When it comes to the bitcoin and blockchain ecosystem, there are basically three main points of view that describe how most people think about the space. There are the “nocoiners” who do not think there is value to be had in any cryptocurrency (although they may believe in the merits of the underlying “blockchain technology”), then there are the “multicoiners” who want to “tokenize all the things,” and finally there are the so-called “bitcoin maximalists” who think bitcoin as money is the main (and perhaps only) real innovation here.
A debate between the philosophies of bitcoin maximalism and blockchaining all the things took center stage at this year’s edition of the Consensus conference in New York during a discussion between Bitcoin developer Jimmy Song, Consensys CEO Joseph Lubin, and former JPMorgan blockchain program lead Amber Baldet.
The debate reached its highest point of contention when Lubin offered to bet Song “any amount of bitcoin” that the theory of bitcoin maximalism would be proven wrong over the next five years. Song agreed, and while the details of the bet were not completely worked out on stage, Song has now offered some terms and conditions for the wager.
The Back Story
The debate between Lubin and Song at Consensus began when Baldet asked Song what he thinks about her now project Clovyr, which she had just presented to the audience. In his response, Song bluntly stated, "I didn't see anything other than buzzwords."
As a self-described bitcoin maximalist, Song is a critic of permissioned blockchains, which Clovyr integrates into its platform.
Later in the discussion, Lubin and Song were asked by Baldet to predict what will happen with blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies over the next five years, which is when Song pointed to bitcoin as the “real innovation” and added, "I don't really see much of this stuff gaining much traction."
It was at this point that Lubin chimed in and said, "I'll bet you any amount of bitcoin that you're wrong."
The details of the proposal were unclear at the moment, but Song appeared open to the idea. Shortly after he left the stage, Lubin tweeted that he’d be in touch with Song. Song has since tweeted at Lubin about the bet on two separate occasions, but on the most recent episode of Laura Shin’s Unchained podcast, Song indicated that he has received no further communication from Lubin.
Song’s Terms for the Bet
It was on this same podcast that Song proposed some terms and conditions for the bet with Lubin.
“I’ve been trying to get in touch with [Lubin] so he could do this, but he hasn’t responded, so hopefully this will be a good forum to do this. The way in which you can measure whether or not an app on a phone is popular is with two metrics that a lot of app writers, app programmers, and app companies really know about, which is daily active users and monthly active users. I think those would be pretty decent metrics for determining whether or not a ‘blockchain decentralized app’ or something like that has a lot of traction,” explained Song.
Song went on to suggest ten thousand daily active users and a hundred thousand monthly active users as a reasonable metrics for measuring the success of blockchain-based decentralized applications (dapps) in five years, although it’s unclear if the quoted numbers were for a single platform or all platforms combined (Android, iOS, Windows, etc). According to Song, these stats are based on the level of activity seen with mid-tier apps on Android.
If five dapps were able to reach those levels of adoption and sustain them for six months, then Song would concede defeat. The amount of money being put on the line is still up in the air, but the ball is now clearly in Lubin’s court. Having said that, it seems clear there are still many more specifics to work out here.
Picture from pxhere.
Never miss a thing and suscribe to our newsletter.
Kyle first used Bitcoin in 2011. By early 2014, researching and writing about Bitcoin had become his full-time occupation. Currently, he contributes regularly to Forbes and CoinJournal. His work has also appeared in Business Insider, VICE Motherboard, Nasdaq, and many other media outlets. Additionally, he provides a daily Bitcoin news recap via a newsletter and YouTube show (audio only version available via SoundCloud), which can be found at kyletorpey.com.