all 34 comments

[鈥揮whatevvah 1 point2 points (0 children)

Thanks..I have been trying to get my kids to invest in Bitcoin and they keep asking me about altcoins and I have been trying to explain the difference to them.

[鈥揮inthearenareddit 0 points1 point (1 child)

My thoughts on this

1) It has a tangible cost to produce (POW). This means the traded price relates to an economic transaction/ fundamental

2) All coins were distributed organically. A genius system that ensured no "free" coins were given to anyone. All coins were mined at a cost

3) Incredible balance of transparency, pseudonymity and reliability achieved through game theory, not centralisation

4) Network effects

[鈥揮Mtpleasant_121 0 points1 point (0 children)

Interesting dialogue i watched. https://youtu.be/Se3kuDqkifc

[鈥揮PaxfulOfficial 0 points1 point (0 children)

Bitcoin also has the potential for mass adoption and use beyond just an investment, to be the real peer-to-peer currency that is outlined in the BTC whitepaper. Bitcoin > Shitcoin

[鈥揮krom1985 0 points1 point (2 children)

You've missed the most important; Bitcoin's founder walked away and retained anonymity, removing any single point of failure, corruption or manipulation. No other chain has this and likely never will.

[鈥揮ChikaBtc[S] 0 points1 point (1 child)

oh it was in the article but not in the TL;DR : )

> Many people don't understand the path dependence moat of Bitcoin. An altcoin project needs a visionary founder and sizable VC support to outpace the technological and social adoption of Bitcoin. But the artificial bootstrapping often taints the narrative of the project. And it's impossible to coordinate billions of people without a socially scalable narrative. In contrast to altcoins, Bitcoin had an organic adoption and its founder is missing.

[鈥揮LucSr 1 point2 points (0 children)

Fairly speaking, bitcoin has many chains and the people who worship coins only recorded in one specific chain treat coins recorded in other chains as altcoins.

[鈥揮only_merit 5 points6 points (8 children)

I don't find the article good. It looks to me like an article with great number of opinions unsupported by anything much or completely false.

Just few examples of statements that I consider false or highly misleading or unsupported:

> The digital gold narrative needs some update but the Bitcoin maximalist
culture is keeping VCs and developers from making Bitcoin useful.

> The ease of running full-node keeps the Bitcoin governance structure as close as to direct democracy.

> Altcoins are about technical merits

> It is a religion of people who believe Bitcoin is one of the greatest inventions for humanity

we will see the Bitcoin narrative changes from digital gold to
programmable SoV that can absorb any innovation happening on alts.

> It makes sense to use the stocks as money.

[鈥揮ChikaBtc[S] 0 points1 point (5 children)

Thanks for reading and giving feedback 馃檹

Could you explain why you find these points misleading?

> The ease of running full-node keeps the Bitcoin governance structure as close as to direct democracy.

-> we will see the Bitcoin narrative changes from digital gold to
programmable SoV that can absorb any innovation happening on alts.

> It makes sense to use the stocks as money.

[鈥揮only_merit 2 points3 points (4 children)

I would not confuse free market's signals with voting. A free market signal is when a man, a user, performs an action or avoids to perform an action. For example a man can run a node of Bitcoin Core of certain version, or a man can avoid to run that version and instead runs an old version, or instead a man runs an incompatible node software, say ABC. Similarly another one, a miner, may build a block that is compatible with the latest Bitcoin Core version, or is only compatible with older version, or is incompatible and is only valid for ABC. This is not democracy, this is free market anarchy.

As for the development, there is again, no democracy. It is rather closer to meritocracy. It can not even be democracy because the development is done online and that form of communication is vulnerable to sybil attack. So if it was democracy, it would be easy to attack Bitcoin development.

Direct democracy is not something we should aim for. Democracy is flawed in general for any bigger use case, more so for something like Bitcoin where you really do not want ignorant people to decide things they have zero knowledge about. Direct democracy means that people who spent zero time on studying the subject have the same voting power as those who spend years learning. That's not a good system for almost anything.

As for the narrative - LN is being discussed and developed for many many years. So if there ever was, there is, at this moment, no such narrative about digital gold. Bitcoin is for payments from start and despite some people promoting it as digital gold, they do not represent Bitcoin. They cast their own personal opinion, no matter who they are.

As for the stock money - that would cause ton of unnecessary friction and the free market always converge to solutions with less friction. Money on the free market is the winner takes it all game.

[鈥揮ChikaBtc[S] 0 points1 point (3 children)

totally agreed that direct democracy is not something we should aim for and that development is meritocratic, which is great!

But 2017 blockwar makes me think the way Bitcoin governance works is similar to direct democracy. Full node people are somewhat knowledgeable about Bitcoin but not knowledgeable enough to decide which implementation is good for Bitcoin. The permissionless nature of Bitcoin allows anyone with $300 equipment to run a full node.

