Crypto and the Twitter dilemma (or, Bitcoin got it right the first time so relax)

The more I learn about Bitcoin and crypto, the more I think the entire sector suffers from what I call the Twitter dilemma. Bear with me.

When Twitter launched it was such a fantastic, simple, well defined product, and it appealed perfectly to its target market with a clear product/market fit, that it was like winnng the lottery

In the following years, various CEOs and board members believed they saw even greater potential for Twitter, and thought something like “we’re really smart figuring this out so quickly, I’m sure we can make the next big feature pop”.

But the next big feature never popped. It never took off. No one cared. Short, quick bites of info broadcast to the world was what it was on day one, and it’s what defines Twitter today.

Yes, we now have night mode on an iOS app. Yay. And the tweet size doubled after a decade. Woop-de-doo.

But the Twitter founders basically got the product right on their first attempt. They accidentally nailed it. And quick success makes people think they’re smart.

But Twitter had a few dramas. Third party developers who thought they would be able to build all sorts of wonderful products on top of Twitter’s pipes had the rug pulled out from underneath them. They were pissed at Twitter, but powerless to do anything about it.

Some of them had a brilliant idea. They launched app.net , basically Twitter but more characters and the promise that anyone could build on top of it and the founders would never move the goal posts on third party devs. 

It worked as advertised, and 31 people signed up. Ok, a few more. I was one of them tbh. But after a couple of years it was clear that there was no mass migration out of Twitter. All the cool kids who had big audiences on Twitter were never going to leave their audiences behind. Even the ones who carried the loudest about how horrible Twitter was and told all their fans to sign up over at adn (as it became affectionately known) never themselves bothered to drop Twitter and migrate. 

app.net died a slow death. It went into a holding pattern. It may still exist, idk. But it became a footnote in history. Meanwhile Twitter IPOd, sorted out its identity, and eventually added more characters per tweet.

So Bitcoin. #Bitcoin is birthed in 08/09 and solves all the problems we need a digital currency to solve. It’s peer to peer. Double spending solved. It’s fast enough. It’s decentralised. It works as advertised. The founder is anonymous.

You couldn’t write a better script.

And within a few years, a lot of people who stumble across Bitcoin look at it and think “if it was this easy to make this currency, I could have done it. I’ll make my own but slightly improve feature X”. Clearly my coin is harder/better/faster/stronger... thus I will succeed. 

But here's the thing: You may think your new coin can be as fast as Visa. Good for you. We already have visa. No one in the real world uses their credit card and thinks “I wish I could do this exact same thing but with crypto currency.”

They do, however, send money overseas to their friends and family and think "this sucks, there must be a better way."

You may think your new token is great because it’s got a wonderful community with developers who blah blah blah... you’re living in a bubble. There are a THOUSAND communities thinking their coin is the next big thing because of reason x. They’re all competing over scraps. Most just want a quick $, and the ones that actually want to change the world for the better don't seem to understand that they'd be more effective just working on Bitcoin. 

Bitcoin is scarce. Bitcoin is not controlled by a founder. The Bitcoin network is able to send value across borders with no authority's permission. Bitcoin is able to be held in a manner that makes it un-confiscatable. Bitcoin is secure. Bitcoin works fine. Your new coin is app.net

No one is asking for it.

All these other coins’ founders are living under the delusion that Bitcoin was just the first iteration of something. I’ve heard the IOHK guy talk about 3rd generation cryptos like that’s a thing. Bitcoin is not the first gen currency. There were plenty of predecessors.

Some of those included shells, salt, gold, silver, stones, coins, fiat.

Your new and improved "better than Bitcoin" crypto is like akin to declaring that stainless steel is more precious than gold because it’s stronger.

It demonstrates you have no idea why Gold is valuable.

Now I understand that if you’ve sunk some money into your new coin you’re going to develop cognitive dissonance, and you’re actually not going to be able to see that you should have just stuck with Bitcoin.

But for those who haven’t, you have 2 years before the next halving, and I strongly suggest you stop funding new yachts for shitcoin scammers, and start saving for a future where Bitcoin is the defacto international monetary standard, not a visa replacement or a decentralised "world computer".

Bitcoin got it right the first time. Maybe you saw an altcoin pump and got jealous. Now you’re holding those coins wondering what exactly made them better than Bitcoin. Bite the bullet. Switch back to Bitcoin. Sleep easy. And in 30 years you’ll be glad you did.