“Bitcoin maximalist” could almost be considered a derogatory term at this point, but the philosophy behind the term was on full display at the Unconfiscatable conference in Las Vegas over the weekend.
The Bitcoin maximalist term can be traced back to a 2014 blog post by Ethereum creator Vitalk Buterin, where he argued against the supposed futility of building an altcoin that could compete with bitcoin. Eventually, former Bitcoin Uncensored co-hosts Chris DeRose and Joshua Unseth took credit as the inspiration for Buterin’s post.
In the aftermath of an extremely critical discussion around Ethereum’s history and future development plans at the Unconfiscatable conference, Programming Blockchain instructor Jimmy Song argued that Bitcoin maximalists may be the moderates in the field of crypto economics.
The Nocoiner Conservatives and the Altcoiner Liberals
The aforementioned criticism of Ethereum during the Bitcoin developer panel at this past weekend’s conference was mostly based on how the developers of the smart contracts-focused platform try to do too much at once.
“When you try to innovate on something as complicated as a blockchain with public key cryptography — something that is not supposed to change — you’re going to have a pretty rough time,” Song summarized.
Song then went on to explain the contrast between nocoiners (those who don’t own any crypto assets) and altcoiners (those who believe in the usefulness of many different crypto assets), adding that there is something completely off about both schools of thought.
“Altcoins are basically money that’s trying to change rapidly using Bitcoin’s technology, and Bitcoin was specifically designed so that it would be very hard to change, especially on a wholescale level,” explained Song. “Blockchain [without the bitcoin] is the opposite. This is sort of like a startup trying to use really slow technology. You can’t iterate on that stuff very well.”
To Song’s pointed, Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto once commented, “The nature of Bitcoin is such that once version 0.1 was released, the core design was set in stone for the rest of its lifetime.”
It was at this point that Song made the analogy that nocoiners are the conservatives of the blockchain ecosystem, altcoiners are the liberals, and bitcoiners are the moderates.
“[This is how] we end up with the crap we have today,” added Song.