The Cryptocurrency Bubble vs Dot Com

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Everywhere you see it:

"Cryptocurrencies are in a bubble just waiting to pop"
"Invest now and you could lose everything"
"This is exactly what happened with dot com"

Or conversely:

"TO THE MOON!"
"This coin is the best coin because of x, y, z"
"[My coin can beat up your coin]"

I've been sick for the last three days and I've taken this time to research cryptocurrency all day for three days in a row. I'm even somewhat embarrassed that it's taken me so long to jump on the blockchain train, especially considering my affinity for programming. I thought Bitcoin was the coolest idea when I heard about it back in the day and if I had invested into it like I wanted to I'd obviously be a rich dude. In fact, I bought a Bitcoin at $600 "recently" and put it onto a poker site and then never played poker. The money is still on my poker account and the $5 I left on my Coinbase account is now worth $155... oops.

Getting into the game now feels a bit late, especially after reading so many dot com comparisons from respected sources. However, the more I researched altcoins, the more respect and excitement I had for them. At the same time, I lost all faith in Bitcoin's future dominance. After 30 hours of research I feel like people who compare dot com to altcoin are trying to make a connection that just isn't there.

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Afraid of the past

Failed dot com sites were businesses. They had to pay for servers, technology, and employees while turning a profit. Put simply, a business has way more overhead than an altcoin. Too much money was pumped into them and they didn't deliver. I'm not saying an altcoin can't go under, but this Highlander attitude of, "There can be only one," is just plain wrong. There are over 1300 cryptocurrencies and at least twenty will survive. I hope that 100 or more will, and that's still way less than 10% when you count the ones that will be created in the near future.

When people think of the dot com boom they remember the damage caused by the burst bubble. More importantly, they remember the Goliath survivors: Google, Amazon, Oracle, Ebay, etc. At first, second, and third glance it's easy to compare dot com to blockchain. There are so many similarities. First and foremost is the too-good-to-be-true exponential growth. Second is the feeling that the vast majority of altcoins don't appear to offer enough unique utility to survive. I pray (to the flying spaghetti monster) that this is the fatal leap in logic that makes altcoin haters wrong.

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blockchain != corporation

The fear of repeating the past combined with the false equality 'altcoin = company' delivers the inevitable extrapolation: the big fish eat the small fish; only the strong survive. The uneducated masses look to Bitcoin to crush it's rivals and claim total dominance just like Amazon would do to another online vendor or Google would do to another search engine. The problem with this scenario is that blockchains aren't fighting each other. They represent communities, and together they are strong.

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To buy an altcoin, many people buy a more popular coin first and exchange. Does this sound like competition to you? Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin (Coinbase currencies) are currently breathing life into every blockchain. In my wildest dream I now think of Bitcoin as the great leader of an army. Every altcoin is a new soldier. Many of these new soldiers even have better armor and weapons than Bitcoin itself, but far less training. Some are simple farm boys marching into slaughter. The enemy? Greed. Bitcoin will lead the charge, breach the gates for all his loyal soldiers, and will die valiantly for his noble cause: to protect the weak and and expose our evil overlords for all to see. I expect to see a financial and industrial revolution of biblical proportion, where open source decentralization and transparency trump the glorified mobster society that we live in today. The average person is invisible on the blockchain while huge transactions are obvious and warrant investigation.

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Diversification

Another way to look at altcoins is though evolution and diversification. There's a reason that we don't all use the same operating system. It's the same reason why we don't all share the same genetic code. Diversification breeds resistance at the cost of efficiency. This trade off pays for itself many times over, even though it looks bad on paper. An attack on one blockchain can easily have no effect on another. Many altcoins claim the best security, but the real security is just the simple fact that they all exist.

I mentioned that Bitcoin would sacrifice itself for altcoins. I believe this to be the case because Bitcoin wastes far too much energy and cannot currently scale up into mainstream use to compete with Visa's 24,000 approved transactions per second (not even close). However, it will attempt to become mainstream, and when it fails, the appropriate altcoins will easily take it's place. As far as evolution is concerned, Bitcoin should theoretically have the worst technology because it was made first. Blockchains are closer to video games than movies. An altcoin isn't The Matrix: Reloaded or Fast and Furious 47, it's Portal 2, Half Life 2, Resident Evil 4, etc. They get better over time, not worse.

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Evolution

Blockchains should attempt to adapt to the current financial environment, just like evolution intended. It stands to reason that valuable altcoins will ALWAYS continue to pop up and be potentially amazing investments. Naysayers who continually equate blockchains with corporations are blind to the idea that there will be no monopoly on open source technology. We've been stuck in a toxic version of capitalism for so long that we can't quite see the value that sharing provides when implemented in a failsafe system. Amazon would never let a competitor flourish, but Bitcoin can't stop another blockchain from overtaking it, nor does it have any reason to want to. A blockchain is held together by devs and a community. Humanity has the resources to provide for everyone and everything on the planet. The only reason to fight stems from pure greed at the moment.

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Dollar going Dodo

How many fiat currencies exist? How long have we been relying on them? We've been due for an upgrade for a long long time. I want to believe that cryptocurrency is to fiat currency as the Internet is to the printing press. Money rules everything around me. If we can revolutionize money we can revolutionize the world; even more so than the printing press or the internet itself ever did. With this in mind, the idea that there could be just as many valid altcoins as there are communities on the planet no longer sounds completely absurd.

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We tend to reject complexity

I feel like the average person (and even above average people) get easily turned off by cryptocurrency because it's super complicated and technical while also being highly theoretical with no practical application so far. This is exactly why it's taken me so long to jump on the blockchain train. "I don't understand it and it's too good to be true. It's a scam." That's why when I saw Steemit I was immediately super excited about it. Look everyone! A blockchain that actually has an application attached to it! (Speaking of which, I probably visited this site 10 times before realizing it had it's own altcoin. I feel like it should be more obvious.) For the same reason I'm also super excited about the Golem project.

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Don't invest in altcoins because you want to get rich. Invest in them because you believe in them and want to join their community. Invest in the blockchain to change capitalism for the better. Bring out the best in community while smothering greed on a global scale. The money will come.

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I'm all in on altcoins. Who's with me? I'd love to hear your thoughts on all the crazy stuff I just typed, but please stick to main plot points and don't nitpick. I'd rather not argue about which Fast and Furious movie was best. Try to be constructive, please.

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