Why Bitcoin is Different than other Cryptocurrencies

In my last article, we discussed how the market cap of many altcoins is deceiving as recently, there’s been a vast run-up in the prices of a lot of altcoins. In this article, we find to uncover how and because Bitcoin is different than all the other altcoins that exist.

How People Progress in Bitcoin

Having been concerned in Bitcoin for a long time, I’ve beheld that there’s a settlement to how people think about Bitcoins as they learn more and more of the ecosystem surrounding it. Usually, the thoughts go something like this:

  1. Wow, Bitcoin is amazing! There’s a extent to how many will ever exist and poignant control over my possess money. How do we get some?
  2. Mining sounds really cool. That sounds like where the income is going to get made. How do we get miners and start creation some Bitcoin?
  3. Mining looks really hard and difficult. we theory it’s better if we just buy it. Now where can we go buy some?
  4. Awesome, now we possess some Bitcoin, but what are all these other coins? Are they going to take over sometime?
  5. I want to sidestep opposite Bitcoin self destructing somehow. Maybe we should buy some of these altcoins.
  6. I can’t presumably look into every altcoin there is, there’s just too many of them. How do we choose?
  7. I know, I’ll just buy the most renouned ones since they’re probably the most expected to have any probability at all of violence Bitcoin anyway.
  8. Hmm, but the renouned ones look pretty expensive. Maybe I’ll buy some of these other ones that are just starting.

Many people stop and stay at a sold step. For example, we know many people that have never bought Bitcoin but have simply mined all the Bitcoins they own. They’ll gladly spend thousands on mining apparatus but would never indeed buy Bitcoin on the market. There are others that stay on the Bitcoin step and never ensue to look into altcoins. There are still others that sidestep with pretty much every altcoin out there. Point is, that this settlement of looking for the best way to take advantage of this new creation progresses in a predicted way, but different people are assured by different things.

Why People Buy Altcoins

Mostly, people get into altcoins as a way to sidestep opposite Bitcoin. Here are some common reasons for someone to sidestep with altcoins:

  1. Bitcoin might have some inauspicious unwell that the altcoin is not theme to.
  2. An altcoin might have some destiny application that is significantly better than Bitcoin permitting the altcoin to pass Bitcoin.
  3. Even if Bitcoin continues to be the most essential cryptocurrency, there might be room for altcoins to offer some other niche and hence might not be bad bets in their possess right.

Let’s inspect each reason.

Bitcoin Catastrophe

There are several ways in which Bitcoin could die catastrophically. The first would be a technical smirch (for example, a bug that would concede someone to take coins). The second would be an mercantile smirch (for example, a formula change that would now give 10 million coins to some entity for some reason). The third would be a accord smirch (for example, Bitcoin splits into two roughly even coins).

A technical smirch would be something like a disadvantage in the cryptography used by Bitcoin or some certainty disadvantage in the accord formula that could be exploited. A cryptographic disadvantage (such as a crafty dispute opposite the sold elliptical bend used in Bitcoin) would naturally extend to a lot of other coins as many use the same accurate same crypto libraries. A certainty disadvantage would again naturally extend to a lot of other coins as many use a lot of the same code.

Regardless, it’s value seeking the doubt of what would be the consequences if something like this were to happen? First, if the disadvantage is held early enough, most expected Bitcoin would patch and maybe flare very fast to revoke bearing to the vulnerability. Indeed something like this has happened before and a flare was accurately the greeting of the community.

The more engaging doubt is what happens if the disadvantage is held much later. Very likely, this will means a outrageous dump in price, not just of Bitcoin but pretty much every other altcoin out there as certainty that cryptocurrencies in ubiquitous can be devoted would be shaken. After all, how can we know an undetected disadvantage isn’t in every altcoin as well?

An mercantile smirch would be changes to the mercantile manners of Bitcoin itself. This has never been finished nor discussed in Bitcoin. What we do know is that Bitcoin requires clever accord for changes and changes of this inlet can't be finished but support of almost all of the village as the new scaling discuss has shown. Such catastrophes are generally prevented a priori.

That said, preventing technical and mercantile flaws requires a talented, dedicated and infallible growth group and the risk being hedged against. Of course, the same risk exists in altcoins and it’s value indicating out that Bitcoin is one of the few cryptocurrencies that has a healthy sidestep opposite degraded growth in the form of choice clients.

The final smirch is maybe the genuine reason to indeed hedge. The scaling discuss has shown that there is at slightest some ardour in the village for a permanent split. There have been suggestions of doing a User-Activated Soft Fork or a consensus-busting feature being activated. Both are symptoms of the fact that Bitcoin really doesn’t have a personality and isn’t authoritarian. Most altcoins have a creator who acts as the de-facto good tyrant for their altcoin. The fact that Bitcoin doesn’t is the risk. Of course, not carrying a good tyrant for life is a underline as well since there’s reduction mercantile smirch risk.

Future Utility

Most altcoins have some technical disproportion compared to Bitcoin and that is mostly the reason given for because people invest in them. The logic is that since these altcoins have much of the same application of Bitcoin plus something else, the altcoin can be more useful than Bitcoin and so take over.

In one clarity they’re right. If you have a lot of the same technical properties, of course an altcoin existent in a opening would do about as well as or maybe even better than Bitcoin existent in a vacuum. Even if the formula bases are almost different but the economics very similar, they expected have the same outcome in a vacuum.

