- Bitcoin is the defacto king of cryptocurrencies, although plenty feel their token is superior
- Bitcoin is seen as slow and clunky by many, but it is still the favored cryptocurrency among institutional buyers
- Will another coin ever overtake Bitcoin as cryptocurrency’s figurehead, and if not why not?
Bitcoin is seen as the figurehead for the cryptocurrency movement, and with good reason. It was the first cryptocurrency to exist and, 12 years later, is still the biggest by market cap by a factor of six. Proponents of other tokens often denigrate Bitcoin’s slow speed, small block size, and congestion problems, all of which are valid claims, but these drawbacks have certainly not held Bitcoin back in the popularity stakes. The question is, with all the technological advances cryptocurrency has made in recent years and will continue to make, will there ever be another coin to replace Bitcoin at the top of the tree? We look at the unsung factors that could decide the debate.
Bitcoin is one of the only truly decentralized coins on the market. There was no ICO, no VC money behind it, no pre-mine, and no backers given tokens as a reward for their financial input.
Any coin that hopes to compete with Bitcoin will have to be demonstrably as decentralized, meaning it will have to start with nothing and resist the temptation to take on financial backers who demand tokens in return. Breaking into the market with such a setup will be very difficult now, if not impossible.
Bitcoin has built up a huge brand recognition in its 12 years, so much so that it is the only cryptocurrency seriously discussed by billionaires and institutional investors as a viable alternative currency or store of value.
Any coin that wants to overtake Bitcoin as the premiere cryptocurrency is going to have to achieve an equal level of brand recognition or perhaps even attain more, which is something you can’t buy, as thousands of other coins have found out.
Bitcoin has gone from being an experiment based on a brand new technology that could have collapsed at any time to being a financial empire worth over $337 billion. It has gone from being used primarily by criminals to buy illicit items to being the preserve of some of the world’s wealthiest people.
It takes time to build trust, and any cryptocurrency with designs on overtaking Bitcoin as the leader of the pack will have to build such trust from scratch. Bitcoin has a 12 year head start on any challengers, which is going to be very hard to overhaul.
Bitcoin Looks Set To Continue at The Top
These three factors, among many others, show that speed, utility, bandwidth and other technological improvements do not trump core values that are important to people when they consider where to put their money.
As cryptocurrency evolves we will see faster blockchains, cheaper transactions, and better security. But even the fastest, cheapest, and safest coin will not be Bitcoin, and no amount of technological advances will change that.