Bitcoin Maximalism: What it is and how it influences gambling

9 October, 2020

Every cryptocurrency has its fan boys. Visit any cryptocurrency discussion board and ask which coin is the best. You will soon discover that there are as many opinions as there are coins. In the midst of all that, there is one particular group that takes things to the extreme. They are known as Bitcoin maximalists.

Bitcoin maximalist goes way beyond being a casual fan. If we were to relate it to sports fandom, your typical fan boy would show his support by buying season tickets, outfitting himself with team gear, adorning the car with bumper stickers, and maybe even dedicating space in his house for all things team related. A Bitcoin maximalist makes that look like child's play.

In this post, you will learn the details about what Bitcoin maximalism is and how it affects the wider cryptocurrency community. You will also learn how it influences gambling - particularly in the online arena. Whether you know it or not, the thinking that accompanies Bitcoin maximalism permeates the entire cryptocurrency universe.

A detailed explanation

Bitcoin maximalism's fundamental principle is that Bitcoin is superior to all other crypto's and digital currencies. It is superior to every other fork that has originated from Satoshi Nakamoto's original. It is superior to all alt coins, blockchain development platforms, stablecoins, and central bank digital currencies (CBDC).

If it stopped there, Bitcoin maximalist would be no different from the previously cited sports illustration. But it doesn't stop there. Bitcoin maximalist also stipulates that Bitcoin is so superior that no other coins should ever be introduced. Finally, it goes one step further by assuming that Bitcoin will eventually be not only the de facto crypto, but the de facto reserve currency of the digital world.

The last point is underscored by a belief that tangible bills and coins will eventually be replaced by digital currencies. Bitcoin maximalists are smart enough to know that central banks are not likely to give up the economic control that comes with currency control, so they expect CBDCs to take the place of cash. But they believe that Bitcoin will eventually be the only reserve currency in a world that functions on digital assets.

The impetus for Bitcoin maximalism

At this point you might be wondering why Bitcoin maximalists believe what they believe. After all, their beliefs seem a bit extreme. Conventional thinking suggests there are two things that provide the impetus for the maximalist philosophy. The first is precedent.

In a legal sense, precedent is the philosophy that previous rulings set the standard for future rulings on the same topic. Precedent is similar in the cryptocurrency realm. Bitcoin maximalists hold dearly to the reality that Bitcoin was the first commercially viable cryptocurrency on the market. Furthermore, it was so successful in its early days that it spawned hundreds of forks.

The idea of precedent stipulates that Bitcoin is the standard by which all others are judged. In other words, it deserves special deference because it was the first among many. To some extent, you could make the case that precedent paved the way for forks like Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV in the sense that those who held dearly to Bitcoin's purity were against any changes proposed to improve it. Those who wanted to change it forked it.

The second thing Bitcoin maximalists cling to is the idea that Bitcoin is superior due to the superiority of its underlying network. Never mind that Bitcoin doesn't scale very well and is among the slowest cryptos trading on the open market. Maximalists have convinced themselves that Bitcoin's blockchain makes for a superior network. Furthermore, because Bitcoin's blockchain is arguably the longest of them all, it only makes the network better.

Bitcoin maximalists point to the fact that hundreds of other cryptocurrency projects have borrowed from the original Bitcoin. Some of them directly, in terms of code and architecture, and some of them indirectly, by way of philosophy. In any case, they see Bitcoin's influence as being so far reaching that no other cryptocurrency is in the same league.

Bitcoin maximalist and market capitalization

The most rabid Bitcoin fans do not need market capitalization to justify their position, but they often point to it, nonetheless. Bitcoin enjoys the largest market cap among all cryptocurrencies, bar none. Furthermore, it's not even close. This is a factor that works in Bitcoin's favor. No arguments there. But market capitalization is only a reflection of investor interest. If a cryptocurrency is to become the world's reserve digital currency, it needs more than investor interest. It needs consumer interest as well.

