A better way to counter crypto maximalists
3 min read

A better way to counter crypto maximalists


A better way to counter crypto maximalists.

Crypto maximalism is an unfortunate and poisonous by-product of the crypto movement. Unlike, for example the world of Fortune 500 companies, crypto currencies are widely investable and perceived as directly in competition with one another. This creates an incentive for existing holders to continuously “educate” the rest of the crypto space about the value of their coin at the expense of others.

Let me with empathy use one origin story which by no means characterizes all crypto maximalists. Put yourselves in the position of a crypto noble. You thought you deserved more. You hated the establishment. You took an early swing on a coin, expecting nothing, but it made you millions. That decision defined who you are. It proved that you know something about something and put you in the center of an entirely new movement. Deep inside, you know you couldn't return to normal meritocratic life.

So you became a maximalist, a leader of this new establishment. Your goal, is to use your influence and drive up the price of your chosen coin. That is, of course, how you make money these days, but most importantly it will reaffirm your genius in betting on this coin in the first place, the very foundation of your new identity and pride.

Maximalists draw directly upon the populist playbook - strings of very compelling but fundamentally unsubstantiated and framing-dependent sound bites that make their claims. This playbook is very effective over the internet, as proven by recent events in the US and UK.

This unfortunate but understandable position unfortunately affects crypto valuations in powerful ways. I certainly hope that the swings in project financing do not harm the long term prospects of all the promising methods out there.

My sentiment is visibly negative. Why? Crypto is an unproven field. Rich individuals trying to prevent other projects getting much needed financing are effectively harming technological innovation for their own selfish gain. This is clear especially when they are attacking one of the strongest in a class of platforms rather the weakest. I'm all about diverting money away from scams, but all crypto projects are experiments right now and the good ones should all be well-financed.

So how do we counter this approach? Do we dissect it piece by piece and turn it into another debate of endless re-framing by the author?

Perhaps - it will certainly reveal the underlying bias in the crypto maximalist and unveil their true nature.

I would propose an alternative attack. If the crypto maximalist is truly presenting a theory, they should be able to accompany it with a prediction and a prediction with a bet. If they rationally believed in their own arguments, they would have an incentive to post a number of predictions to a prediction market, like Augur or short sell.

No, you would say, they already have skin-in-the-game by being invested in their one coin. That's partially true, but assuming that their coin will prevail and others not is a much stronger assumption and hence would be even more financially rewarded by also taking short positions in competitive coins and making highly leveraged predictions. If anything, that is a nice diversification of their overall thesis.

I'd like to see this “challenge author to prediction market” as a killer TruStory feature. That will no-doubt shut a lot of people up.

So, dear maximalist, do you really believe your claims or are you just hoping we will?