I thought I had learned all I could from Andreas Antonopoulos, but he continues to surprise me.
Lots of good info.
Not only is Bitcoin the next Bitcoin because the protocol can evolve, but even if Bitcoin fails, the next project to take it's place would very likely simply be called Bitcoin to capitalize on all the free branding and reputation.
I'm not sure if I 100% agree with this, but let's parse it a bit. Andreas is somewhat of a maximalist. The censorship resistance and security that Bitcoin provides has proven itself to defy entire governments and central banking itself. To be fair, this is quite an impressive feat and all cryptocurrencies gain from this network effect.
Bitcoin is like the literal moon. It is defending us from assault. The meteors of the legacy system are targeted on Bitcoin instead of the rest of us. We rely on its gravity for support.
Can you imagine what would happen to Steem if these higher market cap coins weren't blocking for us? We have less than a dozen full nodes. We'd be very easy to attack and shut down.
Many of us, including myself, see Bitcoin as a threat when it appears to be stomping on the market. This is more of a liquidity issue than anything. Bitcoin doesn't attack the alt-market, the alt-market is simply weaker than Bitcoin. Luckily we have Bitcoin there to defend us or we'd all be toast.
Andreas claims there will never be another Bitcoin, and likens Bitcoin entering the global economy like rabbits entering Australia. Rabbits had no natural predators, so their population rose out of control.
The important thing to note here is that once the rabbit population exploded, the niche had been filled. Adding a slightly more efficient animal to the ecosystem isn't going to get rid of rabbits. This is where we see how powerful the first-to-market advantage metaphor is.
The only way for a network to compete with Bitcoin is to differentiate itself so much that it now has its own environmental niche. Ethereum is a great example. Smart-contracts are a huge difference. This is why I'm so bullish on Ethereum and think the notion of Ethereum-Killers is a silly one. First to market advantage hasn't even been close to being overcome. However, to say Ethereum can do everything that Bitcoin can do is a huge mistake. They are complementary products. While Bitcoin bears the brunt of the wrath of central banking, Ethereum has the luxury of operating in a much safer space.
Differentiation is also why I'm so bullish on Steem. How many projects out there are like us? I haven't really seen any. We are years in advance on development, community, decentralization, etc. Nothing is going to overtake us, we just need to be patient.
29:30 in the video
Products don't get replaced unless they fail.
Andreas is referencing Bitcoin here, but it applies to so many other things as well, including the legacy system. Our broken economy has allowed Bitcoin to thrive by failing to deliver the trust that Bitcoin does even though it is extremely inefficient. The good-enough solution is now firmly entrenched into the global economy, and there will be no uprooting it without cataclysmic events going down.
Even if Bitcoin does fail, that opens up the entire environment to every other altcoin out there. Andreas predicts that the coins that replace Bitcoin would likely be much more private and harder to stomp than the original product. I suppose they would have to be.
In this context the #1 killer app for crypto is privacy. Privacy is what stops our digital technocratic overlords from controlling everything. From this perspective, it's likely safe to assume that the #1 coin on the market cap will always be one that is the most basic as possible (only currency) and also the most privacy features with the biggest unassailable network.
Bitcoin failing might be bad for the establishment.
Bitcoin is a Teddy Bear compared to a lot of these other privacy coins in the race. Opening the environment to a Komodo Dragon is not the smartest move.
Failure has to come from the inside.
A failure from a crypto has to be a failure of the underlying protocol or a failure of community/trust. Because these networks are so big and diverse, this is a highly unlikely event.
The title is misleading. Bitcoin might look like it's lording over all the altcoins, but nothing could be further from the truth. We need Bitcoin, and Bitcoin likes having us around.