Opinions are divided when it comes to Bitcoin maximalism. Some say: Bitcoin maximalism means to think the advantages of the digital currency compared to the fiat money system consistently to the end. Others say that a global economy based solely on Bitcoin is absurd and, moreover, deflationary.
Bitcoin maximalism, however, is more than a preference for Bitcoin over altcoins. For its proponents see the No. 1 cryptocurrency as nothing less than a paradigm shift within the macroeconomic fabric of our global economy. Central banks would be obsolete, inflation impossible, and exchange rates. We take a closer look at the phenomenon. The following are five sentences a Bitcoin maximalist would never say.
"Bitcoin is dead"
One trait of Bitcoin maximalists is their unwavering belief in the value of the cryptocurrency. Every crash is accepted with demonstrative composure and reinterpreted as a necessary correction for the long-term development of the price. After all, Bitcoin maximalism also means proving one's staying power. Only those who have walked through several valleys of tears may reap the long-awaited fruits of "hyperbitcoinization", so the theory goes. Or to put it in a word: Hodl.
"I live vegetarian."
Granted this certainly doesn't apply to all Bitcoin maximalists. We have already reported on the apparently existing connection between an all-meat diet and BTC here.
At this point, we let Michael Goldstein speak for us and wish you bon appétit:
The connection is intuitively obvious. Bitcoin is a revolt against fiat money and an all-meat diet is a revolt against fiat food.
"Keynes was actually a great guy".
Bitcoin maximalism, is also the clash of two schools of thought in economics. Bitcoin maximalists usually classify themselves as belonging to the so-called Austrian School of National Economics. Prominently represented by Friedrich von Hayek - a bitter opponent of the famous John Maynard Keynes. To make a long story short: The theories and implications of the two schools are incompatible. While Keynes wants to see the monetary economy in the hands of the state, Hayek advocates an economic liberal system in which different circulating forms of money compete with each other. At the Bretton Woods conference, Keynes idea ultimately prevailed.
"A little inflation is okay"
Bitcoin maximalists are not fans of central banks. If maximalist Saifedean Ammous is to be believed, the abolition of the gold standard and the introduction of a monetary system under the thumb of central banks was the beginning of the end. This may sound exaggerated.
But there is no denying that central banks have a more or less free hand in their monetary policy. They often live up to the responsibility this entails for national economies. In some cases, however, central bankers turn the wrong macroeconomic screws - with disastrous consequences.
This is why many Bitcoin maximalists are calling for the abolition of the central banking system. After all, they argue, even solidly functioning central banks at least ensure a steady, albeit low, rate of inflation, and even that is unhealthy in the long run.
With Bitcoin as a reserve currency, this problem is obsolete. Because Bitcoin has an intrinsically deflationary structure due to its design and this is good for a sustainable global economy without boom-and-bust cycles and demonetization, maximalists say.
"Sure I'll invest in Bitcoin Cash too".
BCH, or "BCash", is the Bitcoin maximalist's public enemy number 1. Bitcoin Jesus has become Bitcoin Judas, as Roger Ver has gambled away many sympathies since the infamous hard fork. Since then, the BCH daddy has had to answer for a lot of things that are going wrong in the crypto cosmos. Admittedly, Ver has done the ecosystem a disservice with the fork and the associated division of the community into two camps. However, the polemic that Ver is facing doesn't get us anywhere either.
Ferdous Bhai summarizes why a little currency competition among crypto assets can actually be beneficial in a blog post:
I want Bitcoin to win, and I will continue to build and support companies that make Bitcoin better, stronger, and more accessible. But we must never lose sight of the goal. Bitcoin is not the main goal; it is a means to achieve our goal of a censorship-resistant, independent, and denationalized currency.
Does the movement have a chance?
Bitcoin maximalism is a fascinating metier. This is because the mindset wants the big picture. To be sure, many contexts seem plucked out of thin air and unrealistic. Nevertheless, it is worth taking an in-depth look. If you have the time, you can immerse yourself in a debate between hard-money theory, technological innovation and the prospect of witnessing an economic paradigm shift. In a nutshell, bitcoin maximalism is a real-time experiment in the tension between Keynesianism and the Austrian School of National Economics. It remains exciting.