Litecoin Founder Lee Sparks Debate over “Bitcoin Extremist” Tweet

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Litecoin founder Charlie Lee has triggered community debate with a tweet alleging that “some self-proclaimed Bitcoin Maximalists are actually Bitcoin Extremist.”

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“Some self-proclaimed Bitcoin Maximalists are actually Bitcoin Extremists. They think all other coins are scams and will go to zero. Maximalists think Bitcoin will remain the dominant cryptocurrency but there is room for altcoins to exist and even do well,” argued Lee on his January 6 post.

Lee also started a Twitter survey, which has drawn more than 24,300 votes as of the time of writing and is due to expire in 6 hours, inviting users to identify as either a “Bitcoin Extremist,” “Bitcoin Maximalist,” “Altcoin Maximalist,” or “Nocoiner.”

As of the time of writing, 9 percent have identified as bitcoin “extremists,” 48 percent as bitcoin “maximalists,” 32 percent as altcoin “maximalists,” and 11 percent a “nocoiners.”

Lee’s remarks spurred a series of quick-witted responses, both dissenting and assenting, including one from crypto industry figure Jameson Lopp, who said “Bitcoin Supremacists, please. Extremists have a negative connotation,” adding “I identify as a Segregated Witness.”

Mindful of Lee’s provocation, Ragnar Lifthrasir, who is the founder of the International Blockchain Real Estate Association (IBREA), said to Lee that he was on “the path to wrong-think,” and that using the jargon of extremism was little more than a smear of anyone whose “opinion differs from Charlie’s.”

Lee’s comments also triggered debates over whether bitcoin “maximalism” is little more than a marketing term allegedly coined by altcoin founders, as well as over bitcoin’s prevailing brand dominance. Some commentators responded – without actually declaring any allegiances – that ultimately it will be the free market and tangible use cases that will separate the successful projects in a sector of proliferating cryptocurrencies.

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As of the time of writing, the share of bitcoin’s market capitalization in the overall cryptocurrency market cap is at 51.8 percent, according to data.

On the cusp of the New Year, tokenization protocol Stellar’s co-founder and CTO Jeb McCaleb – who was also among the founders of the now-defunct Japanese bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, as well as a co-founder of Ripple – provocatively claimed that “ninety percent of crypto projects are B.S.,” adding that he was “looking forward to that changing” in 2019.

McCaleb excluded Ethereum, Bitcoin, Stellar Lumes, and presumably XRP from his criticisms.