For DOGE, Elon Musk is just a gift that keeps on giving. For Bitcoin, Musk is proving to be a fickle ally. In a tweet sent out May 13, Musk backtracked on his March 24 tweet announcing Tesla’s acceptance of Bitcoin as a payment method, citing environmental reasons, saying that cryptocurrency’s promising future “cannot come at great cost to the environment.”
This disappointed Bitcoin hodlers who, earlier this year, celebrated Tesla’s acquisition of around $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin which was announced through an SEC filing. Prior to backtracking on Tesla’s stance on using Bitcoin as a payment method, Musk starred in an SNL skit where he joked about Dogecoin being a “hustle” — a joke that hurled the altcoin’s prices down 30% on the same night.
This has raised the question about the legitimacy of both BTC and Doge, especially in the context of extreme price fluctuations following Musk’s tweets.
Bitcoin: Differing Opinions
According to Bitcoin maximalists, Musk’s take on Bitcoin is a bit shortsighted: Bitcoin’s environmental impact is not as dire as Musk thinks. Some of them even say that Bitcoin will actually drive the development of sustainable options, especially in the cryptocurrency sphere. Some companies have even pledged to run carbon-neutral operations.
Some argue that the core of the problem is in the slow pace of Bitcoin evolution. Bitcoin miners “mine” a block every 10 minutes which severely impacts Bitcoin’s transaction speed and costs. Even Musk has talked about how Doge, not Bitcoin, is the future of cryptocurrencies. Another thing that Musk has brought to light is the fact that Bitcoin isn’t as decentralized as hardcore enthusiasts of it might be led to believe. Musk cited the fact that Bitcoin’s hash rate dropped by 35% after a disaster hit a coal mine in Xinjiang, a prominent Bitcoin mining region in China.
DOGE, BTC, or Something Else?
In what seemed to be an unlikely turn of events, people have been pitting DOGE against Bitcoin in a race for domination. With Musk talking about working with Dogecoin developers to improve the coin’s transaction efficiency, it’s been a bid of whichever currency wins the race to being the “one coin to rule them all”.
However, the metrics for “winning” isn’t exactly clear-cut.
To some, a coin’s success is tied to widespread adoption, while some think that market cap ranking is a legitimate measure of a coin’s worth. In a heated Twitter thread addressing Musk, Bitcoin advocate Peter McCormack said, “#Bitcoin is also a project for humanity, to free people from the implications of central banking.” He also implored Musk to consider the impact of his influence, saying that the impact he has on the entire Bitcoin ecosystem is “very real”, and it’s affecting Bitcoin users all over the globe.
Some believe that the future is in neither. Instead of a “one-winner-take-all” mentality, some cryptocurrency innovators advocate for interoperability: many different blockchain working together. Only time can tell whether Bitcoin retains it’s time-honored dominance, or whether DOGE or another market-cap ranking altcoin rises to the top, or whether the crypto-champion is a brand-new coin no one’s even heard of.
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