Despite Failures Across Altcoin Space, Bitcoin Remains Undefeated
By Landon Manning
Although the international crypto space has evolved dramatically in the years since Bitcoin’s launch, new data concludes that more than 90% of altcoins released in the last decade have gone bust, proving not only Bitcoin’s appeal and success, but also its immense standing power.
Bitcoin was launched in January 2009 as a radical alternative to a financial orthodoxy in crisis; its pseudonymous creator took many steps to ensure that it would always remain leaderless. Relying on a trustless blockchain to validate its transactions, Bitcoin is in a sense run by its community of developers, with major changes only happening with consensus. Since the world was introduced to cryptocurrency, however, huge numbers of “altcoins” have arisen. They are often issued directly by a group that retains control, and Bitcoiners are proud to know that their darling remains number one in valuation and acceptance.
New data from CoinKickoff, however, has managed to illustrate the gulf between these newcomers and Bitcoin. CoinKickoff began its survey with the crash in 2014, which led to a crisis in confidence for Bitcoin and saw major altcoins like Ethereum launching. One decade of time passing, however, has produced a striking conclusion: 91% of altcoins from this time are already dead. The most common cause of death is developer abandonment, often involving a lack of investor funds, but many others are due to the projects being explicit jokes or even scams. Some of the worst years for altcoins have been those where bitcoin also underwent a price crash, causing a brutal domino effect.
Now that we have this data analysis, there is a more complete understanding of why Bitcoin has this incredible staying power. The most common cause of altcoin death is due to developer abandonment, but the network undergirding Bitcoin is as strong as ever, with current hash rates around 270 exahashes per second (Eh/s).
Similarly, more than one million distinct Bitcoin addresses now hold a full bitcoin. Naturally, most wallets have less than this, but a growing number of Bitcoiners now have the knowledge and confidence to hold their BTC in self custody. Additionally, the Bitcoin blockchain can accommodate innovations like the Lightning Network, with developers expanding Bitcoin’s practical uses in radical new ways. Bitcoin’s decentralized nature allows it to welcome such initiatives, where other coins might refuse to relinquish absolute control.
CoinKickoff’s report concluded that the years since 2020 have seen the lowest rates of altcoin death yet. Seeing that this was an unprecedented boom time for Bitcoin, however, it stands to reason that the slew of crypto collapses in 2022 will lead to further failures. The future, indeed, is sure to become home to many more altcoins, but none are likely to capture either the radical vision or the committed developer base of the first cryptocurrency. To overcome these pitfalls, it’s best to bet on Bitcoin.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.
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