The first rule of maximalism is that there is no maximalism. You’re simply a normal person that, based on objective facts, concluded that 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.
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 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!
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
As Bitcoin maximalism used to be to the only viable option until recently this field is already quite crowded. Fortunately, several attractive maximization options are available today.
The choice of coin per sé isn’t that important: It is possible to build a strong maximalist argument for any of the top 10 coins (note that Tether maximalism is reserved for hardcore contrarians). Pre-existing political bias or an opinionated friend can help make the choice easier, but if you don’t have any political views and friends simply choose a coin first and adapt your technical and economical views later.
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 observation of facts and evidence — it’s just that in this case, the facts are so clear that denying them would be insane.
- You see the big picture. Your cryptocurrency has gifted you sunglasses of truth. Elegantly juggling monetary economics, socioeconomics, game theory and computer science, you have untangled the complex dynamics of real-world distributed multi-agent systems, paving the way to a fair and efficient new world economy. Keep in mind that others may simply lack the education, critical thinking skills or plain intelligence to achieve this comprehensive level of understanding.
- Your coin is the people’s coin. Yours is the only community that consists of real, rational, honest people. Other coins have fake communities that are orchestrated by malicious groups or individuals. They won’t shy away from spending billions to purchase followers and attack your network and social media channels. Yours is the only community 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. 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.
* Note that sometimes the goal justifies the means: Given that your cause serves the greater good, what might normally be seen as unethical becomes ethical. For example, using majority hash rate to wipe out other chains is perfectly fine if you are the one doing it.
Building Your World View
After successfully starting the maximalization process 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 opinions. 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.
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:
- 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 carefully architecting sound money for the world.
- If the coin scales aggressively to achieve high speed and low transaction fees, emphazise 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.
- If you are a proponent of a smart contract platform point out how both 1. and 2. can be easily implemented as smart contracts.
Adapting your Dietary Habits
To achieve the final level of crypto maximalism, weave it into all other aspects of your life — most importantly your diet.
As a Bitcoin maximalist, you will find that fiat money and modern food are both artificial, controlled, and inflationary. It follows that you should become a carnivore to further challenge the mainstream narrative. Note that this diet is compatible with multiple chains including Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH)*.
Note: This section was added based on Twitter feedback and unfortunately I’ve not been able to find dietary guidelines for other cryptocurrencies. If you are aware of any please let me know in the comments.
Spreading the Word
A great way to establish yourself as a maximalist thought leader is by creating an introductionary Tweetstorm. This works by collecting a number of arguments, papers and quotes that support your opinion and packing them into a thread of at least 50 Tweets. Here is a couple of Tweetstorm templates for inspiration:
After lurking on Reddit and Twitter for a while you may start encountering proponents of other coins. In many cases, these “people” (subhumans) are just being dishonest, but sometimes you might encounter someone who has been misled by charlatans and just doesn’t know better. In any case, let them know what miserable creatures they are.
Other coins are often lead by charismatic charlatans that prey on the simple-minded. Expose 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 followers of other coins are utter failures in every possible way. Therefore, you’re 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.
This is my first essay in a series of love letters to cryptocurrency maximalists. Read part 2 here.