2018 took crypto traders and investors on a wild ride as we continually reached new yearly lows and experienced hopeful but short-lived bull runs. It really was an emotional rollercoaster as the 2017 crypto mania came to a screeching halt before falling off a cliff.
A recent Medium post by Jimmy Song, a Bitcoin educator, developer, and entrepreneur, examined what happened this past year and how it has affected Bitcoin.
As put by Song:
The past year has been a turbulent one for Bitcoin, but then again, what year isn’t? Bitcoin is disruptive and real disruption means that there’s bound to be significant volatility.
Bitcoin vs Altcoins
The massive sell-off really put things into perspective and brought many crypto enthusiasts back to their roots as Bitcoin reclaimed its dominance. Throughout 2017 Bitcoin slowly lost market share, and at the beginning of 2018 it reached an all-time low in terms of crypto dominance at 33.41%.
Crypto investors put a great amount of faith in alternative cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), and others, as they continued to find new highs at the start of 2018 and Bitcoin was selling off.
However, as Bitcoin continued to sell off over the course of the year, all others followed suit. In fact, altcoins suffered even more from the 2018 bear market, most of them losing value of more than 90% from their peaks, while Bitcoin managed to curtail its drop at 80%.
Ultimately, traders realized that many of the altcoins they invested in were not delivering on promises, had little to no users, suffered from centralization issues, had no liquidity, were severely overhyped, and more.
This brought an end to the ICO craze we experienced in 2017 and led people to flock back to Bitcoin, which raised its dominance back to over 50% going into 2019.
Why Bitcoin Perseveres While Others Fail
While many ICO projects struggled to find a use case and ran out of money, Bitcoin continued to build services with real-world use cases.
For instance, the Bitcoin Lightning Network has seen substantial growth in the last 12 months in terms of development, usage, and investment. Also, Segwit adoption has continued to grow significantly and is now adopted by the majority of exchanges, wallets, and businesses.
Multiple privacy projects have gained traction and are being developed, such as MuSig, Taproot, Graftroot, Dandelion, Neutrino, and other projects.
All of this development happened and continues to happen without any centralized authority calling the shots. And regardless of whether or not an altcoin project is decentralized, no project in the industry is decentralized to the level that Bitcoin is.
Bitcoin’s ability to persevere in a decentralized manner is unprecedented in the crypto market, and is a true advantage over other projects in the space.
As put by Song:
Altcoins continue to use a centralized model of development which too often results in products and features the market doesn’t want or need… What we saw in 2018 is that having lots of ‘developer activity’ is not the same thing as producing something the market wants. Bitcoin has distinguished itself by releasing features that are actually used, and not duds that aren’t like so many altcoins.
Bitcoin Is Stronger Than Ever
2018’s bear market shook out a lot of weak hands, and those who still hold Bitcoin are less susceptible to hype and are more aware of what actually matters.
Bitcoin has gained true believers and hodlers of last resort this past year, and thanks to this year-long thinning of the herd, it will enter 2019 with a stronger foundation.
2018 showed us Bitcoin’s true advantage over altcoins, as well as its decentralized nature and overall resilience. With Bitcoin, entrepreneurs decide what innovations will happen and individuals create products and use them. With altcoins, central committees ultimately decide on innovations and commission other entities to build it.
All in all, there is a distinct difference between Bitcoin and altcoins, and there always will be going forward. While Bitcoin became conflated with the mirage of altcoins in 2017’s mania, 2018 was the year where it clearly set itself apart.
Do you hold more Bitcoin than you did in 2017? Do you believe that Bitcoin is more decentralized than any other altcoin? Let us know in the comment section below.