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HomeCryptocurrencyDon’t believe the ‘maximalists’: bitcoin can’t be separated from crypto

Don’t believe the ‘maximalists’: bitcoin can’t be separated from crypto

If you’ve ever dared to criticize the world of cryptocurrencies, chances are you’ve had a fascinating rebuke. Chances are that you are being told to “stay poor and have fun” because you “never get better.” Your criticism is probably just dismissed as “FUD” (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt). And you may have been informed that you are actually just a “salt no coiner”.

Recently, however, another counter-criticism, a little more sophisticated, has reached my inbox and is received on a regular basis. It usually starts with something designed to soothe — some kind of agreement, fraud, or some version of a Ponzi scheme that crypto is immoral. But he quickly reversed course and explained that this was not the case with Bitcoin.

According to Bitcoiner, Bitcoin is not a virtual currency. And as you know crypto is bad and bitcoin is good. very very nice

Bitcoin It’s a lifeline for so many people around the world,” one altruistic Bitcoin owner recently told me. “Please stop lumping it all together with morally condemned ciphers.”

I recently proposed a way to practice the art ofintellectual humilityThat is, instead of finding the enemy’s weakest point and refuting it, present the strongest possible version of their argument. So before I explain why I think this technique is wrong, I’ll try to apply it here.

Why are “bitcoin maximalists,” purists who claim that bitcoin is the only value, Cryptocurrency Worth it — do you make this claim? They say you can’t replicate the organic way bitcoin was born, bitcoin can be copied, but there’s always first-mover advantage , said he could not leave his seat.

They also point out that when bitcoin was invented there was no market, so the network was not for profit and was maintained by people who believed in the value of the system. Corporation. Bitcoin arose out of the Libertarian Internet subculture, who believed that technology, especially cryptography, was the key to driving social and political change, rather than as a way to make money.

Maximalists also say Bitcoin’s incentive mechanism, an energy-intensive “proof of work” mining process, rivals Ethereum’s last week. away fromis the only way to ensure a truly decentralized system.

However, while I can understand why Bitcoiners would like to distance themselves from the mass of scams and failures that have occurred in Cryptoland, their claims do not stand.

First, it doesn’t matter what the origin of Bitcoin was. People pushing Bitcoin have the same financial incentives as people pushing other crypto tokens. Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, may have intended Bitcoin to be used as money, but it is not. does not meet any of the required criteriainstead, it operates in a pyramid-shaped structure that relies on constantly recruiting new members.

Second, Bitcoin is not really decentralized. Not only are miners grouped together to form “mining pools”, but the wealth is also highly concentrated. On Tuesday, MicroStrategy will Buy more 301 bitcoinsThis means that this company alone currently accounts for almost 0.7% of total supply.

Third, “first mover advantage” does not always last. Other crypto tokens already have a variety of features that Bitcoin doesn’t, and there is new talk of ‘flipping’ where Ethereum’s value overtakes Bitcoin’s.

Finally, there is not even agreement on what Bitcoin is. It is mostly a digital coin, also known as ‘BTC’, currently trading around $19,000. However, there are other versions that have been split, such as the one promoted by Craig Wright, who claims to be Satoshi and that BTC is a scam.

The real reason Bitcoin maximalists want to separate Bitcoin from other cryptocurrencies is to create the illusion of scarcity in a world where nothing exists.CoinMarketCap currently lists over 21,000 different crypto tokens. increase. Of course it is — if there is an infinite supply, why is it worth it? This remains the core problem of cryptocurrencies, and Bitcoin cannot solve it.

This is not to say that there are no crypto projects or tokens that are better than others. But a spade, no matter how shiny it is, will still be a spade. Unfortunately, Bitcoin is still a virtual currency.

jemima.kelly@ft.com

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