“It’s (Ethereum) the mother a**hole from which all of the s**tcoins spring.”
“It’s a worthless scam.”
Not my words; it came from this Bitcoin maximalist when interviewed by Lex Fridman.
You think proof-of-stake was spared from such criticism? Mate, you are mistaken:
“If Bitcoin was based on proof-of-stake, it would have died or been shot down from day 1.” (Seconds after the first comment).
Before continuing, some of you might be thinking, what is a “crypto maximalist”?
Often referring to Bitcoin fans, a maximalist (a.k.a. maxi) believes that only one crypto should exist, and the others should be flushed down the drain, and, dare I say, vanish into the ether.
I prefer to use the term ‘crypto maxi’ and not specifically Bitcoin because, let’s not discriminate here; you have mega fans of a certain altcoin who detest Bitcoin, so it goes both ways.
For me, it’s akin to a hardcore evangelist arguing with a staunch atheist, but I digress.
As a crypto agnostic, I honestly do not give a flying f**k about which projects survive (yes, plural, not singular). I refrain from participating in this tribalism and simply want to see ground-breaking technologies flourish for everyone’s benefit, regardless of who wins.
Today, I will share my pros and cons of having these maxis around.
What I appreciate
As a massive fan of the entire crypto space, I am happy to see people enthusiastically promoting a cryptocurrency I also hold and believe will do very well in the coming years.
As much of this is directed towards Bitcoin and Ethereum maximalists, I will say this: I like both, more or less equally. I hope BTC and ETH (and various alts) do well in the coming years.
Bitcoin has stood the test of time (over 14 years now) and outlasted several fiat currencies. It shot up into the top 20 list of most valuable assets worldwide and has remained there, despite dropping by over 70% from its all-time high.
I also acknowledge that it has fared better than most altcoins and several major tech stocks, too (as a like-for-like comparison).
In a space that is constantly under siege (sounds dramatic, but not really, when you consider the SEC’s aggressive approach towards crypto for retail investors, not to mention the Ripple vs SEC ongoing case), not just by the SEC, but many notable critics labelling crypto as a fraud/useless, it should be banned or at the very least, abandoned.
So with all of these attacks, I still welcome someone speaking favourably about a crypto, even a maxi, when it comes to promoting a major coin such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano or whatever they (literally) love.
Mind you, their eagerness to aggressively promote their crypto of choice is still a double-edged sword (more on this shortly).
What I dislike/find cringeworthy
The most baffling thing about maxis is their insistence (or at the very least, giving the impression) that only one crypto and blockchain will be the go-to for carrying out any processes or general innovation related to this space —payments, smart contracts and dApps, automated market makers (AMMs), NFTs, fractionalised assets (at some point), and so on.
I find this bizarre for three reasons:
1) Except for monopolies and state-owned enterprises, it is rare to see just one company thrive in a given industry. Yes, one can, and often does, dominate, but it’s more common to see two or three, possibly four heavyweights in a sector, not just one.
No need for examples, as I am sure you get what I mean.
2) In the crypto realm, with ‘decentralisation’ being the biggest buzzword in the space, I find it somewhat ironic that people insist on the whole one-to-rule-them-all mentality.
We (as crypto agnostics) should encourage competition in this space so that stakeholders (developers, programmers, investors, clients, and so on) have alternatives so that we can realise the full potential of all blockchains combined, taking advantage of the best aspects of several ones, not just relying on one.
The important thing here is present information to people about various projects (which should be done objectively) and allow others to decide which project(s) they would like to support.
3) Who in their right mind believes you can convince others behind competing blockchains to all abandon ship for every other related project and support just your favourite blockchain/coin?
Sure, it works in some cases where people have more advantages on one platform than another, thus making the switch. However, some individuals still recognise that rival chains have their merits and that people will still want to build on them or use them in some way, shape or form.
Even if they don’t, many would still refrain from attacking another project, particularly when there is no/insufficient evidence to claim that a rival platform is a scam.
To reiterate, yes, there are behemoths in a given sector, but this is still different to those who believe that only one blockchain can do everything and the others are bogus.
Image by Filmhouse on Shutterstock
Perhaps I am being too harsh, but I have my reasons. The main one comes down to a need for more unity in the space and the proliferation of a vast range of scams.
I came across this list of the biggest scams last year; no surprise who received the top gong.
In terms of too much in-fighting, whether between different blockchain projects or within the same one, it is the last thing this space needs.
No, I am not saying that we ultimately put our differences aside, hold hands around the campfire and start singing Kum ba yah, but constantly criticising each other online just because you believe your fav project is the be-all and end-all, the bee’s knees, (insert idiom here), etc. is not worth the effort; a zero-sum game at best.
Do I believe this article will change the way crypto maxis think? Noooooo, of course not. Once you’re well and truly down the rabbit hole, like most cults, it’s hard to shake off your old habits.
Based on the information above, why are maxis hellbent on disparaging or (at best) disregarding other projects with excellent prospects and losing their mind over one thing?
Two logical explanations include:
– They are so invested (both financially and mentally) in a project and native coin/token that there is no alternative: It will succeed or fight tooth and nail to ensure that it gets/stays on top.
– They feel threatened by another player being around, whether it be another crypto asset or a different consensus algorithm (proof-of-work vs proof-of-stake).
In summary, I respect a maxi’s passion for certain crypto projects, especially if it is related to one that, I believe, will thrive: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, Polygon, Chainlink, BNB Chain, Avalanche, Algorand, and many more.
Yet, their extreme attitudes and hating on rival blockchains will forever provoke the ire of people (e.g., yours truly) wanting to see the entire space excel in the coming years).
Crypto maximalists; a true love-hate relationship. Happy Valentine’s Day.
P.S. Yes, it’s a day late for this year, but I don’t care, as this is ultimately irrelevant.
The opinions expressed within this piece are my own and might not reflect those behind any project listed here.
Please do sufficient research before investing in any crypto assets, staking, NFTs and other product affiliated with this space.
BTC accounts for a decent chunk of my portfolio, so despite what I said here about Bitcoin maxis, I still want it to do well.
I received no incentive from companies or entities listed throughout this article to discuss their product.
If you enjoyed this article, I recommend following my Medium page for regular reports about crypto assets, blockchain technology, and more. Feel free to check out my publication as well, Crypto Insights AU.
Thanks for your support.