Should Altcoins Even Exist? The Debate Among Maximalists

Source: iStock/BrAt_PiKaChU

Following a tweet by Litecoin creator Charlie Lee, which featured a poll about which side of the cryptocurrency political scale people consider themselves to be, many in the community are debating on the difference between being a fan of Bitcoin and believing altcoins should not exist at all.

Charlie Lee explains in his tweet, “Some self-proclaimed Bitcoin Maximalists are actually Bitcoin Extremists. They think all other coins are scams and will go to zero. Maximalists think Bitcoin is and will remain the dominant cryptocurrency but there is room for altcoins to exist and even do well.” Although most of his respondents are Maximalists, the polls show that 9% of all voters are Extremists.

Some self-proclaimed Bitcoin Maximalists are actually Bitcoin Extremists. They think all other coins are scams and will go to zero.

Maximalists think Bitcoin is and will remain the dominant cryptocurrency but there is room for altcoins to exist and even do well.

What are you?

— Charlie Lee [LTC⚡] (@SatoshiLite) January 6, 2019

Jameson Lopp, CTO of security system Casa, thinks the name should be changed: “Bitcoin Supremacists, please. Extremists has a negative connotation.” However, he explains further down that he does not consider himself to be one: “I identify as a Segregated Witness,” he joked, referencing to a Bitcoin protocol update, also known as SegWit.

Another person who joined the debate is Changpeng Zhao, CEO of major cryptocurrency exchange Binance, who wrote, “Will be interesting to see how this plays out. But I believe in thousands of [blockchains and] millions of tokens. Freedom implies choice.”

Last week, the exchange announced that its token launch platform Binance Launchpad is planning to infer users to about one new token launch every month in 2019.

Meanwhile, other participants of the crypto maximalism debate have a stricter view on the terminology. Bitcoin developer Udi Wertheimer replied to Lee’s tweet, saying, “Did @VitalikButerin [co-founder of Ethereum] hack your account? “Bitcoin maximalism” is a marketing term that he made up to vilify common sense. Now you’re here proclaiming what “maximalists think” and what they don’t? What is it with altcoin founders that always have to define others?”

Also, Bitcoin Cash evangelist Roger Ver tweeted, “Coinism is the new nationalism,” adding a picture of two identical side where “ours” has only good attributes, while “theirs” is vilified. “Glad to see you post this Roger,” replied Erik Voorhees, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift. Others, however, accuse him of being the main instigator of Coinism.

Coinism is the new nationalism. pic.twitter.com/v4RP2swRre

— Roger Ver (@rogerkver) 5 January 2019

And here is another example of the two opposing sides:

You know about prince emails.
You know what they are.
But you don't want to know about new tech.
Actually it is "granny" type thinking. Keeping brains cold.#Buttcoin 🙂

— GetTheBits (@GetTheBits) January 8, 2019

In either case, Bitcoin dominance has decreased in the past two years: as of the time of writing, Bitcoin makes up 51.87% of the total market capitalization, compared with almost 90% on January 2017. However, a year ago, there were 902 coins listed on CoinMarketCap, while now there are 2,086. Meanwhile, the website deadcoins.com features a list of 934 cryptocurrencies that went extinct. This shows a big boost in the number of cryptocurrencies, while a single one remains at the top since the inception of the industry.

Percentage of total market capitalization (dominance)

Should Altcoins Even Exist? The Debate Among MaximalistsSource: Coinmarketcap.com

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