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Why Social Networks and ICOs are Becoming Inextricably Linked

There has been an increasing trend of social networks and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) becoming inextricably linked. It is important to understand why this is happening, as well as how it may impact the future of both social networks and cryptocurrencies. In this blog post, we will explore the evolutionary basis for humans’ drive for increased social capital, discuss the utility vs social capital framework that can be used to analyze network health, and provide insight into implications for further research on the subject.

People are Status-Seeking Monkeys

Humans evolved in status-seeking societies. From a biological perspective, our drive towards increased status can be attributed to our need to obtain resources necessary for survival. This drive has been essential to our success as a species, and continues to exist today even though our needs have changed dramatically. The idea of status is still embedded in everything we do – from what we wear to what we buy – and is especially evident in our behavior on social media networks. We use these networks as a way to broadcast our successes and connect with others who see us in a positive light.

Utility vs Social Capital Framework

The Utility vs Social Capital framework was developed by anthropologist Chris Miller as a way of analyzing network health by distinguishing between “utility” or practical value and “social capital” or status value. The framework suggests that when both utility and social capital are present in a network, it is more likely to thrive than one that offers only one or the other. This concept can be applied both online and offline, but it is especially relevant when discussing social networks and ICOs since they rely heavily on users seeking increased status within their respective communities.

Social Networks Issue New Form of Social Capital

Social networks issue tokens that act as a new form of social capital – a currency that users must show proof of work in order to earn in order to maintain their status within the network or project they are participating in. These tokens also come with associated scarcity which further reinforces their value as an investment asset rather than just a tool for gaining access or recognition within certain circles or groups on the platform. This has created skepticism among some investors who question whether these coins have any real value beyond being used for short term gains within niche markets like gaming or gambling platforms.


In conclusion, understanding why social networks and ICOs have become so intertwined provides valuable insight into how people interact with each other online, as well as how digital assets have become increasingly important investments for founders looking to raise money quickly without having to go through traditional funding channels such as venture capitalists or banks. Additionally, this understanding helps us examine how natural selection has impacted our behavior over time – from seeking resources necessary for survival thousands of years ago to now seeking increased status via digital currencies today. Through further research into this topic, we may gain even more insight into ourselves and how technology affects us at a fundamental level.

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