Tribalism is on the rise in the crypto space and the world wide since 2016 and perhaps earlier, but one of the biggest leap in evolution for humankind was when it co-operated with their then competitors, the wolf, who then became man’s best friend.
The friendship changed both. Wolves became less aggressive. Humans became more sophisticated at co-ordination. The gain for both was a lot more food, and a lot more safety.
This win-win relationship with some animals propelled man to be master of the universe. Without it, our species might have amounted to less than one million roaming middle-food-chain semi-monkeys.
That is why co-operative competition is often a chosen strategy and it fits perfectly in the crypto space because each of the top cryptos has a unique strength that reflects on the other ones.
Take bitcoin. Its code might be stale. Its capacity arguably limited. Its capabilities also arguably limited compared to some others, but there are some things it has which no other crypto does.
CME and CBOE bitcoin futures is one of them. Eventually, a potential bitcoin ETF is another. The rest may well follow, but how bitcoin paves the way probably affects all other cryptos unless one of them manages to flippening which may well happen, but hasn’t yet.
Ethereum, on its part, probably doesn’t care much about futures. They’d probably like an ETF, but the focus is more on smart contracts. Programmable money that automatically does things with dapps flourishing in many ways as a completely new industry is built.
Bitcoin Cash might attract some rees by those that choose to remain wolves as dogs thrive, but it brings something unique to the table as things stand.
Neither bitcoin nor eth is focused on merchant adoption. Both are accepted relatively widely, but neither is targeting that niche. Bitcoin Cash is.
The gains of bitcoin cash are the gains of bitcoin and eth. An increase in the commercial usage of BCH naturally should lead to the same for btc or eth if or once they do sort out capacity constrains which both are trying to address.
Even Ripple, the nemesis of some cryptonians, has something to bring to the table. Their focus on remittance shows use cases where cryptos can solve a real problem.
The numerous tokens can’t be taken by name, but as a class they show what is possible. In this context, thus, only a fool would see the gains of one as at the expense of others.
All four musketeers are pioneering different aspects. There may be some friendly rivalry between them, but in many ways it is impressive just how complementary they are to each other.
Of course here we are looking below the surface, at actual “movements.” On the surface, especially when it comes to bitcoin, their “leadership” has an arrogant bend that extends beyond some Bitcoin Core developers to people like Arthur Hayes, the CEO of BitMex, who seems to lack self-awareness by showing immaturity in calling the world computer certain childish names.
That may however be because of how bitcoin developed. As a completely new invention which attracted considerable skepticism, if one even knew of its existence, much in bitcoin has been on a first come first served basis.
MT Gox is a prime example of that amateurism, but it extends beyond exchanges and in many ways it is quite understandable. Just as, in many ways, it doesn’t matter at all.
That’s because bitcoin is not really some devs, or exchange operators, or business operators, or even node operators, but an idea. That idea has now risen to the point of engulfing Wall Street.
Ethereum too is an idea with many similarities, plus a lot more on top. BCH is, of course, bitcoin. Ripple has always been the odd one out, but, they are kind of moving towards an idea of sorts now that some institutions run their nodes.
The interesting mixture that has risen, therefore, allows for quite an interesting wholistic crypto scene where, united under one goal in many ways, you have different “teams” or cryptos pioneering for themselves and by extension for other cryptos a certain aspect that needs development for cryptos as a whole to be a thing.
It’s a division of labor in many aspects. Bitcoin tries to break down them bankers and break into the traditional financial infrastructure, eth grabs imagination with all them dapps and smart contracts, BCH tries to make this stuff usable as a currency and Ripple, well it ripples in remittance.
Then you have all them tokens making this space a bit of a festival, and you get a macro crypto picture of a complementary crypto movement where competition is actually co-operation, at least in action if not in words.