Is BTC Safe from 'Overprinting'

in bitcoin •  2 years ago  (edited)

Hi Everyone,

Today BTC is at an all-time low in terms of market dominance (36-37%). Certainly much of this has to do with the introduction of a burgeoning ecosystem of great (and not-so-great) altcoins, my favorite of which is Steem. But my intuition is also telling me that BTC is facing something that, to me, certainly feels like a version of over-printing: the introduction of a number of BTC "forks" (BTC Cash, BTC Supreme, BTC Gold, Original Rays, Rays Original....if you're from Manhattan you got the joke of the last two in that list). I have zero technical knowledge, but these forks feel like mere cut-and-pastes of the original BTC source code with a new label and maybe a few sprinkles on top. If BTC was supposed to be our digital version of Gold2.0, then these forks surly feel like every alchemist on Earth learned how to slap 9 protons onto lead and increase the global gold supply.

I do not believe the recent drop in BTC is unconnected to the forking phenomenon. As evidence, let's take a look at the interplay between BTC and BTC Cash. On Dec 17 BTC Cash was ~$1800 and it soared to ~$2900 on Dec 22. Let's see how BTC did in that same time frame: Dec 17 is was close to it's all time high of ~$19,300, dropping to ~$12,700 on Dec 22. I do not think it is a coincident that BTC Cash was introduced on Coinbase during this time period. And if the correlation is not mere coincidence, then it may be evidence that BTC forks have a zero-sum relationship with my beloved BTC's value.

My dear Steemit friends. I pose to you the following questions:

  1. Are my assumptions and characterizations sound? Have I unwittingly set up a straw-man argument against BTC's claim to scarcity?

  2. Do any of you feel that BTC's value is imperiled by the possibility of infinite "cut-and-pastes" of the BTC source code?

  3. Is it possible to create a crypto-currency, similar to BTC, that can never be "cut-and-pasted" by other parties? And if so, what would the mechanism be? A patent? A secret source-code that users can't access, can't see, and can't solve?

I look forward to your thoughts and insights.

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I think these are valid questions and ones we have all asked ourselves from time to time... or constantly, in my case lol.

The issues plaguing BTC (slow times, large transaction fees, differing opinions on how to handle the first two) are normal and to be expected in an decentralised ecosystem and it leads me to one of the most important things I have learnt in cryptocurrency. DON'T MARRY A COIN!

  1. BTC is still scarce however the markets gets to decide which path is the correct one. There is a lot of greed and uncertainty in the market at the moment.

  2. No, personally I don't. The market will decide and using your example in the Dec snapshot above, it is such a small timescale. BTC through all it's forks has still managed huge gains that has exceeded even the most bullish of commentators

  3. Sure it is but then I don't think it would be a decentralised one. I would argue that STEEM is one such and there are many more.

In term of BTC price today, I think there a lot of contributing factors. Forks being one, yes, but not the only. It was overdue for a correction just on the massive bull run it had and not to mention CME etc.

Great reply and good advice. I think I'm married to BTC lol. What is CME?

Part of the magic of bitcoin and many alt coins is that they are based on decentralized, open source platforms. A patent would indicate a centralized owner and that defeats one of the main advantages of public blockchain based coins. I don’t worry about the forks. Bitcoins recent fall is just a normal consequence of such a rapid rise. Forks represent innovation and competition, which in the long run puts pressure on bitcoin to innovate and improve scalability and functionality. Patience friend.

That's an interesting insight. So it is possible for BTC to innovate and tinker with scalability and functionality without actually forking? Or does ANY change in the BTC lead to a de facto fork?

Innovations can come through backwards compatible soft forks or through hard forks which aren’t backwards compatible. The scaling debate within the BTC community centers around which upgrade and scaling approach is appropriate to ensure the security and integrity of the blockchain is maintained.

The rays and rays original joke was classic. - I also believe that the forks do seem somewhat of a printing type mechanism within the ecosystem of BTC, however, they also generate greater breadth in the alt community while actually still strengthening Bitcoin as a whole. Long story short, i'm not worried about forks devaluing Bitcoin through inflationary means. I am however worried about Bitcoin devaluing BTC if it doesn't address the scaling issues we're seeing. Fee transactions are a major issue.

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