Bitcoin Maximalism, a controversial idea that has been lurking in the crypto-verse, is now the focus behind metrics such as the Bitcoin Dominance Index (BTCD), institutional participation and other similar comparative narratives. There is no doubt that this idea has merits. Its perception of cryptocurrency markets acting like casino floors comes with enough historical proof of frauds, hacks, rugpulls, etc.
This belief is based on the idea that Bitcoin is the only crypto asset or network that is worth investing. Other assets are unreliable and have been created to capitalize on BTC’s hype and serve only as tools for speculation.
But, the growing adoption of blockchain networks, and the use of emerging crypto tokens as investment vehicles makes it increasingly obvious that many blockchain networks, and other crypto assets, can coexist within the same ecosystem, leading to healthy industry growth.
At the same time, it is also true that many protocols, firms, and assets gaining traction right now due to the high mainstream media attention, hype, and fear of missing out (FOMO) that often encapsulates the industry due to posting significant gains and birthing several self-made millionaires and billionaires in just over a decade of existence, will not end up making it in the long term, either due to lack of a proper use case/user proposition or irregular fundamentals that don’t add value thus have no takers beyond the hype.
Pros & Cons of BTC Maximalism
Although Bitcoin maximalism may sound extreme, it is a belief and narrative that exists in the ecosystem. The network has proven its value and has firmly established its position in history as the most important digital asset to have led financial markets over the past decade. This network has been the best-respected and least altered in history.
Therefore, it’s important to examine both the positive and negative sides of Bitcoin Maximalism.
|There are pros||Cons|
|Supported by Metcalfe’s law that states that the value of an investment is proportionate to the square of the number of participants involved||This law also applies to altcoins with relative stability such as Ethereum (ETH), Cardano ADA, Tezos XTZ (ADA), and Cardano (ADA).|
|Bitcoin also has the functionality to utilize separate side chains that don’t have a native token of its own to improve the functionality of the network and step into the world of DeFi, these chains are known as pegged sidechains.||The ability of smart contracts networks to support financial features is increasingly apparent in DeFi markets.|
|Developers and applications have to be careful when building on existing Bitcoin sidechains.||The Bitcoin network and its tech is obsolete, in comparison to smart contract networks which have the ability to offer higher value propositions to their users.|
|It’s the stable cryptocurrency with the highest price.||Altcoins are known for their high price volatility, which can lead to higher investment returns.|
|Because of its low mining difficulty it’s the most secure network on blockchain. This reduces the likelihood that attacks will be made to it.||Many innovative solutions for blockchain that are on the market daily have zero deployability on Bitcoin.|
Despite several adverse events, such as Mt. Gox Hack, which in 2014 cost investors over $460m. To end this 7-year-old story, the exchange has announced it will pay its creditors $9 billion.
Many blockchain networks, crypto exchanges and protocols, like Bitcoin, have been around for a while. This is despite events like the cryptocurrency winter and bear runs which caused many big players in the market to become non-existent. These are just a few examples of projects, networks, or cryptocurrency exchanges which have stood the test the test of times despite numerous unfavorable circumstances and FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, And Doubt), that have engulfed this market countless time in its short existence.
KuCoin, a cryptocurrency exchange has existed since its inception in September 2017. KuCoin has been a prominent crypto exchange that has fought market fluctuations and has remained a strong contender for its position as the best in the crypto-verse.
A hack on Kucoin by a North Korean hackers group, Lazarus Group, resulted in a loss of $275million. This was about half the total cryptocurrency thefts that year. It also shows the scale of the attack and how much money was lost. But, the exchange persevered in spite of the financial difficulties and resumed trading shortly after. Johnny Lyu, founder of the exchange, made it clear that 84% (i.e. The $239.45 Million has been recovered. All remaining funds are covered by insurance. This ensures that the hack did not affect any user.
KuCoin has been impressive with its response to China’s absolute ban on cryptocurrency transactions and associated businesses. Reportedly, the exchange immediately conducted technical self-inspection to ensure that the company’s operations complied with the regulatory requirements of mainland China. Shortly thereafter, Huobi.io joined Gate.io. Boot users were also added to the platform.
Tezos, one of the first crypto-verse blockchain networks to use the proof of stake consensus mechanism (PoS), has been relevant since it was launched through market cycles. Due to its decentralized nature, it offers smart contract utility at half the cost of Ethereum. Additionally, it consumes far less energy.
A recent Bank Of America report found that Tezos has the highest level of developer interest. This indicates strong foundations for the network, as the core elements of the network are developers. When the European Central Bank (ECB), selected it to be fully compatible with its current fiat-biased monetary systems, the bank validated the network.