This leads us to how Bitcoin maximalism affects the gambling industry. Take everything you have read thus far and try to view it through the eyes of a gambling operator looking to attract new customers. For the remainder of this post, the focus will be online operators who either accept cryptocurrency payments already or are planning to do so in the future.

Bitcoin maximalism and online gambling

When Bitcoin maximalists are also investors, their hard-core allegiance to BTC causes them to continually invest more money in it. You could make the case for Bitcoin maximalism being the underlying factor that makes its market capitalization so enormous. Its market cap is being driven by maximalism.

Combine market cap with day-to-day trading and you have a scenario in which BTC is priced unusually high. For the record, BTC was selling at just over $10,600 at the time this post was written. Its market capitalization stood at $197.8 billion. Second in terms of market cap was Ethereum, at a paltry $39.1 billion. Its price at the time of this writing was $347.22.

The disparity is remarkable by any measure. What does this tell us? That there are a lot more people buying and selling BTC than just about any other cryptocurrency. And it is largely being driven by Bitcoin maximalism. How does this affect online gambling? In a number of ways:

1. Cryptocurrency payment options

The first and most visible effect Bitcoin maximalism has on gambling is observed in cryptocurrency payment options. Virtually every online casino that accepts cryptocurrency accepts Bitcoin. They do not all accept Ethereum, Litecoin, and the rest. Only Bitcoin is universally accepted. And that's because gambling operators assume (and not without reason) that BTC is the one cryptocurrency customers are most likely to use.

2. Payment processor options

Bitcoin maximalists' assertion that BTC is superior to all others influences payment processors as well. Like gambling operators, payment processors almost always start with BTC and go from there. If you are an online casino operator looking for a crypto payment processor, you are not likely to find one that doesn't offer BTC payments. And if your processor supports BTC, so will you.

3. Special BTC promotions

Imagine you are a gambling operator looking to get your fair share of the cryptocurrency market. If you believe the hype that Bitcoin is superior to all others, who are you going to target in terms of your special cryptocurrency promotions? BTC users, of course.

Take a few minutes and search cryptocurrency gambling promotions online. You will find that nearly all of them are linked to BTC. Promotions encouraging you to deposit LTC, ETH, BCH, etc. are few and far between. The entire focus is on BTC as though it is the only cryptocurrency that matters.

4. Blockchain adoption

Perhaps the most profound effect Bitcoin maximalism has on gambling is not related to payments in any way. Rather, it is related to blockchain adoption across the board. Bitcoin is primarily a monetary system. Limited functionality prevents it from being used as a software development platform.

On the other hand, there are other platforms that can serve both functions. Ethereum and Bitcoin SV are just two examples. You could build an entire online casino operation on one of these two platforms. Both can handle customer payments and withdrawals, casino accounting, proving fairness, and more.

Unfortunately, the belief that Bitcoin is superior to all others may be preventing the online industry from fully embracing all of the benefits of blockchain. Everyone from operators to game developers are reluctant to mix BTC for payments with an entirely different blockchain for everything else. Thus, they never consider blockchain at all.

The market will decide

The point of this post is not to trash Bitcoin or Bitcoin maximalists. Every person is entitled to his or her own opinion. Our point has been merely to explain what Bitcoin maximalism is and how it directly and indirectly affects online gambling. The fact is that Bitcoin maximalism is real, and it influences just about everything else in the cryptocurrency universe.

In the end, the market will decide whether or not BTC becomes the reserve currency that eventually replaces the U.S. dollar. The Bitcoin maximalists could ultimately be proved correct. Bitcoin already has a lot of things going for it, but it also has some inherent weaknesses.

As for the gambling sector, it is hard to see a way in which operators and payment processors could embrace BTC as a default gambling token and still utilize another blockchain to run their businesses. It seems to be one or the other for them. That being the case, the likelihood of some other blockchain displacing BTC for gambling operations seems pretty high.