If not you, who? If not now, when?
Very glad you asked! Bitcoin Cash needs all the help it can get in becoming the global reserve currency!
Firstly, it is critical to understand that Bitcoin Cash is decentralised. Unlike many other cryptocurrencies which use this term as a marketing slogan but are actually funded by large VC investors in centralised foundations or other corporate interests, Bitcoin Cash genuinely does not have a leader, foundation, network investment funds, controlling company, central development team or anyone who can be appealed to as "Please fix problem X!". Every part of the ecosystem - from miners to wallets to applications to meetups to community promotion - comes from grassroots passionate community members (in a mix of commercial activities and hobbyist involvement). All those people are already very very busy running and maintaining everything that currently exists in the ecosystem. If something new and important is going to get added or fixed or improved, YOU are going to have to make / fund / organise or fix whatever it is.
This does NOT mean you are on your own and without help BUT it does mean YOU need to take ultimate responsibility for any product, service, project or idea that you think is needed or would be valuable.
This is not meant to be discouraging, it is simply to be very clear that vague complaints about -whatever- will be absolutely fruitless in changing the situation. The bright side of this equation is that you do not need permission from anyone to fix things! It doesn't matter if no one else approves of your project, you can start it, make it a success and prove them wrong! The Bitcoin Cash network & community can't (and won't) harass you about "stealing copyright" or anything like that. No well-funded competitor is going to spring into existence and "steal your idea" or crush your project because the project leaders decided to trash talk your project or copy it with their huge pot of resources. There's no one standing in your way, so get cracking!
Everyone can contribute, and it's possible to start in any number of ways or with any number of skills.
- Promotion: Start a Bitcoin Cash social media page. Make some Bitcoin Cash art or marketing and spread it around. Start a local meetup and connect with other Bitcoin Cash or cryptocurrency enthusiasts in your area.
- Project management: If you have skills in project management or HR, find areas of the ecosystem that are struggling or underperforming (perhaps a project with passionate contributors but a lack of direction or poor organisation) and volunteer to help with coordinating and prioritisation.
- Get paid in BCH: However you currently make money, whether through a job or your own business or some other methods - ask to get paid in BCH. There is no more powerful signal you can send to people around you that BCH is a better, more desirable form of money (on its way to replacing all other currencies) then (politely!) demanding it for your own pay. Many BCH adopters start by taking a small portion of their salary in BCH and building up from there as they become more integrated into the BCH economy. The process of asking to be paid in BCH will also build skills and confidence in explaining the project, answering questions, assisting accounting staff to onboard to cryptocurrency, opening a similar opportunity for other employees at the same company and so on. This might seem like a big hurdle, but consider it an experiment and give it a try! Any existing payments you are receiving are from people who find your work valuable - so you'd be surprised how flexible they can be to accomodate the changing adoption of cryptocurrency if you are calm but persistent.
- Accept BCH: Similar to getting paid in BCH, merchants & service providers can add Bitcoin Cash to their list of accepted payment options. Even better if a discount is added for BCH, incentivising inflow of BCH & consumers to research and acquire BCH themselves to take advantage.
- Translation: Can you speak a language other than English? Help the community of that language get access to some high quality BCH content by translating and redistributing English content you find valuable so that people speaking your language can also understand it, or do the opposite and help quality local BCH content reach the audience of English speakers by translating in that direction.
- Money: As simple as it is, find projects in the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem and send them some satoshis. If you don't have time or clarity on how to help Bitcoin Cash yourself, outsource! Many ecosystem projects will have donation addresses available publically, and if not, contact them and ask for one! For a list of good projects to investigate, see Recommended & Code - but you should support the products and services that resonate with you!
- Dev skills: If you're a developer or have coding / tech skills (or want to learn!), take a look into developer resources
Starting a larger project
The Bitcoin Cash community is very friendly and willing to help BUT they have a VERY low tolerance for wasting time with spur-of-the-moment ideas or "SOMEONE (but not me) SHOULD fix the thing I think is a problem". Existing contributors are often already very busy running all the existing components of the ecosystem. They will do what they can to assist you, but you're going to have to prove you're as serious as them before they're likely to divert any of their limited time or attention to your ideas or project.
If you are serious about starting a project in the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem, some helpful guidelines:
Do your research: Before contacting community members to ask for their advice or help with your project, take the time to validate the concept. Read up on Bitcoin Cash on the FAQ, listen to the podcast and check out Recommended Resources. Join community discussion hubs and investigate if there is any current or previous discussion about a similar idea. Is someone already working on a project like yours? Has someone in the past, and what happened to it? Bitcoin Cash is now 14+ years old, and a LOT of ideas have been tried (and failed) or already exist and need all the help they can get. That's not to say you couldn't do a better job or things could be different now, but equally there have been a lot of lessons learnt. Maybe you can ressurect an old project, or start by volunteering help to an existing project similar to yours, or come to community discussion channels with specific questions about why your idea hasn't been implemented yet.
Take verifiable action: Just like miners need to do proof-of-work to prove they are serious about Bitcoin blocks and earn the reward of new Bitcoin, so you will need to put some time and effort into your project before getting any recognition for it. A "great idea" is not enough. Talk is cheap and many people have wasted a lot of everyone else's time explaining their grand vision but never following through with real action (often with a lot of excuses and rationalisations about imaginary roadblocks). Existing BCH community members are very familiar with this pattern.
Whether or not the project is an immediate success is not important, but objective evidence that you are making a serious effort will get a far more positive response. For example, if you have created a website, presented some detailed research and/or made a prototype or basic advertising for your solution - people will notice you have real skin in the game and are putting in the work to be serious. You don't need millions of Bitcoins in funding to impress people, a sincere effort on any component of your idea with whatever time, budget or effort you have available will do a lot to garner help and support for your project.
- Don't ask for funding: While the Bitcoin Cash community does have ways to crowdsource funds, it must be savvy with its available capital and it has been scammed by many passing tourists. By arriving to the community and immediately seeking funding you come off as a desperate, untrustworthy grifter. From your perspective you may be the most committed, valuable, pure-hearted contributer BCH has ever seen but there is no evidence to anyone else that this is the case. You will have to earn that reputation with verifiable action over time. Any effort you think you would spend on trying to fundraise or find investors, instead spend that on making a prototype of your concept.
If you REALLY need money for your project, get a job and start saving your paycheck! If this means your idea can't start today, that's completely fine (a project started in desperation is not attractive to investors anyway), correct your own financial situation before worrying about BCH. Bitcoin Cash will still be around once you're in a position to start contributing. Unlike resources rained down from the community, you will have a realistic appreciation of the value of funding you worked hard to earn and be far more creative and efficient with using it towards your desired impact. If you won't demonstrate your belief and seriousness about your project by investing your own money into funding your idea, why do you expect anyone else will?
If the project is too expensive to personally save the required funding, then get creative about ways to lower costs or find a different idea. If you are interested in raising money and have never done venture capital in the fiat world, then Bitcoin Cash is probably not the place to start.
Once you have built up some reputation & familiarity with the community, you can try running a Flipstarter.
And all the best of success with your project. Contributing to Bitcoin Cash is tough but rewarding, and we're very glad to have you on board!
See also: Recommended resources
See also: Discussion channels