Bitcoin’s biggest advantage is its network effect, says Monero’s Riccardo Spagni


Bitcoin [BTC], the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, marked the first decade of decentralization this January 2019 by celebrating the 10th anniversary of its genesis block generation. Over the years, Bitcoin grabbed the attention of retail investors, institutional investors, regulating bodies and even powerful government bodies across the globe.

Speaking with Shannon Grinnell for ‘Speaking of Crypto’ podcast, Riccardo Spagni aka fluffypony listed the coin’s ten years of existence as one of its advantages, adding that in these ten years, the coin proved to be robust. Meanwhile, the core developer of Monero also stated that the coin’s biggest advantage was its network effect, which no other currency has been able to achieve.

He went on to state,

[…] you can’t beat that without also being around for 10 years […] it’s a little bit to late for anyone to try and beat that because anyone who trusts bitcoin right now, trust it because of its 10 years of history and anyone who trusts something new will not have 10 years of history that they can rely on […]

Spagni further stated that the digital gold has achieved a level of dominance, which according to him, would not be beaten. At the same time, fluffypony also asserted that Bitcoin would not be the only cryptocurrency in existence, adding that there would be other coins that would survive.

To prove this, Spagni used the analogy of cars, where most of the cars use either petrol or diesel, however, they are not the only kinds of cars in existence as there were electric cars and LPG. He stated that this does not imply that petrol or diesel was the only way to power a car, but that it was just the dominant one, at present. However, with Bitcoin, “the dominance will continue indefinitely”, he added.

Further, Spagni spoke about Ethereum, explaining one of his previous analogy about the leading smart contract platform. Spagni had previously remarked that Ethereum’s “boil the ocean strategy has accomplished nothing” on Twitter. Spagni stated that the ‘boil the ocean’ analogy was “more around Ethereum itself rather than things that are being built on top of Ethereum”. He went on to state that the strategy was that “it must be able to do everything”, wherein one can build ZCash on Ethereum or build Monero on Ethereum because “Ethereum can do anything.”

Spagni stated,

“[…] And what I’ve realized over time is that it’s true. Ethereum can do everything, but it can’t do all those individual things particularly well […]”

This was followed by Spagni stating that if Monero was to be built on Ethereum, then it would have a very limited utility, adding that there were aspects of Ethereum that would limit the ability of creating large ring signatures.

He further stated,

“[…] you learn to build on this thing that could do everything, then you end up with this […] watered down version of the focused thing. And everything becomes mediocre, performance becomes mediocre, the scaling become mediocre, everything becomes mediocre because it’s too de-focused and you can’t build everything on it […]

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