‘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.
“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.