Talking about bitcoin maximalism, we really to an extent talking about tribalism. We have to question as a community that is this the kind of stuff and ideologies that we want for the money of the future? Basically, Bitcoin maximalists believe that bitcoin is the best cryptocurrency in the world. The difference really comes in versus if you think that bitcoin is the best cryptocurrency in the world and the rest of the crypto economy can add a lot of value and innovation and there doesn’t have to be one coin to rule them all. Then there are the bitcoin maximalists who believe that we have to have one coin to rule them all and bitcoin will be the only coin worth spending time and effort on and its the only one worth investing in and everything else is a shitcoin.
The bitcoin maximalists will argue that because of Metcalfe’s law essentially the more people who use the network, the more valuable it is. They believe that altcoins are just taking away the value from the bitcoin network not that they are adding anything to the wider crypto economy because there is no crypto economy, its just about bitcoin. Now as the process of making cryptocurrencies mainstream is a slow one, they argue that companies would always choose the older and more stable networks rather than the new ones.
The Contradiction to bitcoin maximalists:
There are a lot of companies who are willing to be a bit experimental and testing out pilots or they see use cases on other blockchains than bitcoin doesn’t offer yet. Just because its the older and more stable one doesn’t necessarily mean that all companies are going to choose that for their use cases and its not a very good argument when it comes to defending bitcoin. A lot of companies are choosing to work with Ethereum, EOS and others so its not all being monopolized by bitcoin. Even if the bitcoin maximalists would like it all be monopolized by bitcoin, the reality is that the market is simple choosing something different. That’s because the reality is that the crypto markets demand more than what bitcoin can provide. Consumers demand more from cryptocurrency and the related technologies which is more than bitcoin was ever designed to provide and to ignore all of that is unnecessarily myopic.
Charlie Lee recently came out on twitter saying that some self proclaimed bitcoin maximalists are actually bitcoin extremists. They think that all other coins are scams and will go to zero. Saying that there is room for altcoins to exist and even do well. That’s a view that a lot of people in the cryptocurrency community get behind. There is plenty of room for innovation for different communities to happen, for different ideas and use cases that bitcoin simple cannot provide. Arguing the opposite is basically an extremist position and unfortunately we do have a certain group of voices within the cryptocurrency community who are very much bitcoin extremists.
One of the big things we really need to really face up-to here is that the bitcoin maximalists idea has largely been hijacked by bitcoin extremists. People representing the community do have ideologies but to try and make this association that bitcoin is this; just doesn’t work. Its not useful in terms of trying to drive mass adoption.
We need to come together and believe in the idea of decentralized finance and what that can offer. Putting ideologies on top of that is recreating the worst of our society in a lot of ways. Bitcoin has got some really big drawbacks that have been really getting a lot of attention. Proof of Work has some real issues, Proof of Stake is being explored by a lot of different cryptocurrency projects. As bitcoin continues to grow the free market will either adapt to become very energy efficient or it is going to continue to be a thorn in the side of bitcoin.
Then we have the scaling issues and its good to see the lightning network coming around but the reality is that right now bitcoin doesn’t scale very well. We can also look at lack of rich functionality in terms of things like privacy features which we see being developed in other cryptocurrencies.
A lot of good things in the Bitcoin Network are going on too. Bitcoin is sound money, it remains permission less, it remains censorship resistant, companies are putting satellites in space to beam the bitcoin blockchain around the globe, lighting is getting better all the time, atomic swaps continue to gain relevance and we see decentralized exchanges moving forward but this whole one coin to rule them all negative is not very compelling when it comes down to it.
The whole idea behind the bitcoin protocol was that its driven by verifiable code, not an ideology. We are trying to decentralize the systems of power. Although bitcoin is awesome and will remain and continue to grow massively in future but a lot of other crypto technology will also be very important and every project in the cryptocurrency space is contributing in some way. The test of time will of course be the real test for bitcoin.