Has bitcoin maximalism come to an end? | Opinion

Charlie Taylor

Recently, you may have seen some of the destructive and unhealthy drama surrounding the “community” of bitcoiners about who is — and who certainly is not — a “maximalist.” A bitcoin (BTC) maximalist is a person who has a lot of investments in the asset. and believes that bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency worthy of importance and that all others are, if not scams, distractions from this valuable and devastating project. The purpose of this project remains the focus of intense debate in the maximalist world: There are monetary theorists who believe that bitcoin’s natural “stiffness” guarantees its future status as a global currency reserve; others who believe it should only serve as a buffer against government interference in the money supply; others who regard the “cypherpunk” ideal of censorship resistance as the annihilating use case and disparage other cryptocurrencies primarily because they rely on inferior security architecture. due to their tendency to be aggressive on Twitter with anyone who doesn’t share their opinion — who are in crisis right now. More recently, they were in discussions with a possible former ally, venture capitalist and essayist Nic Carter, after he revealed on Twitter that his fund, Castle Island Ventures, had invested in a company that was developing a wallet-based login functionality and that had no involvement with bitcoin. Maximalists were furious at the supposed betrayal of a great defender. Carter published an article on Medium and called maximalism a “disease” and then it was seen fraternizing (ironically) with a feared non-investor in bitcoin. It was all very childish and embarrassing.


But this isn’t the first time a big bitcoiner — who Carter still claims to be — has wanted to distance himself from a movement whose obsession with purity continues to cost the support of influential people who would otherwise be natural allies. pushing away potential journey partners: Twitterers Udi Wertheimer and Hasu fled in disgust a while ago and former bitcoiner hero Nassim Taleb even removed his preface to an economics and maximalist article. Others softened their rhetoric. Alex Adelman, CEO of bitcoin-only rewards app Lolli, now calls himself a “bitcoin optimist” and praised the industry culture of non-fungible tokens (or NFTs) during the NFT NYC event. Fervent ex-maxi Dan Held, on the other hand, claims to be a “maismalist” — or someone who strongly believes in bitcoin but doesn’t despise other projects. Voorhees, Roger Ver and Jesse Powell. Then there are the pragmatists like Carter and Anthony Pompliano who are adept at angering the fanatical bitcoin vanguard — until it turns against them. There is also a consensus that the hard currency maximalism project is self-defeating, and that there is a bad apple in the middle. It is important to mention that many of the core group itself, unable to resist an attractive market opportunity, embraced projects that would have shocked the most virtuous. For example, another former maximalist, Eric Wall, told me* that he left the movement when big names have become “increasingly hostile” to his interest in second-tier Bitcoin blockchains called “drivechains” — a way to exploit “altcoin functionality” such as standalone contracts and decentralized exchanges (or DEXs) via Bitcoin. Plans for a drivechain were abandoned for unknown technical reasons and Wall shifted focus. “That’s how I got out of maximalism,” he explained. It was “the realization that Bitcoin’s base layer would not power these interesting features that we see in other blockchains, such as zero-knowledge technology (ZKP) for scalability and privacy, for example.”


