HomeBlockchainJimmy Song vs Erik Voorhees: Bitcoin maximalism and minimalism compared

Jimmy Song vs Erik Voorhees: Bitcoin maximalism and minimalism compared

This afternoon BlockDown2020 hosted an interesting debate between Jimmy Song and Erik Voorhees on the theme of Bitcoin maximalism.

It turns out to be a clash between two opposing “factions”, but where the impression is that the moderator is more on Jimmy’s side, as he gives him more chance to speak.

Anyway, Song, a Bitcoin dev, tries to explain that Bitcoin is the only truly decentralized blockchain and that’s why he believes exclusively in BTC. For him, all the other cryptocurrencies aren’t interesting because they’re all centralized: using other cryptocurrencies is just giving someone else a chance to print money, just like the FED prints the dollar, Song explains.

Erik has the opportunity to respond by explaining that for example the Ethereum Foundation or Monero‘s team are not centralized. On the other hand, of course, there are some centralized cryptocurrencies and one must pay attention in distinguishing them, even if it doesn’t mean that they are less useful for other purposes.

What is Bitcoin’s weak point?

According to Voorhees, BTC fees are too high and this is the biggest problem for him, despite the fact that it was designed like this by Satoshi; in contrast, other blockchains solve this problem even if maybe they have other problems, one example being Ethereum. 

Each blockchain has some problems, Voorhees explains, and some serve different purposes. Litecoin, for example, is much cheaper in terms of fees, but it doesn’t outperform Bitcoin because being fast and cheap isn’t the only important thing.

Song returns to speak by saying that Bitcoin’s decentralization is perfect and that, for example, when using Monero, the client needs to be upgraded and if not, it doesn’t work anymore. A way of saying that everything that Monero’s devs decide becomes law. 

Except that the same thing can actually be said for Bitcoin: if all the devs decide something, they can do it, as in the case of increasing the 21 million supply, which Peter Todd talked about a few weeks ago.

Another topic of the debate was store of value vs. payment method.

Song explains that many people use BTC as a store of value and it’s not important that it becomes a payment method: according to him, the fact of representing a safe haven is the most important feature for BTC. 

Obviously, it is very strange to hear this theory uttered by a maximalist who defends Bitcoin in its purest nature, since this goes against the will of its creator Satoshi Nakamoto, who in the title of the whitepaper explained that BTC has the objective of becoming the cash of the Internet.

But according to Song, the whitepaper is often misinterpreted and in this case, “cash” is not used in the sense of payment, but as a lack of central entity that controls the exchanges. As if the FED didn’t somehow control the cash as well…

The thing that was a bit disappointing was to hear insults aimed at people who were not present in the debate, such as Roger Ver.

However, there is one thing both Erik and Jimmy agree on: if they were presidents of the United States, unlike the current presidency, they would give more freedom to the people, for example by reducing the executive staff. Furthermore, Song explains that he did not expect to see people fined for going out during this Coronavirus period, which seems more like a Soviet regime measure.