Pete Rizzo is the editor of Bitcoin Magazine, and one of the industries leading journalists. In this interview, we discuss the evolving narratives used by Bitcoin maximalists, fundamental questions of who Bitcoin is for and what it will be, and what lies beyond maximalism.
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The rise of Bitcoin, a new form of money, has been unprecedented. In just 13 years, Bitcoin has come from being another manifest innovation derived from ideas around cryptographic security, digital gold, and peer to peer cash, to an asset that is seriously being considered a new global reserve.
Despite the genius behind Satoshi’s design, this meteoric rise wasn’t inevitable. The nascent currency has had to organically forge a defensive infrastructure to counteract and overcome various attack vectors. This saw the rise of Bitcoin maximalism, a highly effective yet divisive ideology.
But, just as Bitcoin technology has evolved, so have the narratives that have been used to buttress the maximalist position. Bitcoin was once considered to be the best of a range of different blockchain technologies; now it is viewed as being distinct and unique. Some believe Bitcoin’s rise is invincible, whilst others are scanning for the next inevitable threat.
Maximalists’ stories and beliefs have changed as Bitcoin’s strengths and weaknesses have been realised over time. What does this mean for the future of maximalism? Indeed, do rudimentary questions about Bitcoin’s purpose, role, and utility need to be reassessed? Does Bitcoin need a paranoid community to continue to strengthen its defences?