Bitcoin Maximalism: Why Promote One Chain Over Others?
What is Bitcoin Maximalism?
Maximalism is the idea that the only blockchain worth anything is BTC. According to maximalists, all other chains are scams meant to take money from newcomers who don’t understand cryptocurrency.
Many maximalists defend their position by saying everyone on the planet can use BTC since it’s an open monetary network that’s divisible up to 8 decimal places. They tend to ignore the fact the cost of using BTC rises as demand increases since BTC can only settle a fixed number of transactions, so that claim is untrue.
The real reason maximalism exists is to prevent substitutes from forming. It is a marketing effort to benefit existing holders of the chain by restricting supply of new chains. Evidence of this being true is in the drama from BTC maximalists over Samourai Wallet adding support for a new crypto asset, XMR.
Samourai Wallet had originally adopted the Bitcoin Maximalism ethos, but has since changed their tune due to increased demand from users to interact with other assets. Many originally “bitcoin only” companies have trended towards supporting multiple assets because users want more choices, and if your company doesn’t support it, you’ll risk losing those customers to competition.
While the BTC community often thinks of themselves as free market maximalists, in reality this type of behavior is more similar to the cancel culture mob that threatens companies if they don’t censor a specific individual or idea from their platform.
This hypocrisy needs to be called out. In order to maximize the utility of this cryptocurrency space we must not bow down to the thought police of maximalists, but instead allow free markets to flourish.