I’ve struggled with Bancor.
On the one hand, I really admire their vision of empowering crypto-tokens down to the micro-level. I think it could be a powerful way to unleash innovation.
As I wrote before, I also like the fact that they are trying to create liquidity and stability. That’s sorely needed in this space.
On the other hand, I found the whitepaper difficult to digest and the experience of investing in the ICO was, shall we say, less than smooth. Granted, there was a lot of demand and most of the problems (it would appear) were due to the Ethereum network’s own scalability challenges rather than Bancor specifically. Some people did have issues with how they extended the ICO timeframe though.
But fine, we’re in a new space and nothing’s perfect.
After getting my tokens, I wanted to sell some of them back for ETH. Not so much to take profits, but just to make sure I could do it.
That’s when I found the single most difficult exchange process I have ever encountered. Judging from the transaction history on the blockchain from this period, I was not alone.
It’s like the polar opposite of liquidity and ease of use.
I’ll admit. At this point, I felt like I had been conned or scammed.
So, when I read Emin Gun Sirer’s post saying “Bancor is Flawed” and seeing how detailed it was, I was feeling pretty certain that I had been conned. Worse, I was feeling guilty for even having reviewed it on the blog and in VentureBeat.
Then, I came across Bancor’s response.
Point by point.
Line by line.
“This,” I thought, “isn’t the type of thing a scammer would do. After all, they already have the money. If they were really scammers, they would run off with it and be done.”
Now, I don’t know the Bancor people well enough to say with 100% certainty that they aren’t con artists, but this post went a long way to showing me that.
It also gave me pause.
Forced me to take a deep breath.
Professor Sirer is a well-known and well-respected authority in the crypto space.
At the same time, he is human. He is fallible. He is subject to the “curse of knowledge.”
It’s possible that he doesn’t see something that is innovative that is right in front of him.
It’s possible that Bancor really does have something that is a breakthrough.
I honestly don’t know one way or the other.
All I know is that we are embarking on an entirely new world and we must remain open to new business model and innovation possibilities before we dismiss them out of hand.
It helps when the entrepreneurs go to the lengths that the Bancor team did to explain themselves.
And therein is the marketing lesson.
What looked like a PR nightmare becomes a shining moment when confronted head on. Transparently. Authentically. Visibly.
It’s like a blockchain itself.
The Bancor team is making it interesting and they are also demonstrating how to respond to adversity and challenge.