Tezos was chosen by the Arab Bank (Switzerland) Ltd. to offer the bank’s institutional clients a platform that facilitates the staking, storing, and trading of XTZ tokens, the native token of the ecosystem. The protocol has also partnered with Societe General, the third-largest French bank to issue the bank’s first structured product as a security token using Tezos as the blockchain.
Tezos has a number of partnerships that allow it to improve its market relevance and user proposition. These partners include high-profile companies from various markets, sub-ecosystems and institutions.
CoinMarketCap ranked Tether 5th among the top 10 most popular cryptocurrencies today, with its market capitalization at nearly $70billion. Its trading volume is greater than any other cryptocurrency, even Bitcoin. Actually, it has a daily trading volume that is twice as large as that of BTC. The stablecoin is used frequently as a transaction and transition currency in various trading protocols and in payrolls at various crypto firms.
However, since its inception, its journey hasn’t been without hiccups. Tether and the cryptocurrency exchange, Bitfinex was held up by the New York attorney general’s (NYAG) office citing charges of manipulation and issuing uncollateralized USDT tokens. NYAG further stated that USDT tokens in circulation only represent 74%. Tether responded by attestation that its reserves were in place, assuring the users that stablecoin was indeed collateralized as stated.
Tether and Bitfinex were not charged with any criminal offenses at the conclusion of the investigation. This could have been a positive for the stablecoin. However, the fines they paid exceeded $18.5 million and the court asked for its reserve reports for the following two years. Another case involving the same allegation was filed by both sides in the Southern District Court of New York, under the Racketeer Induced and Corrupt Organisations Act (or RICO), which was dropped by the judge for Tether.
As it has become clear that stablecoin is not subject to manipulation of reserves, stabilitycoin is gaining more popularity and acceptance.
Ripple was a highly discussed project in the cryptocurrency ecosystem due to its long battle with regulatory agencies over minor details.
XRP token is the native token and has been in the top 10 most valuable cryptocurrency tokens by market cap for years. This despite all the legal problems the company faced. These issues indicate that there has been a continued faith and trust in the network as well its foundations. In terms of volatility, XRP is one of the best cryptocurrencies. This indicates the asset’s maturity.
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), announced in September 2020 that they had brought an action against Ripple Laboratories and some of its executives. They claimed that $1.3 Billion was raised via an ongoing and unregistered offering of digital assets securities. The crux of the case is that the SEC classifies XRP as an “unregistered security,” a classification that Ripple Labs has contented in court ever since.
According to the market, the SEC case against Ripple appears to be progressing better than anticipated. Ripple stands a good chance of winning the suit that was extended for too long over irrelevant technicalities. Even veteran investor Warren Buffet’s firm Berkshire Hathaway has invested $500 million in Brazilian digital bank Nubank, a member of RippleNet, the protocol’s global payments network for financial institutions, which is a positive sign for the payment processing network’s future.
Qtum Blockchain Mainnet was created by Qtum Chain Foundation on September 2017. It was the industry’s first smart contract platform based on the same unspent transaction output (UTXO) model as Bitcoin. Qtum 2.0 was born from three years of technological iteration. It has developed unique ecosystem and technical characteristics that are perfect for DeFi projects. Essentially, the network combined the security of Bitcoin’s blockchain model and the flexibility of smart contracts like Ethereum, Solana, and Binance Smart Chain (BSC).
This protocol is called decentralized governance protocol (DGP). It allows smart contracts to modify blockchain settings. The block size can be increased by using smart contracts without the necessity of a hard fork. Qtum 2.0 was designed to be a business-friendly blockchain. It allows business-friendly smart contracts coding, deployment and execution. It is also compatible with existing blockchain infrastructure that allows it to be integrated with existing technologies of businesses, and it’s modularized so that new technology can be added at any time. They can offer customized solutions for enterprise clients thanks to this foundation.
Qtum utilizes the Account Abstraction Layer, (AAL) which separates applications from the protocol. It maintains the speed of the blockchain while also allowing for more smart contract functionality in the future. It has an extremely large proof-of-stake (PoS), network that includes full nodes, which is only exceeded by the Ethereum and Bitcoin networks. Globally, there are 1,478 active Qtum nodes.
It is not a wise argument to advocate for Bitcoin maximumalism. As it is obvious that other assets and networks exist, as well, the ecosystem thrives from the variety of investments available in the crypto markets, such as tokens. It is undeniable that BTC is the top digital asset as it cements its place even in the traditional financial markets as the digital gold with more institutional investors gaining exposure to the asset’s volatility through the ETFs listed, but that doesn’t take away from the potential of growth that various other players in the crypto-verse currently possess.