Partin Pruthi

February 08, 2016

The necessities of Evolution

Sometimes we get so engulfed in a field that we forget that there are other things outside of that. That is especially true for developers. They get into a coma-like state and have to deal with miniscule details of a big project, that snapping them back to life is difficult. Even when they do, they're still thinking about that project, especially if they haven't solved an intriguing puzzle. To get a person in that state of mind to think about the bigger picture, is like trying to use a spoon to shovel snow. That's why people are up in arms about bitcoin being 'dead'. It's just a small group of people that got frustrated with a problem that they can't individually solve, like they do all their software development problems, and therefore have expressed themselves.

Everyone needs to just take a step back, and see bitcoin for what it really is. It's a new idea, that is open to everyone, and makes a lot of things possible. The more you think about it, the more you realize that the creator(s) of it, were more than mere mortals. They foresaw this development, and therefore elected for all of it to be open, and have the idea be subject to the forces of the market. Bitcoin was never hailed to be perfect. It was only one of the first, and the most popular. According to 'the internet', there is more than just 1 virtual currency out there. And no, there aren't "dozens", but hundreds. Right now, it's fairly simple to analogize this situation with the theory of evolution.

The necessities of Evolution

Survival of the fittest does not mean that there is only one survivor. It just means that only one is going to be the dominant species. In our existence, Human beings, have emerged as the dominant species. They have evolved, and have become smarter, taller, more agile, and [fun fact] the species that can run the farthest. Other species still exist. Not only that, but they are better suited to their environment. Monkeys live in the jungle, and do a really good job of doing so. Sharks live underwater, and they're the nightmare animals (that never sleep) of many people. Human beings, although they dominate the world, could never live in similar conditions. A lot of human beings, especially the ones reading this right now, can't even live in a world without WiFi!

This means that bitcoin is going through one of the challenges that many species have had through history. It must either evolve, or perish. When that hard limit arrives, and block size does become a significant factor that needs to be addressed, then it will not turn into a global political issue. It is going to be impossible to get all of bitcoin miners to agree to switch. They all have different interests. The Chinese don't want to change stuff, because it works for their internet connection. Other people want to change, because they see it necessary to evolve further. Some people talk about creating a 'voting' system in bitcoin, and create the whole bitcoin community into a modern day democracy, where the majority rules, and the minority are ruled. That is just a waste of time and totally unnecessary.

What is actually going to happen is, each virtual currency is going to continue doing its thing. If bitcoin's current situation becomes a problem, people are going to start using something else. That something else will gain traction. It may even become more popular than bitcoin. Or, when that begins to happen, the bitcoin community is actually going to decide to evolve. This process is necessary for evolution. To think that we need only one virtual currency is short sighted. There are going to be many virtual currencies that have various properties that are suited to their environment better than another. Virtual currencies are going to become some of the human beings' tools to transmit value between each other, in addition to ancient technologies such as bank transfers or Paypal.

Therefore, even if bitcoin is pronounced dead, that does not mean that the whole concept of virtual currencies has died. If people start killing each other and the whole species is extinct, that doesn't mean that life ends in the world. There are other species (some that can survive everything), and they are going to continue living, and hack into our WiFi, even after we're gone. So, when you come across click-bait titles putting down virtual currencies, order another espresso, tell your man to make you a sandwich and to give you a foot massage, while you continue on your 37th hour of your coding binge.