Bitcoin Maximalism: Do We Need Only One Crypto?

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Bitcoin maximalism is a critical ideology within the crypto community. It revolves around the belief that Bitcoin, the world's first successful cryptocurrency, is superior to other cryptocurrencies created afterward. Bitcoiners believe: the world doesn’t need any other crypto.
Bitcoin maximalists typically deny that other cryptocurrencies can be useful or valuable. For them, there’s a clear line between Bitcoin and anything else. 

Bitcoin has proved itself to be secure and remains the most popular cryptocurrency. The Bitcoin White Paper was published in October 2008, and the coin was launched in January 2009. Since then, the coin has continued to hold its place as the foremost cryptocurrency by market cap. As of March 2024, Bitcoin dominance is more than 50%. 

The reason for the Bitcoin creation was to be a peer-to-peer electronic cash system. As Satoshi Nakamoto explained in the White Paper, the new form of money was meant to provide an alternative to bank-issued currencies. 

Inspired by Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies started to appear on the market. Among them was Litecoin with the goal of providing faster transactions. 

The boom happened in 2014 with the launch of the Ethereum blockchain with its native coin Ether. Ethereum introduced the concept of blockchain-based applications that go beyond financial transactions. 

Bitcoin maximalists, however, often are sceptical about the need for other blockchain projects and cryptocurrencies. They question the security, decentralization, and intrinsic value of altcoins compared to Bitcoin. 

When Bitcoin Maximalism Reaches a Point of Toxicity  

In their anti-altcoin philosophy, Bitcoin maximalists are often offensive and intolerant of other opinions. They praise Bitcoin’s scarcity and structure while calling other cryptocurrencies scams and shitcoins.

One of the most active Bitcoiners is filmmaker and journalist Max Keiser. He believes that all fiat and cryptocurrencies will go to zero against Bitcoin. In different talks and publications, Keiser expresses his opinion that Bitcoin is the ultimate currency and will become more valuable over time. The famous Bitcoiner is extremely passionate about the coin and states that he’s in favor of Bitcoin, not crypto. In many of his tweets, Keiser says no other coin will ever match Bitcoin’s scope in disruption.

Other Perspectives: Why Altcoiners Disagree With Bitcoin Maxis  

Despite its benefits, the Bitcoin network has limitations. Transactions are slow: it takes 10 minutes for the generation of a new block while network fees are high. Another issue is that the network is able to process only 7 transactions per second. Although Bitcoin developers are working on scaling solutions to improve network efficiency, problems are still there. 

Alternative coins, or altcoins, are meant to provide solutions in crypto and offer new use cases. Altcoin supporters don’t agree that Bitcoin is the ultimate cryptocurrency suitable for every need. Some believe that Bitcoin is outdated and there are better cryptocurrencies. There are altcoin maximalists too. For example, Ethereum Maximalists argue that the superior cryptocurrency is Ether.

The truth is that all the existing blockchains have their limitations.  There’s a term called “blockchain trilemma” indicating the challenge of blockchain networks being secure, scalable, and decentralized at the same time. The balance is hard to achieve because, as a rule, one of the three factors is compromised. For example, in a secure and decentralized network, scalability can be a trade-off. Considering these aspects, different blockchain ecosystems have their benefits and drawbacks. 

Is Bitcoin Maximalism Right or Wrong?

As they say, there’s an opinion for every person. Competing visions in crypto can influence the market positively. In 2022, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin published an article titled “In Defense of Bitcoin Maximalism.” 
Being tolerant in his views, Buterin explained why intolerance can be good. He mentioned the importance of blockchain security and the dangers of scams. According to Buterin, maximalism is a very genuine realization that most other cryptocurrencies are scams, and a culture of intolerance is unavoidable to protect crypto newbies.

Buterin concludes the article with the words: 
Be brave. Fight for your values. Be a maximalist.
Being a Bitcoiner or altcoiner isn’t about being right or wrong. There are benefits of both sides, with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies having their own mission and values. 

Web3 writer and crypto HODLer with a keen interest in market trends and recent technologies.