Cryptowriter: The Bitcoin Purist's Holocene Event
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Cryptowriter: The Bitcoin Purist's Holocene Event

By Thomas Wolf | wickedthewolf | 15 Jan 2021


If ever there was a subject I didn’t care about in crypto, it would be the inevitable debate of government intervention diminishing social support in response to superior and adapted currencies.

“It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.” – Charles Darwin, Origin of Species.

In response to Mark Helfman’s article “Bitcoin is Money - You Missed the Whole Point,” a writer who writes almost exclusively about Bitcoin; I can only say sadly; you missed my point and did not respond to or acknowledge essential things mentioned in my article, which made this both easy to write and difficult to respond to since you seem to think I missed your point.  Still, my response is likely something both of our followers should hear about and research independently.

Let us start with some definitions of words used so we may keep things factual and not narrated by personal ideals or the concept of value.  They differ from person to person and in context.

Definitions:

Weak - adjective. -liable to break or give way under pressure; easily damaged.

Ideal - adjective. -existing only in the imagination; desirable or perfect but not likely to become a reality.

Value - This is both a noun and a verb within different contexts.  I will use both contexts.

noun. -the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.

verb. -estimate the monetary worth of (something)

Oxford Language Definitions provided by Google

In my now months-old article, I said Bitcoin “is weak compared to modern derivations and evolutionary results such as EOS and NANO” in that article, not "Bitcoin is weak."

The podcast for that article "Bitcoin & Millennials - Why it May or May Not Matter" can be found here.

The above statement couldn’t be more accurate, regardless of Bitcoin’s current stance in the market or public eye.  My target audience is all of those in the world for progress, not those trapped in an ideal wrapped around software created in 2009, which has been improved upon to serve every function that Bitcoin possibly could and more in modern derivations.  Many people’s Bitcoin ideals are attached to a single piece of software in a singular frame of mind.

You have failed to educate me on what you have successfully used Bitcoin for outside making money as a value-driven asset or using it as a store of value for change, in any context - even for future keeping, it is irrelevant to the present.  I’d love to hear about this, but I am assuming there isn’t much to talk about outside your primitive idealism towards a coin that, quite frankly, is outdated for 2021, no matter how many loyalists try to convince me otherwise.

You’ve built your following off of Bitcoin; it makes sense for you to live in a frame of mind or “mental box” where the walls all read “Bitcoin is the Best.”  In contrast, I live in a world of perspective that simply reads Bitcoin is doing pretty damn well, for now - but things change like the weather.  It’s storming outside both in reality and analogy through political, ecological and economic unrest.  Even Bitcoin’s latest 23%+ market drop costing those invested in it, myself included, a fair amount of money is relevant to a degree.

The difference between Bitcoin and the altcoins that are superior to it is oriented entirely around social support.  At any time, that social support can shift dramatically, which goes back to my point of how governmental regulation and the advancement of newer, better currencies that use less power, have no transaction fees, instant transaction times, and still maintain just as good if not better anonymity, decentralization, and self-sovereignty can and will continue to shift loyalties and demands.  In my expressed opinion, remaining a Bitcoin purist is a fool’s errand.  Bitcoin holds a crown, for now, but in time that will change if only for the reasons below.

Who in their right mind would continue to use software that is extremely power extensive in a world that is quite literally in the midst of the sixth mass extinction event - referred to as the Holocene Event.  This mass extinction is caused entirely by humans due to our use of fossil fuels, overall excessive power consumption, and pollution.  If we cannot make simple decisions that involve reversing massive ecological damage, how can you possibly expect your old software to shine as the need to go green has never been greater?

Any claims I’ve seen that Bitcoin is primarily mined using clean energy cannot be proven and still don’t answer why we shouldn’t opt for a modern derivation of similar software that doesn’t require nearly as much power. I run on 100% renewable energy, and mining Bitcoin on it would be a horrible idea financially.

You have failed to deliver any justification for long confirmation times, one of my primary complaints outside of the relatively low transaction fees.  Sure, they’re not as bad as, say, Ethereum (ETH) and its native ERC-20 tokens such as Basic Attention Token (BAT), Uniswap (UNI), Ampleforth (AMPL,) and many more.  Still, Ethereum is less power extensive than Bitcoin while still being quite a power extensive project with a massive amount of volume; this is an excellent example of an alternative currency being a bad fill-in for Bitcoin’s intended purposes, but it’s far from the only alternative and has its own purposes, particularly through DApps (decentralized applications) and smart contracts.

