One of the most enticing aspects of the crypto world is its tribalism. Nothing is more fulfilling than belonging to a group and hating on everyone else. Maximalists take tribalism to the next level. For them, the very idea of alternate cryptocurrencies (altcoin) is patently absurd. Any person entertaining such ideas must be dishonest and/or insane and, in any case, an utter failure as a human being. In fact, such a person should arguably be sentenced to a life in prison!
Altcoin Mentality Purge: The Definitive Guide to Becoming a Crypto Maximalist
The first rule of maximalism is that there is no maximalism. You’re simply a normal person that, based on objective facts, concluded there’s only one valid cryptocurrency. Maximalism doesn’t exist when there’s only one cryptocurrency to choose from. Note: This article doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of my employer.
If you are new to the world of cryptocurrency, this step-by-step tutorial will help kickstart your journey to maximalism in a few easy steps.
Getting Started with Maximalism
While Bitcoin maximalism was the only viable choice until recently, several attractive options are available today. Picking the right coin is easier if you already have subscribed to a political ideology, but if you haven’t you can choose a coin first and adapt your technical and economical opinions later. The choice of coin per sé isn’t that important: It is possible to build a strong maximalist argument for any coin.
Once you have decided for a coin it’s time to construct an airtight, self-reinforcing belief system. Important points to keep in mind are:
You are a rational and objective person who, after evaluating the facts, arrived at the only obvious conclusion. Other than the brainwashed minions of other coins, you are immune to biases, manipulation and social influences. Your opinion is based on careful review of facts and evidence — it’s just that in this case, the facts are so clear that denying them would be insane.
They won’t even shy away from spending billions to purchase followers and attack your network and social media channels. Your community is the only one bound by ethical rules* while the others use every trick in the book.
Your coin is doing everything right. For example, if it’s a privacy coin then privacy is a very important problem to solve. However, if your coin isn’t planning to add any privacy features in the near future that’s because on-chain privacy is fundamentally bad.
Proof of Proof of the Proof
If your consensus protocol uses proof-of-stake then mining is a wasteful process that destroys the environment. If it’s based on proof-of-work, the energy consumption is more than justified by the benefits of a secure, immutable global currency.
Everything positive that happens to your coin happens organically. If the same thing happens to other coins it’s manipulation. When the price of your coin goes up, this is caused by increased demand from real buyers. However, when prices of other cryptocurrencies rise it’s an artificial pump.
If your cryptocurrency decreases in price, that’s the result of market irrationality, a concerted attack, or smart whales manipulating the market to buy more. When the prices of other cryptocurrencies decrease the market is simply reacting to bad fundamentals.
Building Your World View
*Note that sometimes the goal justifies the means: Given that your cause is righteous, what might normally be seen as unethical becomes ethical. For example, using majority hashrate to wipe out other chains is totally ethical because it serves the greater good.
After successfully picking a cryptocurrency it’s time to align your overall worldview with your coin of choice. This is where things can get a bit technical.
A good place to start diving in is Reddit: Every cryptocurrency has a subreddit that censors or downvotes dissenting opinion. These subreddits are frequented by experts in distributed computing, economics and game theory who will provide you with a wealth of information. Additionally, your coin’s subreddit serves as a safe space that will help you maintain a positive outlook even during a raving bear market.
An important concept to know about is the so-called blockchain trilemma: Blockchains cannot be optimized for scalability, security and decentralization at the same time. It follows that whatever your coin emphasizes is most important.
For example, some DLT networks start out with a small number of privileged nodes, sacrificing decentralization in favor of scalability. If your coin is slow but decentralized point out that decentralization must always be maximized and that your coin will achieve high transaction volumes at a later point without sacrificing decentralization.
Conversely, if your coin is fast and scalable, emphasize how its second-generation blockchain protocol enables Visa-level transaction volumes in the here-and-now and will soon replace the older coin along with its legacy tech. Decentralization can be added later by adding more consensus nodes.
Revolutionize the World
The other important factor is how your particular coin will revolutionize the world. Choose a political goal depending on the technical properties of your coin:
1, If the coin is highly decentralized, scales conservatively and has a tight inflation schedule, become an adherent of the Austrian school of economics. Keynesians are driving the world into catastrophe and the only way out is creating a secure a form of sound money.
2, If the coin scales aggressively to achieve high speed and low transaction fees, emphasize the importance of banking the unbanked. There are still two billion people without a bank account! You are working towards a more financially inclusive future and a world free of legacy institutions.
3, If you are a proponent of a smart contract platform point out how both 1. and 2. can be easily implemented as smart contracts.
After lurking on Reddit and Twitter for a while you may start encountering proponents of other coins. In many cases, these “people” (if we generously grant that label) are just being dishonest, but sometimes you might encounter someone who has been misled by charlatans and just doesn’t know better. Let them know what miserable creatures they are.
Not Everyone is as Smart as You
Also remember that not everyone is as smart as you and that other coins are lead by charismatic charlatans that prey on the simple-minded. A good use of your time is exposing those charlatans for who they really are.
Dig into the past of the enemy’s most visible proponents: Sure enough they have endorsed child porn, turned into the anti-Christ, or even been temporarily banned from Wikipedia. Document your findings meticulously in a Reddit post and re-post once a month to keep newcomers informed.
The sad truth is that most altcoiners are lost causes. Therefore, you’re likely better off blocking them than engaging in discussion. History will put them right in due time. Make sure to archive screenshots of their claims to make your victory that much sweeter once your coin is the only one left.
Originally published as “The Definitive Guide to Becoming a Crypto Maximalist,” by Bernhard Mueller
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