Hal Finney Called why Bitcoin Cannot be Replaced at the Top Back in 2011


If one takes away the sentiment, it is odd to think why Bitcoin has remained the top cryptocurrency in the world ever since it birthed Bitcoin, and the entire industry. Bitcoin certainly has garnered the most attention and traction, being the original; and with its simple design and make up, it is the proof of an effective decentralised financial system.

However, the technology is technically more than 10 years old, and while there have been updates, major issues like scaling have still not been addressed. This has led to other cryptocurrencies bursting onto the scene promising solutions to traditional blockchain issues seen with Bitcoin.

More so, the likes of Ethereum and other smart contract platforms have been called the second generation of blockchain technology, and yet, they still lag behind Bitcoin in a big way. One reason for this may have to do with what one of the Bitcoin originals, Hal Finney, said in 2011.

Forever undermine the credibility

Bitcoin only really came into the mainstream light when it’s price action was noted by traditional media. The stories of early investors in Bitcoin seeing tens of thousands of percent gains sparked the globe’s imagination. Bitcoin was the trendsetter of a new asset that proved its worth, even with decentralized control, in a traditional marketplace. 

For Finney, this is important because if a Bitcoin successor was to come along and usurp Bitcoin as ‘the new Bitcoin,’ the credibility of that successor would be forever undermined. 

In a post from May 2011, Finney explained:

“Any successful replacement of the Bitcoin blockchain will forever undermine the credibility of any successor. How is an investor to know it won’t happen again?” Finney posted on a Bitcoin discussion board.

“Rebooting now may benefit a few thousand early adopters. What happens when hundreds of millions use Bitcoin 2? They’ll be just as jealous and envious of you as they were of others. Given the precedent you want to set, how will you argue against another reboot.”

Maturing the market

It is much more important in this day and age to try and mature Bitcoin to become a more trusted and stable asset than to try and reboot, as Finney would say. Cryptocurrencies already have a bad reputation of creating money out of thin air, and to have a new coin come forward and take the helm from Bitcoin would be a small boost for a few, but the ongoing damage would be massive. 

Darryn Pollock
Darryn has been interested in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space since he heard about Bitcoin in 2015. He then decided to use his journalism degree to report on this fascinating fintech space in 2016, and has not looked back since.

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