Ripple CTO David Schwartz says surprising levels of hostility in the crypto community are hampering the growth of the industry as a whole.
During the virtual Blockdown 2020 conference, Schwartz said crypto owners tend to get tribal due to their desire to earn a return on investment, showing remarkable levels of animosity toward rival technologies.
“I think the one thing that is kind of surprising to me is the sort of hostility to innovation in a lot of the space. A lot of that comes from people who have invested heavily in a project. I can’t talk about the cryptocurrency space without facing the reality that if you think Bitcoin is gonna take over the world, you probably own some Bitcoin.
If you think Ethereum is going to take over, you probably own some Ether. If you think the XRP ledger is the greatest thing in the world and everyone’s gonna use it for everything, you probably hold some XRP.”
Schwartz explains the implications of cherry-picking the perceived flaws of a digital asset.
“If someone tells you, ‘Hey, Bitcoin has this problem or Ethereum has this problem, or the XRP ledger has this weakness,’ if they’re right, then you will perceive yourself as losing money.
What happens is people dig in very, very deeply and nobody is invested in the project that doesn’t exist yet, and so there’s this sort of hostility to innovation.”
Schwartz cites Bitcoin as an example, explaining why investors of the king coin may not welcome improvements in other cryptocurrencies.
“The Lightning network is something that enhances Bitcoin’s usability and so, if you’re a Bitcoin maximalist, you like the Lightning Network. It is good innovation, whereas if Ethereum is improving its scalability, and you could perceive that as a threat to Bitcoin. You would sort of perceive that as bad innovation.”
The Ripple executive also says that he experienced the same frustrating phenomenon and lack of unity in the legacy financial system.
“All the existing banks and financial institutions want you to build on top of their existing technology because that’s what enriches them. The same thing has happened in the cryptocurrency community. People are now saying ‘no, build on top of Bitcoin because I’m invested in it. Build on top of Ethereum because I’m invested in it Don’t build new technologies that are better or that threaten the incumbents’…
Bitcoin was like a radical movement and now it’s the institution that people don’t want you to threaten now.”