Beginner’s Guide #9: Altcoins, A History of Failure with Nic Carter

Location: Skype
Date: Sunday, 26th January
Project: Castle Island Ventures
Role: Partner

Welcome to the Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin.

Bitcoin can be intimidating for beginners. The protocol is complicated, the community can be aggressive and unforgiving, silly mistakes can lose you money, and it is easy to succumb to altcoin marketing. 

Bitcoin does though, offer you the opportunity to hold a new type of monetary asset, one which can’t be seized by the government and is censorship resistance and It has the potential to change the way the world. 

The goal of What Bitcoin Did has always been about making things simple; there are no stupid questions, and the show is here to help beginners navigate this new world. To kick off 2020, we are launching a special series to help beginners understand Bitcoin. We will be looking at the basics from breaking down the protocol to explaining the economics and discussing the potential societal shift. 

Beginners Guide Part 9 – Altcoins, A History of Failure with Nic Carter

From faster transactions to lower fees to better privacy, almost every altcoin promises to improve upon some technical aspect of Bitcoin. The blockchain myth, as some utopian database structure, has been nothing more than a marketing term for fundraising and hype, with little to no real-world traction.

The soul of Bitcoin is not embedded in some technical measure but in the trust of the protocol. Improving upon some technological measure of Bitcoin always comes with a trade-off such as reducing decentralisation or security. The beauty of Bitcoin is in its simplicity, something which can take time to understand.

The altcoin marketing machine can be a tempting distraction for those new to the world of crypto, but the long-term trend suggests that these investments are risky. Even trading altcoins as a way of increasing your Bitcoin holding comes at significant risk. Since the ICO bubble of 2017/18, the vast majority of these projects have all but died, with many holding worthless bags of hopium.

In Part 9 of the Bitcoin Beginner’s Guide, I talk to Nic Carter Partner at Castle Island Ventures a Venture Capital firm focused on public blockchains. We discuss the history of altcoins, their inferiority to Bitcoin, and why the failure rate is so high.