Bitcoin Q&A: Altcoins and specialisation

‘Anonymous’ asks: “What crypto-assets or technologies
interest you, besides Bitcoin and Ethereum?”
I’m interested in a number of different technologies.
I’m particularly interested in
the privacy-related technologies,
because I think privacy is a very important thing.
Blockchains that are pioneering and testing
various forms of privacy and anonymity, etc.
including things like Monero and Zcash.
I am interested in some of the other technologies,
but not enough to mention any more,
that are [exploring] different [possible use cases],
specifically resource-sharing blockchains
where you can buy [computing power] or storage or
network bandwidth, or rather rent those resources.
You could rent out those resources if you have access
[to them], or rent those resources if you need them,
using some kind of cryptocurrency or token to do the
transaction, and a blockchain to record the resources.
Valentin asks: ‘What are your thoughts on Litecoin?
Do you see it as “the silver to bitcoin’s gold”?’
I think Litecoin has actually found a
very interesting niche, which is moving faster,
with more rapid development, in a very particular area.
Basically Bitcoin, only faster.
So far, Litecoin has in many ways managed
to deliver on the promise of “silver to bitcoin’s gold.”
Being the first to do SegWit,
being the first to do a number of the soft forks,
being the first to do atomic cross-chain swaps,
Lightning Network, with other currencies.
All of those things indicate it’s able to move pretty fast – of course, by taking a lot of the innovation from Bitcoin
and following the core roadmap pretty closely too.
That’s a good place to be.
That’s not investment advice, that just means it’s
interesting to me to watch what happens in that market
as a test of new functions that are coming in.
As a technology, it’s interesting.
I think Charlie has done a pretty good job steering that.
Again, I think it is a different niche from Bitcoin.
‘Anonymous’ asks:
“Do privacy-focused altcoins like Monero have a future…
in light of the second-layer
innovations coming to Bitcoin?”
Yes, I think they do have a future.
The second-layer innovations do increase privacy
but the base layer and even the second layer
doesn’t have some of the privacy capabilities
that you see in things like Monero and Zcash.
I would like to see those innovations implemented in
Bitcoin’s base layer, to increase Bitcoin’s own privacy.
But for a blockchain that is focused on privacy
and continuously innovating with that one focus only,
they have an advantage.
They can move faster to implement new features,
cherry-pick things invented elsewhere and
use them within their own blockchain.
As long as they continue delivering quality code
that is well-maintained and has few security bugs,
they absolutely do have a future.
I think that type of specialization and differentiation,
the kind of thing that Monero
and Zcash are doing, I think is valuable.
And it’s not likely to be eclipsed
by Bitcoin any time soon.
It has a smaller niche market, so it is not going to suddenly replace Bitcoin. I think that’s not realistic.
But there is room. This is a very large environment [with]
niches available for every single type of blockchain.
Each blockchain gets to explore its environmental niche
and expand within that environmental niche.
Bitcoin is not occupying the privacy-conscious
environmental niche for cryptocurrencies.
It is occupying the robust store of value, high value,
very secure and very immutable niche.
How important is that niche?
That’s a whole other discussion.
But that is the niche it is occupying.
Monero and Zcash are really expanding
the niche for privacy-focused blockchains.
I think that’s very interesting. I think it’s mistaken to look
at these things as necessarily competing head-to-head.
As I talked about in “The Lion and the Shark,” there’s
plenty of room for multiple, different apex systems
that are the best at what they do
and yet are not in direct competition with each other.
I’m very interested in all of them. I try to keep track of
as many as possible, although it’s not easy.
‘Anonymous’ asks: “Would you agree that attempts
[to bootstrap] a completely new value token…
are now virtually guaranteed to fail?”
I wouldn’t agree. In fact, I thought that in 2014.
After the altcoin mess in 2014 , the initial coin offerings,
all of the altcoins that came out in 2013 and 2014, I thought, ‘This market isn’t going anywhere.’
‘Nothing is going to be interesting enough,
compete with bitcoin, or actually get some traction.’
Then Ethereum came out, and a number of others I find
somewhat interesting that are differentiating sufficiently,
and doing things that can’t necessarily be done
on the same blockchain as Bitcoin.
So yes, you can. The idea that there aren’t other ideas
out there that are just as good, I think that’s naïve.

20 thoughts on “Bitcoin Q&A: Altcoins and specialisation

  1. Andreas, I’m a big fan but wanted to check something. You said litecoin was the first to active segwit, did you mean the first between bitcoin & litecoin? My understanding is that digibyte was the first, as it activated segwit on 28 April and litecoin followed in May. Is that incorrect?

  2. I had a revelation recently and finally figured out Andreas' logo…it's the birds view of his head! looool….I think he needs to invest into new branding 🙂

  3. Totally agree the privacy coins are very important.

    Thoughts on the steemit blockchain?
    It has been around for several years evolving and it is the most actively used blockchain by a long long way. There is also a desperate need for all content creators, large or small, to be rewarded, it also helps drive creativity rather than drown it out. The current state of social media, facebook, twitter, youtube etc is broken and desperately in need of change and competition, something user and companies alike are openly stating. The censorship now seen across all social media is also very worrying.

  4. You should have so many more upvotes on these videos Andreas, thank you so much for what you've done for me over the years. Since this last price surge I've been reinvigorated into the community not because of the price, but because of all the fresh faces. Stay strong AA! +Cryptogenik

  5. @andreas antonopolous, what was your opinion on the rant peter schiff had about bitcoin on the joe rogan podcast?? And if this has already been answered can anyone link it to me, thanks

  6. 05:15 – There's no real competitors in the crypto space right now, only options… #pioneers ✌ ✊ 👏

  7. Antonoup! I hear they are building a blockchain native OS for decentralized web appplications. What do you think the emergence of complete decentralized internet infrastructure platforms will have on the ecosystem. ethererum = smart contracts. decenternet = decentralized web servers.

  8. Bill Gates is simply wrong about privacy coins. Sure, technology can be wielded as a weapon, but imagine how limited people would be if just ANYONE could go and crawl the blockchain and deduce what you are spending your money on. Your actions are incredibly limited if you assume that someone is always watching you. Humans were given privacy-by-birth; you own your body, you own your thoughts, and to live in a pseudonymous world is to stand against this notion of intrinsic birth-right privacy. "Pseudonymous" doesn't mean "pretty much anonymous" it means "pretty much NOT anonymous AT ALL", big difference.

  9. Thanks for your Q&A's I hope you are able to read this one. I'm a believer in Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency. I'm new to the space, but one aspect that has me wondering (maybe worrying) is why, after all these years, there is a lack of of any major players/contributors. What I mean is, Google, Apple, Amazon, Intel, Tesla, SpaceX, Nvida, Facebook are almost silent (or even anti-crypto) on Crypto. These same companies spend BILLIONS in R&D trying to stay ahead of the competition to be the first- Global Internet Service, Self Driving Cars, AI, Quantum Computers. Why they have not entered the Crypto-space is worrisome. I understand why banks are slow to act, they are in the horse & buggy business. But when a search engine company (Google) has a billion dollar sand box and are trying to do every new tech there is, why the silence on Crypto? Your thoughts on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

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