Google searches for “shitcoin” are at a yearly high after congressman Warren Davidson (pictured) mentioned the word twice in a congressional hearing.
While questioning Meltem Demirors of Coinshares’ who was testifying, the congressman asked if she could highlight the benefits of bitcoin’s immutable ledger, decentralization vs centralization, and to make his question as clear as possible, the congressman said:
“You know, a lot of people in this space will use the phrase… I think you may be familiar with: there’s bitcoin and then there’s shitcoin. Are you familiar with that phrase and what people might mean by that?”
So asked the congressman, with Demirors pointing out that bitcoin has been tested over many years and has withstood any attempts to attack it or control it.
In further questioning, it was pointed out no one could change the amount of bitcoin created, no one could manipulate the ledger, and so on, with the congressman concluding all of these features are different “than many other things people call, colloquially, shitcoin because the value can be distorted by a central authority.”
They’re implicitly talking about Libra, Facebook’s permissioned and somewhat centralized ostensible cryptocurrency which they plan to launch next year.
The term shitcoin, however, was used much before Libra with it rising in prominence during the peak in late 2017 as people kept flipping between different cryptos without having a clue just what they were buying or selling.
The more family friendly term, altcoin, has been used since pretty much forever and at least since 2013 when bitcoin had 95% market share.
Altcoins however are sort of “good” cryptos that are decentralized and are somewhat similar to bitcoin, with shitcoin mainly referring to very specific coins that pretend to be decentralized and pretend to be a crypto when they’re not.
Interestingly, according to long term Google searches, shitcoin was used since pretty much forever, but it exploded in popularity in late 2017 and early 2018.
The volume of these searches are obviously nothing compared to those for bitcoin, but America and much of the world now wants to know just what is a shitcoin.