Are You a Bitcoin Maximalist? A Quick Glimpse into this Crypto Ideology

Beginner’s Guide / 12.11.2020

If you have been in the crypto market for an extended period of time, you undoubtedly stumbled upon the phrase “Bitcoin maximalist.” This group of die-hard Bitcoiners is unwavering in their support for the world’s first cryptocurrency. From message boards to social media, the crypto space is full of Bitcoin maximalists. 

What is a Bitcoin Maximalist?

Bitcoin maximalism is an ideology that centers on the creation of an open and free global monetary system based on Bitcoin. Maximalists envision a day where fiat currencies collapse, and Bitcoin shines bright as a beacon of hope for humanity. If Bitcoin will ever meet these lofty hopes is left to be seen, but one thing is for sure, it won’t fail due to a lack of support. 

A Bitcoin maximalist is an investor who believes that Bitcoin is the crypto market’s best chance for mainstream adoption. They view Bitcoin’s status as the oldest, most popular, and most established network as a driving force for further developing the coin. Bitcoin maximalists are known for their passionate support for the project and their unwillingness to acknowledge other coins’ value in the space.

HODL

At the core of Bitcoin, maximalism is the belief that Bitcoin will one day be worth an untold amount. Keenly, most Bitcoin maximalists believe that Bitcoin will one day completely replace all fiat currencies as the global means of exchange. Due to these high expectations, it’s very rare for a Bitcoin maximalist to sell their Bitcoin. Instead, they use an investment strategy known as HODL (hold on for dear life).

In a HODL investment strategy, you continually average your buy-ins to the Bitcoin market over time. Also, you never sell your holdings. While this may seem counterproductive given the fluctuations of the market daily, it’s actually a very profitable strategy. To date, Bitcoin has gone from $0.50 apiece, all the way to around $20,000 per coin. HODLers enjoyed huge profits during this rise to fame for Bitcoin. The market has since corrected over the course of 2018. Today, it’s back on course to beat this all-time high.

Importantly, Bitcoin maximalists believe that $20,000 is just the start of the Bitcoin revolution. It only takes a quick glimpse on Twitter to see these investors hyping up Bitcoin’s future. Social media is filled with Bitcoin predictions from maximalists ranging from $20,000 all the way up to millions. Given Bitcoin’s impressive growth so far, these investors may be on the right track.  

What Motivates Bitcoin Maximalists

Bitcoin Maximalists are motivated by more than profits. They see Bitcoin as one of the greatest inventions of all time. The prospect of separating government and money is a cause that these investors champion. They understand the profound implications that Bitcoin will have on monetary economics, censorship, and governance.

Satoshi Nakamoto

There is deep veneration among Bitcoin maximalists for the coins creator Satoshi Nakamoto. They respect his decision to go anonymous to protect the integrity of the project. They believe that this decision was meant to prevent government intrusion via corporate regulations on the platform. Currently, Bitcoin operates in a legal limbo status globally. It’s not illegal in most areas of the world; however, it’s also not recognized as a currency in most regions at this time. 

How Did Bitcoin Maximalism Begin

While there is no direct moment when Bitcoin maximalism began, it’s safe to bet it started as soon as the second cryptocurrency entered the market. In the early days, most projects were just duplicates of Bitcoin in some way or another. It wasn’t until Ethereum introduced smart contracts that people began to see new and exciting uses for blockchain tech outside Bitcoin’s role. 

In 2017, Bitcoin maximalism got a jolt of energy. This year saw both the number and the value of blockchain projects skyrocket across the board. This growth was mostly fueled by Ethereum’s ERC-20 token standard, which simplified the ICO process enough for most firms to partake in it. This influx of platforms led to a huge drop in quality across the sector.

One report stated that as much as 80% of the ICOs in the market during this time were fraudulent or scams. As more scams, hacks, and faulty coding emerged amongst the competition, Bitcoin stood strong as a reliable and secure home base. The voice of maximalist began to grow louder with every failed blockchain project. 

How Does Bitcoin Maximalism Effect the Market Today

Bitcoin maximalism still casts its shadow on the market today. You can see it in projects such as the Lightning Network. Rather than build a newer and faster blockchain, the Lightning Network creates a second layer protocol for Bitcoin transactions. This secondary layer allows Bitcoin to enjoy new functionalities, faster transaction speeds, and cheaper fees. Best of all, you can send micro-transactions using the Lightning Network.  

Criticism of Bitcoin Maximalism

As the drums of Bitcoin maximalism turned up, so did the criticisms of this ideology. Many in the market see this loyalty to Bitcoin as more of a cult following rather than a group of people focused on the project’s merits. They point out that there are multitudes of new blockchains that are faster, more efficient, and far more scalable than Bitcoin. 

Critics also argue that this division in the market is unhealthy for innovation. Many critics acknowledge the vital role Bitcoin played in the launch of the market but, at the same time, believe there are better options now available. While they do bring forth some strong points, it’s unheard of for a Bitcoin Maximalist to let these arguments sway their beliefs in the slightest. 

What Does the Future Hold for Bitcoin Maximalism

Bitcoin maximalism appears to have a bright future ahead of it. From the looks of things, these Bitcoin lifers have no intention to stop supporting the project. This public support directly translates into further development of the ecosystem. 

Even as newer and more capable platforms enter the market weekly, Bitcoin continues to gain in value. It may very well be that Bitcoin’s network will be made to fit any scenario simply because it has won the hearts and minds of so many crypto users. One thing is for sure, you are not going to talk any Bitcoin maximalists out of their coins easily. 

David Hamilton aka DavidtheWriter is a long time Bitcoinist and cryptocurrency journalist. Currently, he has over a thousand articles published on blockchain technology. His expertise and experience makes him one of the most reputable writers in the sector.