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Charlie Shrem: Bitcoin-Altcoin Speed Comparison is Red Herring Argument

Charlie Shrem_ Bitcoin-Altcoin Speed Comparison is Red Herring Argument

Bitcoin Foundation co-founder Charlie Shrem has downplayed the importance of blockchain networks’ competing transactional speed, saying that speed comparisons between Bitcoin and other altcoins are merely “red herrings” in determining network superiority.

A pioneer and advocate of Bitcoin, Shrem insists that Bitcoin’s main points for superiority are its security, decentralization and censorship resistance, believing only Bitcoin has a “censorship-resistant value network”. He believed that payment speed was never a problem since Bitcoin was created at a time that digital payment services like PayPal were already around:

“Transaction speeds when debating bitcoin vs other faux-cryptos is red herring argument. That’s not why we’re here. We’re building a censorship-resistant value network that can never be controlled by a single party.”

Even altcoin supporters from Digibyte agreed that Bitcoin would “always be king”:

15 second block times. < $0.00001 per transaction. Add instant on chain transactions and everything is made much easier for the user and merchant #DGB #UTXO @GetDigiCafe . That’s all. #BTC will always be king, don’t worry

— Devon ($DGB) (@digibytehelper) May 26, 2019

Shrem, who is the host of the Untold Stories podcast, has been a long time supporter of Bitcoin. However, many altcoin competitors use transactional speed as a point of contention, with many altcoins having much faster block times or, in the case of forked coins like Bitcoin Cash, larger blocks to allow more transactions to be confirmed within a block.

However, these tend to be generally less secure, leading to merchants requiring more confirmations before accepting a transaction. For Bitcoin, even 1 confirmation is commonly accepted nowadays.

BitMex Research, for example pointed out that Bitcoin Cash recently has a successful 51% attack on its blockchain:

“Based on our calculations, around 3,392 BCH may have been successfully double spent in an orchestrated transaction reversal. However, the only victim with respect to these double spent coins could have been the original “thief”.”


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