The irony is that these same people, mostly employees of the big developer Blockstream, later created Liquid — an Ethereum “sidechain” network that allows the sale of tokens and Decentralized Finance (or DeFi) on the Bitcoin blockchain — a service that was just what Wall was looking for. When Ethereum was all the rage in 2021, Blockstream clearly wanted to join the party, promoting a series of NFT launches on the platform as the popularity of the NFT market only soared. Liquid has yet to gain traction. Most of Liquid’s blocks have, on average, one transaction: The miner paying for the privilege to verify the block. The failure stems from “a lack of understanding by humans,” explained Wall. He added that the developers at Liquid, blinded by the Bitcoin alliance, failed to take some “silly” into account, such as the user experience (or UX) and the product’s suitability for the market. “You have to understand humans to understand why Liquid is not attractive. Blockstream only cared about their own arguments, which is not how you make an impact on the world.” Blockstream did not respond to the request for comment. Similarly, in recent years, maximalists have supported platforms that allow the sale of tokens built on Bitcoin and many advocate centralized stablecoins such as tether (USDT), recognizing their role in ensuring capitalization and liquidity. of bitcoin. The endless support for the implementation of bitcoin as a currency in El Salvador by authoritarian President Nayib Bukele was a particularly uncomfortable spectacle. The question arises: Are maximalists too happy to thwart their ideals when the opportunity presents itself? Do high gains made elsewhere in the crypto market corrupt them so easily? Pete Rizzo, a former editor at CoinDesk who now works at crypto exchange Kraken and identifies as a maximalist (albeit of a different type), told me that none of the above aspects constituted a “rottenness” or betrayal of principles: To him, tokens, NFTs and stablecoins were not the problem. Instead, he said the danger posed to retail investors is unregulated securities offerings on platforms like Ethereum. “The criticism is not that tokens other than bitcoin are inherently bad, but that they are structured in a where retail investors are responsible,” he explained. NFTs were created on the Bitcoin Counterparty platform, he added (yes, it’s true!), and the attempt to integrate them into Bitcoin is not a big heresy. “Bitcoin maximalism just claims that bitcoin is the only decentralized cryptocurrency,” he said. “It’s the only one whose value accumulation and operation happens evenly, so it’s best to strive to build all things back into Bitcoin (however long that takes) with the ultimate goal of bringing in as much as possible. [à rede].”However, Rizzo’s testimony to a very principled approach is difficult to reconcile with the reality of the many side projects of the Maximalists: His support, for example, tether, which is traded on Ethereum and, historically, is not very honest with its retail investors, or important examples where maximalists have not integrated the innovation they are involved with into the Bitcoin network. For example, the time ex-Blockstream Samson Mow, one of Carter’s biggest critics in June, supported — check it out — a token developed on Ethereum! Rizzo argued that that token was only accessible to qualified investors and was not a risk to retail investors, but one has to ask: How far are these limits imposed? Is it about valuing the bitcoin use case above all else? Or is it about ensuring that any innovation is only implemented in Bitcoin? Or that retail is not harmed? What about that country that was crippled by Bukele’s failed “Bitcoin bond”?


Then there is the excess of promises and Byzantine prediction models that, one after another, resulted in nothing: The famous “stock to flow” model, the much-hyped “halving”, bitcoin as an “inflation protection” , such as “digital money” — each was abandoned when predictions were inaccurate. Other supposed maximalist principles, such as an aversion to state interference, are also expendable: Recently, maxis, including billionaire Michael Saylor, have urged regulators to shut down adversarial networks such as Ethereum, even as they try to profit from their imitations. which really is maximalism—if it means anything. In Rizzo’s view, the current strain of hard currency maximalism has little to do with the anarcho-capitalist, free-market ethos that emerged with the movement. Rizzo notes that many of bitcoin’s most staunch libertarians, like Ver and Voorhees, left long ago with the implicit intention of pursuing other opportunities. Those who were left adopted an almost theological lifestyle of the bare ideology of libertarianism and its temptations, dealing seed oils, adhering to ketogenic diets and living with their “traditional wives”. Clearly, they also trade the broad crypto markets — but only under a series of obscure justifications. At best, this particular bit of “maximalism” is now a worn-out ideology — that sells out and reshapes itself with every market correction. Like the Sugababes girl group and its membership exchange, the doctrine has a form but no content. It’s an empty ideal that suggests nothing lasting — rigid enough to generate devotion, but fickle enough to survive the inevitable betrayals of its most “toxic” adherents. That’s why I believe bitcoin’s maximalism will last forever. *Article by Ben Munster, former editor of Decrypt and responsible for the column “Zero Knowledge” (or “Zero Knowledge”), which talks about the crypto market from the perspective of a lay person in the industry.**Translated by Daniela Pereira do Nascimento with authorization from Decrypt.co.\r\n window.uolads.push({id: \”banner-970×250-area-1\” });\r\n \r\n

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