Muneeb Ali, the founder of Stacks, an open-source smart contract platform for Bitcoin, says the top cryptocurrency has failed to develop as a “productive asset” and that maximalism as a strategy for growth was ineffective.
“The maximalist narrative has lost touch with reality,” Ali outlined in a long thread on Twitter on Dec 6. “Bitcoin maximalism assumes a zero-sum world. However, we’re in an expanding crypto economy.”
Ali, a Bitcoiner since 2013, adds: “Attacking developers and new use-cases does not help bitcoin. It only encourages those developers and use-cases to move to other ecosystems like Ethereum and Solana.”
Bitcoin maximalists believe that BTC is the only crypto asset that will be needed in the future, according to the online dictionary Investopedia.
They believe that all other digital currencies are inferior to bitcoin and that they fall afoul of the ideals as envisioned by pseudonymous bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto.
However, Bitcoin has faced problems handling increased transaction volumes, leading to the emergency of other blockchain networks that could do so.
‘Maximalist strategy ineffective, should be replaced’
In his thread, Ali questioned the maximalist strategy, concluding it was “ineffective, and we need to replace it.”
He laid out a long list of issues he considers to have hindered the growth of BTC over the years. This includes a failure to attract developers that build more usable protocols and applications on top of Bitcoin.
The computer scientist spoke of how stablecoins like Tether (USDT), which at a certain point utilized the Omni-layer on Bitcoin, had migrated to other blockchains, particularly Ethereum, which now accounts for the bulk of Tether’s “economic activity.”
In addition, Ali pointed out that non-fungible tokens (NFT) started on Bitcoin via peer-to-peer financial platform Counterparty, “and now almost all of the non-fungible token economic activity is on Ethereum and others.” Ali said:
We need a strategy to attract more developers and encourage new functionality layers for smart contracts or scalability, for example. Instead, the maximalist circles make fun of every new use-case in the crypto industry. Betting against devs is not what bitcoiners used to do.
‘Angry mob of maximalists’
Ali berated the “angry mob of maximalists” who have for long attacked Ethereum as a “scam,” saying “this has not stopped” the blockchain from growing as a thriving community of builders and applications.
“There are many shortcomings in Ethereum,” he stated. “However, Bitcoin currently has little to offer as alternatives. There are no major decentralized exchanges, liquidity protocols, or stablecoins in the Bitcoin ecosystem.”
He blamed maximalists for alienating venture capitalists (VC) from the Bitcoin ecosystem via “endless” attacks, yet “sophisticated VC investors are allocating capital to developers building next-generation apps [elsewhere].”
Ali pointed to his own project Stacks, and the Lightning Network as “few exceptions” of venture capitalist-funded projects toward improving functionality on the Bitcoin network, but growth continued to lag other competing blockchains.
Making Bitcoin a productive asset
The Bitcoin Core network recently activated Taproot, its first major upgrade since 2017. It is an attempt to catch up with developments happening elsewhere within the crypto industry.
According to proponents, Taproot allows for cheaper, faster, more secure, and private transactions. The update also improves smart contracts functionality on the network, they say.
However, some experts criticized the upgrade as a “minor improvement to a technology that is already obsolete.”
Ali did not respond to questions from BeInCrypto on the Taproot matter. However, his general feeling toward Bitcoin growth may very well be captured at the bottom of his thread, where he spoke against the “number one” project becoming “complacent.”
“It’s time to build Bitcoin apps to make BTC a productive asset,” he admonishes. “We should welcome developers and entrepreneurs. The maximalist strategy served its purpose in 2017 and no longer works; let’s focus on the builders now.”
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