Why ARE there so Many Alt-Coins? – A Music Industry Comparison
Here lately, as I get more excited about the potential of blockchain technology, it seems like I’ve been talking ad nauseum to everyone who will lend me an ear and five minutes. I’m starting to feel like a new vegan or a crossfit enthusiast all at the same time! (No offense to my vegan and crossfit friends)
My neighbor (one of my innocent victims) has been taking an interest as well. We have frequent conversations about it, usually taking the form of me teaching him the basics. During one of our discussions about my involvement with AirWire.io, he asked, “Why are there so many altcoins?”
That’s an excellent (and fair) question; and one I’ve considered a lot; especially with the uprising of the “Bitcoin Maximalists.”
So I broke it down with an analogy.
To better illustrate this in terms the world is familiar with, I used the music industry as an example.
In this analogy, just remember – Music equals Blockchain Technology
In the music industry, music is divided into genres; Rock, Country, R&B, etc.
And subgenres: Classic Rock, Indie Rock, Progressive Rock, Nu Metal, etc.
Engineers, blockchain developers, and visionaries have different ideas and interpretations about major philosophies and rules. These major philosophies seems to be best shown as Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake. These represent musical genres.
When it comes to the minor rules, smaller tweeks, and the different interpretations of these genres, all the different tokens and coins are the individual subgenres.
Think of it this way:
Fans are attracted to different bands and artists based on the value they offer. Do you prefer Classic Rock or Progressive Rock? In either case, there are definitive lists of bands you might gravitate toward. People are drawn to music usually based on popularity, how it makes them feel, if the music serves their purposes, etc. They share it with their friends because they believe it will add value to their friends life too.
Similarly, different cryptocurrencies, tokens, and coins appeal to people for many of the same reasons (and of course, more crypto-specific reasons). People are often drawn to a coin based on popularity, if it serves their purposes, its security level, the speed of transactions, overall functionality, track record, trust, and more.
I see a future where the vast majority of these altcoins will never see mass adoption; in very much the same way there are TONS of indie bands, local acts, bar bands, and teenagers in garages who will never grow beyond their local community. Some will be hugely popular and others obscure — even if (in your most humble opinion) the most popular ones are not objectively the very best music.
Why anyone would enjoy listening to “Ice Ice Baby” is beyond me, but lo-and-behold, the video has 250 million views! — and one more if you click that link 😉
But, all jokes aside, that means that potentially millions of tokens can (and likely will) co-exist, aiming to serve its own niche audience. In the next decade, the average crypto holder may have tens or hundreds of different tokens they use for different purposes to serve various needs. You might have some for savings, some for gambling, some for bills, some for entertainment, charitable causes, your kids’ gaming allowance… the list goes on and on. Each one with its own level of security, function, purpose, and popularity. (Who saw Cryptokitties coming, right?)
Remember – Music equals Blockchain Technology
Blockchain technology does for currency, money, and value exchange what the internet did for musicians, writers, and artist. The gatekeepers (greedy record labels, uptight book publishers, and out-of-control governments) suddenly have a check on their power. (Hey! That sounds Tweetable! Hint, hint)
The introduction of the internet was able to get rid of the gatekeepers of the music industry and limit their power; creating an explosion of new innovative artists the world would have otherwise never heard of. Similarly, blockchain technology has the potential to remove the gatekeepers of finance and monetary policy; potentially creating an explosion in every industry that exchanges money for goods and services (that’s like ALL of them!).
After I explained all this to my neighbor, he paused and considered what I told him. I’m pretty sure a mind was blown that day! My neighbor is a bit of a crypto-cynic (most of the older folk are), but after this discussion, I think he’s coming around.
What do you think? Am I way off base here, or is there potential for (and room for) multiple songs… I mean, blockchain projects?
Check out our genre at https://airwire.io
About the author: Daniel Wagner stays busy as a father of four, writer, creator, political/philosophical commentator, blockchain enthusiast, and crypto-communicator He is the Director of Marketing for AirWire, educating noobs about the blockchain industry since 2015. You can contact him at email@example.com