Of course, we don’t live in a opening and the existence of Bitcoin affects the destiny utility. A underline shown to be useful is very expected to be adopted into Bitcoin itself in one form or another. Thus far, most facilities that compute altcoins haven’t been proven to be that useful and so haven’t been combined to Bitcoin.

Should an altcoin uncover usefulness, there are a integrate of ways that Bitcoin can supplement the same utility. First is that Bitcoin can supplement the underline itself if found useful enough. An example is confidential transactions which is being due in a sidechain to Bitcoin. Certain features, however, might dispute with Bitcoin’s stream use-cases. For example, Bitcoin is an glorious store of value and facilities that supplement a incomparable dispute aspect are expected not to be combined but really good justification. This is where the second way to supplement application to Bitcoin comes in. Entrepreneurs can supplement identical functionality while creation a distinction themselves. Given that accord is very hard to change, the latter seems a much more expected trail by which useful innovations will find their way to Bitcoin.

In other words, not only do altcoins have to contest with Bitcoin itself, but they have to contest with all the entrepreneurs looking to build something on Bitcoin. Hence while hedging might make clarity in some aspects, the more expected outcome is that Bitcoin in one form or another will devour other use cases nullifying any advantage than an altcoin might have.

Niche Usage

Certainly, many altcoins have attempted to carve out niches for usage. Dogecoin, for example was built on tipping each other and transferring value, mostly just for the consequence of transferring value. Ripple was creatively recognised as a way for banks and vast institutions to send value.

The categorical way a niche silver creates clarity is if it can do something that Bitcoin can’t or won’t do. What Dogecoin fast found out is that Bitcoin tipping is just as easy. You might disagree that this will be a problem again due to tx fees in Bitcoin and maybe Dogecoin has a purpose to play going forward, but Dogecoin tipping was never really on-chain to start with and conjunction was Bitcoin tipping (changetip was a centralized service). Should tipping come back into fashion, this is something that the Bitcoin ecosystem can easily do. Banks transferring value to each other can do that with Bitcoin.

Niche use is identical to the destiny application evidence solely on a smaller scale and the same evidence applies. Entrepreneurs have every inducement to move similar, essential innovations to Bitcoin given the incomparable user bottom to work with.

What Makes Bitcoin Different

The categorical advantages of Bitcoin are network outcome and proven security. Both are nearly indomitable advantages.

Bitcoin has a proven use box as a store of value. It’s exegetic that most coins try to carve out some split formed on much smaller use cases, such as prophecy markets, shopping things totally anonymously or adding a decentralized name server.

Bitcoin has a vast lead as a store of value over every altcoin in carrying existed 8 years but failure. The certainty of Bitcoin has been proven distant more than the much younger counterparts with use by almost every metric surpassing that of altcoins.

Further, Bitcoin is more accessible, with more exchanges, more merchants, more program and more hardware that support it. Bitcoin is distant more liquid, with much incomparable volumes than every altcoin. Bitcoin has the largest developer ecosystem with more program and more implementations than any altcoin. Bitcoin has the most entrepreneurs formulating companies around it with a lot of intellect, loyalty and creativity going toward creation it more useful.

When you contest with Bitcoin, not only are you competing with the much incomparable user base, growth group and mining operation, but you’re also competing opposite the very vast ecosystem of startups, open source projects and entrepreneurs.

An Example

To make this clearer, suspect we emanate a silver for email spam filtering. Let’s call this altcoin SpamCoin. It’s an altcoin that lets you summary someone only if you compensate them some SpamCoin. Suppose this indeed turns out to be very useful and lots of people start using it, creation SpamCoin more valuable. What would happen?

It’s doubtful that Bitcoin would supplement SpamCoin’s facilities in directly (though with sidechains, we suspect you can’t even order that out). But there is a clever probability that some businessman would emanate a identical use formed on Bitcoin. They would have a much incomparable intensity user bottom to start from and you wouldn’t need SpamCoin to use it. The separator of entrance would be less, the user bottom more, so in the end, the new Bitcoin use would have built in network outcome advantages that SpamCoin wouldn’t have.

That’s not to contend SpamCoin can’t win, but it does face longer odds.


This is not to contend that altcoin investment is bad. Each financier needs to weigh their possess risk vs. prerogative ratio and confirm either that’s a good fit for their goals. What is transparent is that altcoins are indeed not a good sidestep opposite Bitcoin. Much of the same risk exists in the altcoin and much of the intensity rewards consumable by Bitcoin.

It’s probable for an altcoin to take over Bitcoin, but it would have to uncover distant more (present, not future) application first and be means to grow itself to be rival with Bitcoin’s network before the Bitcoin ecosystem has a probability to supplement the same feature.

As Bitcoin evolves, we can design Bitcoin to grow in astonishing ways as new application is found. Bitcoin owners can design that the application will only boost over time. In contrast, altcoin owners have almost more risk of the silver descending into disuse.

In other words, Bitcoin has already lapped the margin and has the ecosystem and the resources to contest with poignant advantages. Bitcoin has two things going for it that assistance significantly in this respect. Stability and entrepreneurship. Both distant surpass that of altcoins so distant and will make throwing up very challenging.

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Article source: https://medium.com/@jimmysong/why-bitcoin-is-different-than-other-cryptocurrencies-e16b17d48b94

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