to reel in victims and steal their tokens. At the same time, a number of the NFT projects on Discord are scams themselves, and a once-bustling Discord channel is one of the first things to go when developers take the money and run.
The hate for NFTs right now is strong, so much so that NFT investors have invented a new term to cope with the relentless trolling: “right-clicker mentality,” referring to people who right-click and save their precious blockchain-linked JPEGs. It’s not surprising, then, that a video game-focused service like Discord acknowledging its place in the center of the crypto ecosystem with new tools would be seen as taking a side on what many consider to be a controversial issue.
In addition to the environmental impact of proof-of-work tokens like Ethereum, many in the arts and entertainment industries (including video games) see NFTs as being merely crass profit-seeking. It’s also notable that as major video game companies look towards integrating NFTs in a so-called “play-to-earn” business model, Steam banned NFT games on its digital storefront.
Discord integrating cryptocurrencies would be going in the opposite direction, even if it’s only leaning into something that’s already happening on the platform on a large scale.
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