The One-Size-Fits-All Blockchain

by | Feb 17, 2021

Recently, I tuned into the LBRY Community Podcast and near the end, they brought up a question that someone had asked about LBRY. This person wanted to know why it was not built on a privacy coin like Monero. They implied that LBRY should move to a private chain like that. Now, apart from the obvious technical issues regarding such a request, this does bring up something that I often see when people discuss crypto.

People love one-size-fits-all technology. They love to pick one favorite thing or company that does everything. They might be an Apple person who stupidly uses Apple for everything. They might be a Google person who can’t get enough of Google’s products and services. They might be a Facebook person who puts down any other social media platform because they just don’t provide all of the same features as Facebook.

When it comes to crypto, you have the Bitcoin-only people. All other coins are what they call “shitcoins.” You also have the Monero-only bunch, who can’t imagine any reason to use a public blockchain. You also have the ERC-20 crowd who just can’t get enough of their little tokens. Now, there is nothing wrong with having favorites, whether a favorite brand or platform or blockchain, but it is incredibly naive and counter-productive to turn around and then say that everyone should use your preferred solution.

There is no one-size-fits-all blockchain, and there shouldn’t be. If one blockchain tried to do it all, we would end up with less innovation, less freedom, less technological progress. If we all had to gather under the banner of one blockchain, the forced association would lead to more infighting and less excitement.

Bitcoin doesn’t serve the same purpose as Monero. Ethereum doesn’t serve the same purpose as LBRY. Blocknet doesn’t serve the same purpose as DASH. If you want a blockchain for crypto conservatives, Bitcoin is there for you. It is tried and true. It may be slow and it may be expensive, but with Bitcoin you know exactly what you are getting and you know that it won’t dramatically change overnight. If you want private money, if you value fungibility, Monero and other privacy coins are there for you. If you want to publicly post videos and other content, LBRY is there for you. If you want to connect and interact directly with multiple blockchains using a standard API, then Blocknet is there for you. If you want to build complex, worldwide blockchain applications, Ethereum and the brilliant Ethereum Virtual Machine exist for you.

None of these chains could accomplish everything that the others accomplish, and it would be a waste of time to try and do so. What makes far more sense is having a large number of crypto projects out there, with many different blockchains that are each specially designed to provide certain solutions. Sure, some do more than others, but that doesn’t change the point.

With a multitude of projects, everyone gets to focus on their own particular passions and they get to innovate on those. Specialization ultimately leads to innovation for everyone because we can all learn from those projects in order to build the next generation of crypto products and services.

Lots of crypto projects, lots of blockchains, is a good thing. And apart from the benefits in terms of innovation, it’s also worth pointing out that if everyone only used a one-size-fits-all blockchain, then that would mean we are all depending on one project, which should worry everyone. Software projects come and go. Blockchains come and go. Tech is innovative one day and deprecated the next. If we all relied on the same thing, then that would put us all at risk because then the enemies of our freedom and autonomy would have a central point to attack in an attempt to seize more control over us.

Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Don’t be naive enough to think that your pet project or blockchain is the answer to everyone’s problems. Nothing good will come of that.

In a healthy, free market there are lots of technologies out fighting to provide solutions to our problems, and that is a good thing.

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Ryan Burgett

Ryan Burgett

Husband, father, software developer, Mennonite pastor, and host of TechnoAgorist.

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