If you’re new to the Bitcoin space, the last few months have been pretty crazy.
There have been some steep climbs and heart-stopping drops making for a roller coaster of emotion that’s not easily controlled. The price action is both thrilling and at times, painful, so it’s easy to lose sight of what you’re investing in. All the coins seem to be running together, so what’s the difference? How is one coin to be distinguished from another? And more importantly, how is an investor to know what the long term value of a coin will be?
In this article, I’m going to make the case for what makes Bitcoin different, how Bitcoin is a system that, despite all the cloning, has yet to be truly replicated.
To really understand the value proposition of Bitcoin, it helps to look at a bit of history. It’s tempting to think that the newest ICO or altcoin is the one that will finally “improve” Bitcoin and fix all of its problems and that Bitcoin will be relegated to the dustbin of history due to its lack of some “feature”. Indeed, nearly every altcoin, ICO or hardfork thinks that they’re being innovative in some fundamental way. What’s missed is that the biggest innovation has already happened.
Decentralized digital scarcity is the real innovation and Bitcoin was the first, and, as this article will make clear, continues to be the only such coin. All the other so-called innovations such as faster confirmation times, changing to proof-of-whatever, Turing completeness, different signature algorithm, different transaction ordering method and even privacy, are really tiny variations on the giant innovation that is Bitcoin.
It’s important to remember here that alternatives to Bitcoin have been proposed since 2011 and none of them have even come close to displacing Bitcoin in terms of price, usage or security. IxCoin was a clone of Bitcoin created in 2011 with larger block rewards and a premine (large number of coins sent to the creator). Tenebrix was an altcoin created in 2011 that tried to add GPU resistance and again had a large premine. Solidcoin was another altcoin created in 2011 with faster block times and again, a premine. About the only ones that survived (and not living out a zombie existence) out of that early altcoin era are Namecoin and Litecoin, which distinguished themselves by NOT having a premine.
Read more: Medium