Reasons why Altcoins are not only legitimate but actually a necessity.

rsz_bitcoin-reddit27 November 2013 | | altcoins

Don’t get me wrong, I love bitcoin as much as the next person but altcoins do have a place. With all the Altcoin/Litecoin bashing around here lately I’ve come to shatter some myths and present a fresh perspective.

Myth #1 “Whatever an altcoin may bring can just be incorporated into bitcoin making the altcoin useless.”

Perhaps in a perfect world this would be true, but reality doesn’t function in this way. EG: Both Litecoin and Bitcoin development teams have turned their backs on the idea of incorporating anonymity into the protocol itself. Whereas Megacoin for example have explicitly stated incorporating anonymity is one of their primary goals.

Also, not all of us have the same views on what constitutes a “good feature” and a “bad feature”. What if 50 percent want something implemented and the other 50 percent don’t? Different altcoins can serve different niches.

Myth #2 Having multiple blockchains is not efficient. requires more energy, waste of resources etc.

I hear some variation of this argument a lot and it’s completely bogus. That’s a lot like saying “Let’s force everyone to speak a single language because it’s more efficient that way, oh and let me decide what language that is of course.” The energy and resource cost of having Altcoins is more than justified as we shall find out.

Myth #3 Altcoins don’t offer any significant advantages over bitcoin therefore there’s no reason to use them.

Altcoins are actually a great insurance policy to keep bitcoin in check. I don’t see how competition is a bad thing and anyone advocating against competition is a fool. You have put so much faith into bitcoin that you have deluded yourself from basic reasoning and logic.

Let’s take your ideal world of bitcoin being the only cryptocurrency. How much are credit card transaction fees? Let’s say 2-3 percent at minimum. Great the miners have voted to institute a mandatory 1.5 percent transaction fee on all bitcoin transactions. There’s no competition so why not, if I was a miner I would vote it in without hesitation. Now we basically have a different version of what bitcoin was supposed to replace.

That’s not all, you guys make it sound like updating the bitcoin protocol or implementing features is going to be so EASY and ALWAYS in your best interests. Another example, we still have the 7 transactions per second problem. I hear things like “it’s an arbitrary block limit and CAN be raised.”

Well why the hell hasn’t it already been lifted? That’s because there’s disagreement on how to solve this problem and they are working on it and have been for some time. If it was such a “simple” solution it would have already been done.

Bitcoin transactions at an all time have hit nearly 1 transaction per second. That means after a 7x surge in adoption this WILL become a problem if it isn’t fixed before then. We aren’t even ready for a mass retailer such as walmart or amazon to start accepting bitcoins.

At the rate bitcoin is growing this can become a problem in mere MONTHS if not sooner.

Myth #4 Only one crypto currency will dominate and survive.

I don’t even know how anyone can draw this conclusion. We’re on the brink of a 400+ billion dollar industry and there can only be one player? Please name one Industry of that magnitude where there is no competition.

There can be at least a few cryptos used, in addition I can see several others used for special Niche purposes that will have a place in the market. This whole thing about “infrastructure” supporting one crypto currency or whatever nonsense doesn’t apply to the digital world. Eg: paypal and the likes have incorporated and work with many different currencies. The difference between a bitcoin infrastructure and an altcoin infrastructure is a single keystroke.

TLDR: Altcoins have a place to keep bitcoins in check and vice versa. Making crypto currencies even MORE decentralized. Plus uncertainty over miners acting in our best interests, uncertainty over potential unforeseen problems of having only one crypto etc.

Some Alts are definitely here to stay. Get used to it and if you believe bitcoin is the only one that should dominate the truth is you’re just afraid of altcoins for the same reasons that bitcoin was feared.

Edit: for the record I hold some BTC/LTC and a few other alts that I believe have solid potential.


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