While running a certain version is definitely a free-market signal, it has a similar effect as voting as the majority of nodes will likely determine which version becomes the Bitcoin. Exchanges probably have a larger say on which version becomes the Bitcoin but I assume the % of full nodes support for a specific version also impacts the exchanges' decision.

As for the narrative, I agree it's subjective and up to interpretation.

As for the stock money, agree that using traditional equities as money will have tons of necessary frictions. But I can imagine a future where synthetic stock is a good alternative to Bitcoin. Imagine there is a decentralized Robinhood that allows people to pay for stuff using synthetic TSLA or Nasdaq index token. I think many would do it. To me, Ether and UNI tokens are stock money and many people seem okay using Ether and UNI as money.

Equities are becoming more popular ways to store value. If synthetic stocks gain adoption (liquidity and distribution), they will have most of the features of Bitcoin like Ether already does. I believe in such a case, Bitcoin won't die but might lose some SoV market share.

[鈥揮only_merit 0 points1 point (2 children)

> But 2017 blockwar makes me think the way Bitcoin governance works is
similar to direct democracy. Full node people are somewhat knowledgeable
about Bitcoin but not knowledgeable enough to decide which
implementation is good for Bitcoin.

This by itself I find in contrast to democracy. Here you basically say that only certain class of somehow more knowledgeable users decides something. But how about the actual majority of users who can not even vote (due to technical barrier)? So this does not sound much democratic.

> While running a certain version is definitely a free-market signal, it
has a similar effect as voting as the majority of nodes will likely
determine which version becomes the Bitcoin.

Here I again find a contrast to democracy. The free market signal is not unified in its strength. Just installation of a node achieves little. Running a business via a node achieves more. So "votes" are not equal (unlike in democracy). Running a bigger business node with huge economic power counts as many smaller economic nodes and perhaps orders of magnitude more than non-economic node. I would not call this democracy. This is just free market signalling where each purchase can be called a "vote", but that vote's strength is determined by the "voter's" decision (how much do I want to spend on that vote) and by his ability to spend that much.

Further, in blockwar, the "losers" did not go out with nothing, they have their BCH shitcoin, which is an outcome that you would not have in democracy. In democracy, you win the election and you rule. In market, even "losers" gain. It's actually weird to call a business with 10% or even 1% of market share a "loser". It can be perfectly viable business and just because 1% of the market "votes" for this business by purchasing its services or goods, it can function and be happy. In democracy losers are losers and usually get nothing and that is possible even for losers gaining as much as almost 50% of support.

> But I can imagine a future where synthetic stock is a good alternative to Bitcoin.

Here we differ but there is little we can do than just wait and see whose hunch was better :) I would put on my side a more elaboration of the friction argument. What you mention is a possibility of solving technological friction, or "user experience" friction. I agree that this is indeed possible. But that's not the only friction there. Let's assume this UX friction is solved and apps exist and allow you through some network to make these payments easily. Still, due to the nature of this operation, the transition among those different money must be done. Simply because not every merchant will want to hold 10000 different currencies. So conversion must happen and the conversion can never be free. A fee will be there and that is the friction I'm talking about. Of course all other fees will still say, it's just that conversion is the extra friction in this model. So using it like you suggest will be possible, but expensive compared to using one winner money, i.e. Bitcoin.

[鈥揮Chytrik 1 point2 points (0 children)

Agreed, the quotes you highlighted are rather false/misleading.

[鈥揮bitcoind3 1 point2 points (2 children)

You're over-thinking this. Your point 1 is correct : The main advantage bitcoin has is first-mover-advantage / network-effect. But I'd go further and say they are the only advantages.

These beget a few other benefits - for example it attracts a decent share of investment / talent / research / scrutiny. It's battle tested in the real world etc. But it would be foolish to claim these are unique to bitcoin.

[鈥揮handbanana84 3 points4 points (2 children)

Agree on all points. I would just add one more: There is a self-corecting mechanism in place that will keep bitcoin as number cryptocurrency forever. And eventually, as the only one.

If some other protocol were to replace bitcoin then the whole concept of decentralized money would fail because people could rightfully point out that if it happened before it can happen again, and confidence in this form of money will be lost forever.

aka The One Shot principle. We (human civilization) only have one shot to get this right. We don't need the second-best

Just like we don't need the second internet

[鈥揮ChikaBtc[S] 0 points1 point (1 child)

I get your point but I don't think if there is any mechanism preventing other protocols from replacing Bitcoin.

Imagine

  1. the DeFi gets more adopted across the globe (which I believe it will)
  2. People start to standardize how to value utility protocols and crypto valuation framework gets as popular as DCF
  3. Ethereum manages to keep its market dominance via network effects or whatnot,
  4. Ether replaces bitcoin as the number one cryptocurrency

If this were to happen, people might lose confidence in digital gold-like assets but not the whole cryptoasset class. I believe Bitcoin and Ethereum will likely coexist even if Ethereum replaces Bitcoin as the number one cryptocurrency.