The crypto market is not lacking in diversity: with around 6,000 listed cryptocurrencies, the crypto ecosystem is extremely diverse. But not all investors are convinced of the potential of altcoins. For maximalists, only Bitcoin counts. Is this position justified or naive?
For maximalists, the crypto market is divided into Bitcoin on the one hand and all the rest — almost 6,000 cryptocurrencies — on the other. For Bitcoin maximalists, the matter is clear: Only Bitcoin keeps its value proposition, Altcoins are doomed to fail sooner or later. Altcoin traders, on the other hand, argue with more lucrative returns and real-world use cases of some ambitious altcoin projects. In order to make both positions heard, we compare the views and let you decide who has the better arguments.
Besides Bitcoin, there are no cryptocurrencies in existence. It is not for nothing that this totalitarian stance is called Bitcoin maximalism. For maximalists, affectionately called Maxis, there is only Bitcoin that keeps its value proposition. Why? Because, according to the Maxis, Bitcoin is the best of all monetary systems. To make this train of thought plausible, a look at the BTC genesis helps.
Bitcoin emerged in response to inflationary and centrally controlled monetary systems. The deflationary programmed BTC in circulation is fixed on the blockchain. This infrastructure also protects against manipulation and interference — there is no single point of failure in the BTC network. In contrast to many Altcoin projects such as Ethereum, the Bitcoin Blockchain hardly swallows any computing capacity. With a full node, everyone can make their contribution to the network, over 10,000 full nodes are currently active. In terms of decentralization, BTC fulfills all requirements in an exemplary manner.
But the decisive criterion for Maxis is the scarcity of the asset. After all, BTC is the “finest” of all goods and, with a total supply of 21 million coins, is rarer than the most coveted of all precious metals, gold. The interaction with factors such as divisibility and the inherent value storage function allows only one conclusion: Bitcoin will survive, while all Altcoins will sooner or later bite the grass. Due to the network effects, no other cryptocurrency is able to reconcile the separation of money and institution while increasing acceptance as a means of payment and function as a store of value like Bitcoin.
Bitcoin was the first mover — but that’s about it. Its quality as a secure store of value is primarily based on the fact that the Bitcoin blockchain has had most of the time to grow. The same applies to the awareness of the “brand” Bitcoin, which is the only one of the cryptocurrencies that regularly finds its way into the mainstream media — even if it is usually only about the recent price escapades of BTC, which has long since degenerated into a purely speculative asset has moved far from Nakamoto’s original idea of an “electronic peer-to-peer payment system”.
The fact that the not exactly small community of BTC developers has not yet succeeded in turning BTC from a digital asset into a currency suitable for everyday use in eleven years should be a warning signal for those who think that BTC can replace fiat money in the future. Bitcoin is neither anonymous nor scalable. Attempts to make BTC usable for payments have ended in forks (BCH, BSV) or got lost in the development of the Lightning Network, which is still stagnating.
In the long term, this also puts the saw on the narrative of Bitcoin as a store of value, because its artificial scarcity alone will not be enough in the long term to live up to its reputation as “digital gold.” The dogmatic Bitcoin maximalism, which generously closes its eyes to the developments in the crypto sector, is more shaped by ideology and wishful thinking than by reason. The supposed “safe haven” Bitcoin could turn out to be a mirage at the latest when the last block is “mined” and the miners only have to draw from the network fees.
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