Time for Bitcoin to Adopt Altcoin Innovations?


The competition between Bitcoin and the rest of the cryptocurrency market has been rampant in the past few years. People have spoken about the flippening with Ethereum, where the second-biggest coin will become the top, but it has never really materialized.

For one, Bitcoin has remained at the top as it is the elder statesman, it is the most established and adopted, and it has the biggest use case currently – which is as a store of value. On the other side of things, the innovations of altcoins have been more pomp that presence, and are yet to be really tested.

However, as pointed out by Bitcoiner and coder Udi Wertheimer, the innovations on offer for Bitcoin are in a state of flux. Both Ethereum, with its smart contracts, and ZCash with shielded transactions, are essentially rewriting their architecture while Bitcoin carries on. That being said, if they do prove their worth, nothing is stopping Bitcoin from adapting.

A failed architecture

Wertheimer’s tweet outlines how ZCash and Ethereum have seen the primary architecture fail and are almost starting from scratch. Part of the reason he believes this is so is that Bitcoin never went with the decision to integrate their innovations that differentiate them from the original coin.

“Early on, teams like ETH and Zcash blasted Bitcoin for not adopting their innovations, forcing them to issue a sh*tcoin. Now, both teams agree that their architecture failed and are in the process of a full rewrite.”

He adds:

“Keep in mind, bitcoin couldn’t possibly adopt both. An attempt to adopt one of them would have been much slower, and suffered from all of the catastrophes that happened along the way, leading investors to lose faith in its stability.”

“And for what?! The vast majority of ETH/ZEC investors never used smart contracts or shielded transaction functionality. They just buy and hold. No one cares. Why risk it? Let the kids play. If they eventually find a good solution (so far they didn’t), bitcoin can adapt.”

Bitcoin still the boss

Bitcoin, and the blockchain technology underlying it, may be 10 years old but it is still a technology in search of a problem to solve. Bitcoin’s niche is simply as a store of value, and that is currently working for it, although a plateau is approaching. 

However, other blockchain’s like ZCash, which relies on a private transactional network, and Ethereum which is innovative with smart contracts – although not yet applicable, are still biding their time. 

If these innovations were to suddenly clock and find their niche, it is entirely possible that Bitcoin could adapt their technology and become a powerful adapting force, remaining on top

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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