The lazy comparison of Bitcoin to VHS

People are saying Bitcoin will be replaced in the same way VHS was replaced by DVD and subsequently Blu-Ray. Here is why this analogy doesn't work

People are consistently searching for the next Bitcoin – the ‘Bitcoin killer’ that will make them rich. These people are usually those who missed out on the original bubble and feel that the best chance they have of making profits is to find a small-cap coin that they hope will take over Bitcoin’s crown. The comparison that Bitcoin is similar to VHS and your new altcoin is Blu-Ray doesn’t quite add up.

Part of the reason why people search for a Bitcoin killer is because they are viewing the technology through the lens of history. In traditional technology, there is constant improvement. In the 1980s, we had the NES. Now we have PlayStation 4 and the Nintendo Switch. First we had grainy VHS, and now we have ultra-sharp Blu-Ray.

There is a key difference when comparing such technologies to that of Bitcoin though. Bitcoin is not a physical entity. It is merely lines of code. Whereas VHS was limited by the technology at the time, the only way to improve it was to build new technology outside of VHS. It wasn’t possible to improve it unless you created something new.

As it is simply made up of lines of code, Bitcoin can be edited. Indeed, Bitcoin has been consistently fine-tuned up to this date. Introductions such as SegWit or the Lightning Network mean that you do not need to create new entities. Instead, you can build on top of the existing structure.

New ideas such as Mimblewimble therefore can theoretically be added to Bitcoin. This means unlike VHS, you do not need to create something wholly new. The fact that Bitcoin is not a physical entity is one of its main strengths as it allows for adaptability.

If you are continuing to hunt for the next Bitcoin killer, take a step back and reassess. Whilst the coin you are looking at might have some benefits, if those benefits are truly useful, they will be added to Bitcoin one day, rendering your altcoin useless once more.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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