Bitcoin, Ethereum and finding the middle ground with maximalism


On the latest episode of the Bankless podcast, Vitalik Buterin expanded on his blog article, “In Defense of Bitcoin maximalism.” In fact, he also touched upon why he thinks maximalism is good, a counter-argument of why the concept should be ridiculed, and what lies between the two ends of the maximalism rope.

Addressing the question around Buterin’s thoughts on maximalism, he stated,

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“In reality, there’s a collection of things that the Ethereum community is underrating. But, there’s a much bigger argument for the other side that Bitcoin maximalists are not realizing.”

Maximalism and more…

Bitcoin maximalism comes from the deep-rooted thought that the crypto is superior to every other altcoin in the market based on the strength and security the network offers. Conceding somewhat to the favouritism with Bitcoin, the Ethereum co-founded claimed,

“The earliest projects in the industry are the most genuine.”

He further argued that crypto-assets such as Bitcoin have real cultural and structural advantages, thus making them powerful assets worth holding and using. He went on to add that Bitcoin is an excellent example of an honourable cryptocurrency.

That wasn’t all, however. Buterin clarified he doesn’t stand for everything maximalists believe in, adding that maximalists tend to ignore some pressing issues that exist.

The perspective shift

Addressing the issue of how maximalism might affect the crypto-market, he said,

“Maximalists culture is needlessly antagonistic. It is antagonizing the U.S Government, large country and small country governments. It antagonizes other cryptocurrencies.”

Bitcoin minimalists support the idea of making room for other cryptocurrencies in the market. They don’t see Bitcoin as anything other than a “good-store-of-value.” Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, for instance, believes that tribalism around Bitcoin and other cryptos is responsible for holding back the growth of the $2T cryptocurrency market.

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Bitcoin maximalism will always exist as a particular class of the cryptocurrency society would always stand for it. However, maximalists have been more flexible of late.

For example, Grayscale found that that more than 87% Bitcoin owners also own another cryptocurrency.

A middle ground

Speaking of finding a middle ground between the ardent Bitcoin maximalists and minimalists, Vitalik Buterin went on to explain how Ethereum tries to find a middle ground. According to him, it keeps the core protected and at the same time, interacts and appeals to various groups with different schools of thought.

“Ethereum is the decentralized center and has extremes on one side and extremes on the other side and the Ethereum community is, I think, one whose greatest virtue really doing its best to kind of move toward having the best of both.”


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