It won’t get the headlines, but I’d bet on EOS or Nano for my stores of value over Bitcoin any day if it were only the ideals behind coins that allow them to prosper, but I am aware of how the lack of social support makes this a plausibly lousy investment decision, whether investing for monetary gain or out of “support for the software,” which honestly Helfman, doesn’t make any sense unless you think only Bitcoin can do what Bitcoin does.  Do you really believe Bitcoin has no shelf-life?  Is it that far-fetched to you that we would evolve our software to navigate legislature and social support shifts?

I find this comical as Bitcoin has been hard forked multiple times and still hasn’t made any improvements worth noting at an “ideal cryptocurrency” level and only seemed to suffer from its attempts to improve upon its existing technology by splitting up its support base, even if that support is immense, it could already be far more significant.

The nearly-unanimous design of how Bitcoin proposes changes within its consensus dramatically retards the project; we’ve seen how well a nearly split election has “helped change” things for the worse in American politics; what if it required the same amount of unanimous support to pass a critical legislative bill; I wouldn’t hold your breath.

If Bitcoin had delivered an ideal currency under the same brand - people would have immediately adopted it back in 2017.  Mike Hearn, a senior developer for The Bitcoin Foundation (Bitcoin’s non-profit group that oversees the currencies development), replied to a Satoshi imposter promoting Bitcoin by writing, “There’s an interesting point here - what if Satoshi did come back and weigh in?  Let’s imagine he turned up and said he’d rethought, and Bitcoin was a bad idea.  Should everyone just give up and walk away?  Or accept that people’s ideas do change.”

This information was published in The Guardian in the article Bitcoin’s Forked - Chief scientists launches alternative proposal for the currency along with the notion that the worst-case scenario was for Bitcoin and its hard-forks to exist alongside each other for a long period of time while none of them seize the mantle of Satoshi’s true vision.  Bitcoin Cash remains a #8 currency; Bitcoin SV remains a #14, with Bitcoin Gold at #81, Bitcoin Diamond at #99, and Bitcoin Classic at a distant #2191 via Coinmarketcap.  It appears the ‘Bitcoin Civil War’ as previous articles have depicted hasn’t even ended, and many individuals had indicated if this were to happen, switching to a new currency altogether may be the best solution.

Bitcoin is iconic; it has served its purpose in helping advance blockchain-based software for modern currencies, and its continued monetary success promotes future blockchain tech development.  Its logo sucks but is widely recognized like a can of Coca Cola, which initially had coca leaves (the source of the narcotic cocaine) in it and is still terribly bad for you in new ways.  Coke has tried many variations since, with some becoming popular or even preferred, but everyone knows seltzer is healthier, right - but it "isn't familiar and doesn't taste right" for people who don't adapt to new circumstances.

I see a correlation here from an economic perspective on oligopolistic competition, which cryptocurrencies and soda have in common.  In a Princeton re-published abstract “Bitcoin - A Natural Oligopoly” by Nick Arnosti and Matthew S. Weinberg, it is quickly pointed out that Bitcoin’s intention to be decentralized has fallen short through its need to rely on power for mining.  The researchers concluded their abstract by saying their work “motivates the study of protocols that minimize ‘orphaned’ blocks, proof-of-stake protocols, and incentive-compatible protocols.”

What I truly had to say in my article outside how strong Bitcoin is or whether or not the government can “regulate” it, which is an important word to distinguish as you said that I said it would “be crushed” and frankly, I never used the words crush or crushed in my article, I depicted an inevitable transition along with a hypothetical plausibility.  My focus was more on how politics were being influenced in a variety of ways, how that was affecting the economy, and how we need to set higher standards especially in terms of environmentally friendly options.

I will always appreciate what Bitcoin has done for the cryptocurrency and blockchain tech worlds, but to act like it is in any way superior to things we can develop and produce today is absurd.  Why don’t we just keep killing the planet and pretend gas fees in ETH are gravy while we are at it?  You say, “A cryptocurrency can never truly die,” - tell that to this list of them on Coinopsy; note they all lack a strong following once their value reaches zero.

