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Hey DEFI TIMES community,
The Bitcoin community is considered to be closed-minded when it comes to new crypto projects. This behavior is often referred to as "Bitcoin maximalism."
Bitcoin maximalism has turned out to be extremely important for the Bitcoin ecosystem. It is what keeps the narrative alive. It has also prevented popular forks like BCH or BSV from taking over the network. All in all, Bitcoin maximalism has helped the network to survive until this day.
Even though there might be positive sides of Bitcoin maximalism, there are crucial negative side effects. We argue that maximalism of any kind, whether Bitcoin maximalism or Etherum maximalism, is toxic for the crypto ecosystem.
While maximalism might protect the chain itself, it is extremely harmful to the diversity of our ecosystem.
Today, we introduce the antidote to chain-maximalism.
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The Antidote to Chain-Maximalism
What is Chain-Maximalism?
Back in 2014, when Bitcoin still captured most of the attention in the crypto space, Vitalik Buterin wrote a blog post about "Bitcoin Maximalism." He described it as "the idea that an environment of multiple competing cryptocurrencies is undesirable." So he argued that Bitcoin maximalists believed that building on Bitcoin is the only way to go.
Bitcoin maximalists generally consider Ethereum to be a worse version of Bitcoin. Some even claim that Ethereum and other blockchain technologies are a scam.
Four years after Ethereum's launch, Peter Todd (a well known Bitcoin maximalist) claimed Ethereum is even worse than a scam.
Bruce Fenton @brucefentonEthereum isn’t a scam. The word scam is overused too much today. This makes it harder to differentiate actual fraudulent scams. You may not like it, not prefer it, not think it will work or think it’s useless. There are some people who unrealistically hype it. Still not a scam.
Bitcoin maximalists tend to misunderstand the actual use cases of other blockchains. When they talk about Ethereum, they automatically assume that ETH aims to take away the digital gold narrative from Bitcoin.
They believe that all cryptocurrencies can only fulfill two purposes: store of value and payment mechanism.
While Bitcoin maximalists have contributed to the whole Bitcoin ecosystem's growth, it has also protected Bitcoin from several attacks from the outside. For example, proponents of popular Bitcoin forks, such as Bitcoin Cash or Bitcoin SV, claimed to support the "real" Bitcoin. Maximalism defended Bitcoin in several other cases as well. They are undoubtedly good sides of it!
Apart from the positive sides of Bitcoin maximalism, I want to point out the drawbacks in this article.
What do maximalists miss?
Bitcoin maximalists deny the fact that different opinions and narratives could be right too. They believe that crypto is a zero-sum game.
However, this is often not the case. You can imagine the crypto space as a pie. The more crypto projects join the industry, the bigger the pie becomes. So the whole crypto space profits from a more diverse ecosystem. A growing number of Ethereum based projects also mean more demand for Bitcoin as a second orders effect.
Bitcoin maximalists don't see this; they want to fight about the pie distribution rather than growing the pie together.
Maximalists don't see the use-cases of other cryptocurrencies. Take Uniswap as an example. Uniswap is the biggest DEX on the Ethereum blockchain. Apart from Maker, there is probably no project that has contributed more to the growth of DeFi. There is little reason to believe that Uniswap competes directly with Bitcoin or the other way around. In fact, Uniswap contributes to the development of the Bitcoin ecosystem. On Uniswap, you can directly buy wrapped Bitcoin tokens, leading to bitcoin appreciating. Uniswap is just another way to buy bitcoin.
However, maximalists believe they know better than the market. They think they can predict the future without trying out new things, failing, and iterating products.
If you have read Eric Ries' book "The Lean Startup," you know why trying out many new things maximizes your chances of success. Closed minds hinder diversity. And diversity means innovation.
Betting on a diverse future
The future of blockchain is not only about Bitcoin, although Bitcoin certainly plays a significant part in it. Bitcoin is only one part of the revolution of finance: DeFi. Just as gold is only a small fraction of the global financial market, Bitcoin will only be a small part of DeFi.
A variety of blockchains and protocols will succeed. We will see derivates, stocks, options, real estate, commodities, bonds, credit, and so many more tradable assets on any blockchain, whether on Ethereum, Polkadot, DeFi Chain, or Cardano.
The future is created by innovation, and innovation requires diversity in the first place. Without Ethereum or other smart contracts platforms, the future of blockchains would be extremely static and boring =)
So if you are a Bitcoin maximalist and you are reading this: Don't bet against innovation. Otherwise, innovation will crush you.
How will the future look like?
The goal is not to abolish the Dollar. The goal is to decentralize the financial system and make it way more efficient. Let's make it fair and inclusive.
The discussion around Wallstreetbets has shown that central institutions are not on our side. Even though they claim to "protect" the little guys, they are protecting big hedge funds instead. Robinhood banned GME and AMC trading to prevent further losses of hedge funds. They don't care about retailers.
We saw a bunch of big players cooperating. Discord banned the Wallstreetbets server and Google removed low ratings of Robinhood.
Central institutions can cut you off from the financial system. This is exactly what we are trying to solve! We will take power from large corporations and give it back to the people.
Why should you be maximalist about any crypto project? No one knows how the future will look like. Every single project that contributes to decentralization is very welcome in this space! Whether you are building the next decentralized social media app, a DeFi protocol, scaling solutions, or combine money legos, thank you for being here!
Don't be a Bitcoin maximalist. Don't be an Ethereum maximalist. Bet on innovation. Embrace diversity. Contribute to building the future!
All information presented above is meant for informational purposes only and should not be treated as financial, legal, or tax advice. This article's content solely reflects the opinion of the writer, who is not a financial advisor.
Do your own research before you purchase cryptocurrencies. Any cryptocurrency can go down in value. Holding cryptocurrencies is risky.