Date: Wednesday 29th September
Company/project: Independent, Independent, Human Rights Foundation & Baillie Gifford
Role: N/A, N/A, Chief Strategy Officer & Investment Manager
The narrative around altcoins is constantly changing. However, one thing that remains consistent is that they almost always promise to ‘improve upon Bitcoin’ in one way or another. More often than not, this is improved layer one scalability, lower transaction costs or enhanced programmability.
While many of these projects can offer faster and cheaper throughput and smart contracts, they come at the cost of the most fundamentally important aspects of Bitcoin; security, decentralisation and censorship resistance.
Bitcoin maximalists often cite these reasons as to why all projects outside of Bitcoin are doomed to fail, but the market seems to think differently. Over short time frames, many of these altcoins can outperform Bitcoin and the opportunity to make quick gains draws in large amounts of retail investment regardless of premines, lack of product-market fit or whether a project is, in fact, meaningfully decentralised or not.
Bitcoin is designed to be the hardest money the world has ever known and to demonetise the state. To achieve this, it moves slowly, protecting its core principles at all costs. In stark contrast to this, Altcoins operate on a model similar to Silicon Valley, move fast and break things.
With growing concerns over a state-level regulatory crackdown on ‘crypto’, decentralisation is paramount. Bitcoin’s decentralisation means it can survive almost any attack, but could altcoins survive without being meaningfully decentralised?
In this interview, I talk to Allen Farrington, Crypto Cobain, Udi Wetheimer, and Alex Gladstein. We discuss tokens and securities, scalability vs decentralisation, nation-state resistance, and building on Bitcoin.