Bitcoin (BTC) supporters should be neutral or even friendly to altcoins, but be very skeptical of hard forks, commented Ari David Paul, co-founder of BlockTower Capital. But what is worrying is hard forks that challenge the mining of the SHA-256 algorithm.
Ari Paul, who recently joined Hedera Hashgraph, showed a balanced stance toward altcoins in a recent Twitter thread. The comments fall within the discussion of “Bitcoin maximalists”, which came to the forefront as BTC prices far outpaced the performance of altcoins in 2019 markets.
1/ It makes sense for bitcoiners to be extremely antagonistic to contentious hard forks like 2x which threaten the BTC security model. It makes no sense to be antagonistic to altcoins that use a different PoW algo or other consensus mechanism.
— Ari Paul ⛓️ (@AriDavidPaul) September 10, 2019
In the final analysis, Paul believes BTC can take over all use cases and technological features proposed by altcoins. But in the short term, altcoins may carry the demand for a certain solution, until it is implemented on the Bitcoin network.
Hard Forks Challenge Bitcoin
Hard forks, on the other hand, are harmful and directly bring down the image of BTC, Paul believes. In 2018, BTC faced off with two major hard forks that reaped the most success – Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Bitcoin SV (BSV). Both coins, at some point in their history, have claimed they are the real Bitcoin.
Especially for Bitcoin SV, the message is very pronounced. Project proponents believe it is the real Satoshi vision, while the current BTC asset will flounder, to be replaced by BSV.
Currently, BTC, BCH, and BSV are the leading SHA-256 networks by hash rate. Bitcoin, of course, is at the lead, with unprecedented mining levels. Miners managed to reach a pace of more than 97 million terahashes per second, an absolute record. The BCH and BSV networks only carry around 1 million terahashes per second.
The danger of hard forks using the same hashing mechanism lies in battles for influence, as miners reassign their resources. In the past, this has been a threat to Bitcoin, especially at the time when miners threatened to split off and create a new version of the Bitcoin blockchain, to out-compete the original through more active mining.
But those events, known as the SegWit2X debate, only happened when the Bitcoin mining pace was only a fraction of current activity. Now, miners can afford to launch their machine on any given network and earn block rewards.
Over the past decade, BTC has survived the advent of hundreds of new altcoins. Many of those projects had pretentions they could displace the leader, but this has not happened yet.
What do you think about the challenges to Bitcoin’s dominance? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!