Your concept of ideals is flawed due to what is equivalent to brand loyalty.  The truth to what you had to say was that a true revolution comes from “a shift in paradigm and mindset,” so, I ask you, Mark, why hasn’t your mind shifted in 12 years of software development during which the crisis of climate change has only grown more and more essential to remedy through using either renewable or less energy - don’t you want to see improvements?  Where am I going wrong on our differences of philosophy?

You say “maybe” to whether or not governments can drive it underground.  Imagine this.  Imagine government regulation gets to become a bit of a problem, which is showing its face more and more recently, and they one day randomly decided to ban Bitcoin’s use in most, if not all of the countries in the world to maintain their centralized fiat-based economies as they have for ages?  Bitcoin would be about as useful as Dogecoin, perhaps even as useless as the many dead currencies on the list above.  Who would use it with no value, how would this incentivize keeping BTC alive?  Why would it matter to the world if it cannot do what Satoshi Nakamoto originally proposed?

As for using it for the government’s benefit, I am sure they can and will do so in any way possible, and that is far beyond either of our ideals, but doesn’t it make sense to say that if the technology is made irrelevant, so is the idea behind it when no one continues to follow it?  Your article reads to me from the perspective of a BTC purist.  It even defeats your claim to my “missing the point” by you going on to say, “If Bitcoin sucks, build a new version, give it a different name and consensus algorithm.”

Isn’t that what developers have been doing for years?  Are there not already blockchain technology solutions being developed every day?  Which decentralized applications are built without issues on Bitcoin’s protocol in its current form; are they the most dominant?

Please quote me properly in the future, I wouldn’t do that to any writer - pointing out inevitable legal & tax changes vs. saying a coin will be crushed are two different things.  My points flew over your head so far that you turned around and reinforced some in your response while claiming I failed to see your very limited and far-from-new viewpoint.

As I said before, we agree on a great many things (less than I thought, but still a fair amount), such as the evolution that will be crypto-induced.  Bitcoin was only the catalyst setting a precedent, and this is only the beginning for the true potential of newer, better software.

Your boxed mentality appeals to your target demographic (Bitcoin fans/loyalists/purists), but that does not make your point of view any more factual, no matter how you illustrate your pitch or tone in reference to the bigger picture, the long-game, and the ideas that live long after coins can, do, and will continue to die.  Ideas are not forever if the people that remember them are dead or “have moved on.”

Cryptocurrency is a human conception.  What happens if your power-extensive currency helps us go extinct?  Will the satoshi’s on lost waterproof drives sing adoringly to each other about their immortal knowledge?  No, obviously not.  Cryptocurrency only lives on if we do, and tell me, Mark, what are our current odds for that based on our knowledge of evolution?  Hint - they are not good, so if we don’t start using blockchain to improve the state of the planet we won’t be collaborating about old issues like this for long.

As a singular piece of software, Bitcoin has not adapted to maximize its role in the current human environment since 2009 much at all.  If you continue to debate that instead of encouraging change by adopting new cryptocurrencies and their respective blockchains, I cannot say we are interested in the same form of progress that would introduce the world to a mathematically proven and entirely accountable digital ledger free from restraints.

I see a world where we will defeat FIAT and centralized banks, but not with Bitcoin; only the offspring developers continue to create to adapt to new needs, demands, and purposes.  Some of those purposes are focused heavily on decentralization, and believe me, that is not what a globalized economic system of banks wants - for us to have all the power.  Laws will be made, and the software will be developed to adapt to the laws.  I am not a gambler, but I’d bet on that with my life.

That doesn’t mean I like it, but, I am a realist.

As always, comments, suggestions, and friendly debates are highly encouraged.

Stay smart & Stay safe.

-Thomas Wolf

Cryptowriter is now conducting podcasts which can be found on PocketCasts, YouTube, Spotify, Anchor, and more to come.

DISCLAIMER

I am not a certified financial, tax, or legal advisor, analyst, or planner.  The above information should not be considered advice but as an opinion intended to share information and ideas for entertainment and independent research purposes.  Cryptowriter and its writers are not responsible for any losses or damages incurred as a result of misinterpreting personal opinions for professional advice.


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Thomas Wolf
Thomas Wolf

I am a cryptocurrency advocate, a STEM undergraduate student, a nature enthusiast, a survivalist, a DIY specialist, and I'm a little crazy at times.


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