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Sibling Rivalry: Unmasking Bitcoin Maximalists' Attack on Litecoin

Updated: Jan 12

In King Lear, Edmund contrives to force his half-brother Edgar into exile. Trying to ruin his brother's reputation, Edmund draws him into a fake battle, intentionally wounding himself to draw sympathy. Allowing the infliction of an easily survivable wound, Edmund tries to make Edgar look like the villain, not unlike what bitcoin maximalists have attempted to do to their brother Litecoin.

Do you know how to tell if someone is being conniving or dishonest? They select the target that most represents what it is they claim to stand for rather than the more obvious targets that accurately represent an assault against their stated values. We see this so often with maximalists who attack Litecoin rather than VC-created, PoS, centralized projects that are more worthy of their scorn. Why is this? Nothing is more threatening than a brother who has seen your shortcomings and sought to address them. If the brother is not equally toxic and seeks only their love, it stings all the more.

Lately, $LTC has done twice the address creation and even passed $BTC in use on BitPay, the largest crypto marketplace. This seems to have fueled animosity in those who structured their narrative against Litecoin as problematic or "dead." If Litecoin is dead, what does that make bitcoin, or Ethereum, which has 88% fewer new addresses than $LTC? It is remarkable that this has not stopped maximalists from repeating their easily disproven talking points. It's as if they are an elephant stuck in an alley and unable to turn around, even at the expense of being discredited. All it takes is a simple address creation chart, and their talking points fall over like a house of cards.

So what is a bitcoin maximalist to do? The soundest strategy would be to say that Litecoin was part of the plan all along; in other words, it is the Nakamoto Standard that "can never be duplicated," of which "there can be only one."

In war, victory is often achieved through a strategic retreat, and there is no glory to be found in denying reality. Every time Bitcoin maximalists attack Litecoin, they risk it being pointed out that $LTC has 100% uptime, whereas Bitcoin has been down twice. They risk it being demonstrated that Litecoin's fees are a fraction of a cent while the average bitcoin transaction costs more than much of the world even makes in a day. In short, they only highlight $BTC's inadequacies, something no member of the Nakamoto Standard truly desires.

From the beginning, Litecoin tried its best to be a supportive brother, taking the weight off of Bitcoin when the burden proved too great. However, maximalists, personified by Edmund in this analogy, have only sought to send their brother into exile. For all that the crypto community derides fiat currency, it is worth remembering that it is a goliath of an adversary with a history spanning more than seven hundred years. Cooperation is essential for overcoming historical inertia.

Maximalists would do well to set aside their biases long enough to consider the lessons of the past. During the Napoleonic Wars, Spain, Portugal, and Britain overcame their differences to unite against Napoleon. Sacrificing principles for momentary advantages is akin to a self-inflicted wound betraying your cause as unworthy of elevation or victory. If this asset class desires ascendance, it had better learn to be better than that which it opposes or be relegated to the dustbin of history.


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