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Substratum questions Bitcoin’s dominance →

November 21, 2018

Amplify Exchange on Substratum’s blog:

As the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin has held value longer than any other cryptocurrency out there…

The first part of this sentence should read “as the first widely adopted cryptocurrency” because Bitcoin was not the “first cryptocurrency”.

Though Bitcoin may be the least volatile choice for crypto investors, it remains incredibly volatile compared to traditional assets like shares of stock. The Motley Fool points out that Bitcoin underwent 20 price corrections between April 2013 and January 2018, three of them more than 50%, while the S&P 500 has only experienced three corrections of over 50% in the last 90 years.

This volatility comparison is stupid. The market capitalization of Bitcoin is ~$143 billion, while the S&P 500 is valued at ~$23 trillion – that’s a 160x difference. Furthermore, the S&P 500 is an index that represents 500 unique companies, while Bitcoin’s price is representative of a single asset. If you’re going to argue about relative volatility, why not bring up smaller individual stocks that exhibit higher volatility?

Bitcoin remains too volatile to serve many traditional investment needs. Bitcoin’s investment value is deeply tied to its day-to-day value as a medium of exchange. An analysis on Investopedia points out that Bitcoin essentially has no longterm worth unless people are exchanging it for goods and services.

Which traditional investment needs specifically? It’s a well-known fact that “traditional investment” institutions like family funds, hedge funds, and investment banks have been speculating on the value of Bitcoin. Furthermore, I don’t think Bitcoin has an established use case yet, so it’s too early to suggest that it will have no value if people aren’t using it on a day-to-day basis. It’s entirely possible Bitcoin will function like programmable gold in the future. Do people use gold to buy coffee at Starbucks? I don’t.

Volatility inhibits day-to-day spending (no one wants to repeat Laszlo Hanycez’s infamous $60 million pizza order), and that could also be true for high-priced Bitcoins, which typically drop in value more severely than less expensive Altcoins when the market tumbles.

Volatility doesn’t inhibit day-to-day spending if both parties in a transaction agree on the inherent value of the denominated asset. The “issue” at the moment is that Bitcoin is valued in fiat. Secondly, a higher priced Bitcoin that is actually backed by sufficient psychological support should theoretically be less volatile than a lower-priced Bitcoin. Lastly, Bitcoins only “drop[s] in value more severely than less expensive Altcoins” in terms of absolute numbers, which is a function of circulating supply. Thus, volatility should be measured in percentages and not absolute numbers. If XRP had the same market cap as Bitcoin, 1 XRP would be equal to ~$1.76 in fiat terms. Does that mean XRP can match Bitcoin’s “severe” drop of $1,000? No, because talking about volatility in terms of absolute numbers is nonsensical.

For those reasons, Bitcoin has a hazy future as an investment tool and a medium of exchange.

Hazy for who? Hazy for you?

Altcoins demonstrate that a blockchain can serve countless other purposes.

No. Blockchain demonstrates that a blockchain can serve countless other purposes. It has nothing to do with altcoins as shown by projects like IBM’s Hyperledger and other private enterprise blockchains. Altcoins can be used to incentivized participation on a network, but that’s independent of blockchain’s potential in a variety of use cases.

Because Altcoin users must generally rely on exchanges more heavily than Bitcoin users, security issues pose a challenge that inhibits Altcoin adoption; in the first half of 2018, Hackers stole about $731 million in crypto from exchanges.

What? How do average people buy Bitcoin without relying on exchanges?

We plan for the Amplify Exchange to feature direct fiat-to-crypto conversions for the top 100 cryptocurrencies at launch time.

Good luck building liquid fiat markets for 99 altcoins. Sounds like it’ll be a great place to capitalize on low volume pump and dumps.

Substratum is already a thriving community of censorship-proof decentralized internet providers, and now, those providers can earn AMPX tokens for processing transactions in addition to earning SUB for handling internet routing requests.

Well, this is an outright lie considering the Substratum network isn’t even live yet. I don’t see how a demo involving four nodes can be considered “a thriving community of censorship-proof decentralized internet providers”, but then again, what do I know? I’m not a Substratum Warrior.

The distributed aspect of Amplify helps keep it fast, accessible, and affordable, while decentralization across Amplify nodes keeps the exchange resilient, censor-proof, and virtually impossible to hack. Our Bridgechain blockchain protocol links the decentralized and distributed aspects of Amplify to give users the best of both worlds.

It doesn’t give the best of both worlds because the whole point of a decentralized exchange is to keep funds on a private wallet. The fact that trading on Amplify requires depositing funds to a Substratum-controlled wallet kills the whole concept.


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