Vitaliilk Buterin, the pioneer of the Ethereum blockchain, has not been a fan of Bitcoin maximalism. In several instances, including last year when El Salvador adopted Bitcoin as legal tender, Buterin derided Bitcoin maximalists as being too close-minded for their good.
However, in his latest private blogpost, Buterin seems to have had a change of heart for Bitcoin maximalism. He pushes forth the opinion that the philosophical stance has a strong role to play in the advancement of blockchain technology and crypto adoption.
Buterin makes a case “In Defense of Bitcoin Maximalism”
Buterin starts off the piece by noting that Bitcoin maximalists have wrongly gotten a bad rep from the media. The description of the culture as being toxic is unfair to what it stands for, which is the defense of freedom in “a dangerous world.”
The world, and especially the crypto space, is full of bad actors and scams. Similarly, there is an abundance of external pressure to change the core principles of blockchain technology which Bitcoin marks the hallmark. Governments and mega corporations are constantly seeking to exploit the technology for their benefit.
Crypto-assets like Bitcoin have real cultural and structural advantages that make them powerful assets worth holding and using, he said.
To properly defend freedom, Buterin stated that Bitcoin needed two core ingredients namely a robust and defensible technology stack and a robust and defensible culture (maximalism).
Hence, maximalists are a needed breed to oppose the co-opting of Bitcoin and ensure that it continues to serve the unbanked and underbanked.
To fulfill their role, maximalists have been firmly rejecting changes that will introduce unnecessary complexity to the Bitcoin protocol at the technology layer, Buterin revealed.
In the community as well, the rigid stand maximalist take behind Bitcoin has served to warn newcomers about the dangers in the crypto market.
The bottom line: “Be a maximalist”
It is worthy of note that the term Bitcoin maximalism has an origin story that traces back to Buterin in 2014.
At the time he coined the term to criticize the general dislike in the crypto space which was predominated by Bitcoin for the launch of other cryptocurrencies.
Despite his previous misgivings about Bitcoin maximalism, Buterin is now stating that everyone needs to be a maximalist for something they believe in. The self-described “tech philosopher” capped his essay with the parting words:
It’s better to offend millions by standing aggressively for what you believe in than it is to try to keep everyone happy and end up standing for nothing. Be brave. Fight for your values. Be a maximalist.